In Brief: Music, art, theater




Lucy Woodward's first single may have been titled "Dumb Girls," but her new album - titled "Hooked!" - has been drawing praise for its smarts and style.

Locals can hear Woodward's latest for themselves when the singer-songwriter takes over The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz tonight and Saturday.

Revealing influences ranging from vintage jazz and swing to R&B and Latin music, Woodward has a simple explanation for her changing emphasis.

"I grew up," she says on her website. "I wanted to make a modern-day torch record, but I didn't want to do a record of all standards, because I had stuff I wanted to say."

In addition to her own songs, Woodward now performs vintage selections such as "Sans Souci," a Peggy Lee take on "Stardust."

It's a first for Woodward, who's used to writing her own songs.

"At first I was resistant to the idea of doing covers," she notes, "but then I fell in love with the process of taking a song and trying to make it my own. And I could never write a song like 'I Wan'na Be Like You' or 'Stardust' or 'Sans Souci,' so why limit myself?"

Woodward performs at 8:30 p.m. today and Saturday in Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 361 Symphony Park Ave. Tickets ($42-$55) are available by phone at 749-2000 or online at



No one questions Leonardo Da Vinci's qualifications as a genius.

But a new interactive exhibit at The Venetian enables visitors to experience his brilliance as inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician and architect.

"Da Vinci - The Genius" presents 13 themed areas of the Renaissance master's work; in many of them, visitors can push, pull, crank and otherwise interact with the exhibits, gaining a hands-on understanding of the scientific principles behind Da Vinci's visions.

Touch-screen displays also help visitors explore the artist's mysterious alphabet and writing techniques.

In addition to 75 full-scale interpretations of his inventions, the exhibit features three-dimensional renderings of his most notable works, including "The Last Supper."

Another section is devoted to "Secrets of Mona Lisa," spotlighting the research of engineer Pascal Cotte , who was granted permission to take Da Vinci's most famous painting off the wall at Paris' Louvre Museum and conduct a scientific analysis. Cotte's findings are illustrated by 40 magnified, high-resolution sectional images of the painting.

"Da Vinci - The Genius" is scheduled to open to the public today and will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Imagine Exhibitions Gallery, in the lobby near the registration desk at The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Admission is $20 for Nevada residents and $18 for children 12 and under; tickets are available at The Venetian box office (414-9000) and online at The exhibit runs through mid-October.



Finocchio's, the legendary San Francisco nightclub where female impersonators strutted their stuff for more than 60 years, may be gone. But Finocchio's performer David de Alba is still here.

And on Sunday afternoon at the Onyx Theater, de Alba serves up a new stage tribute to his alma mater.

"David de Alba's Finocchio's Memoirs/The Final Chapter" features de Alba singing in English and Spanish as "Boy-Chic," plus an extended tribute to the legendary Liza Minnelli. (Minnelli's mom, the even more legendary Judy Garland, has long been a de Alba specialty.)

Backstage anecdotes and video clips from his years at Finocchio's round out the program.

"When I was performing at Finocchio's during the early 1970s to 1989, I sang very realistic in a mezzo-soprano tone voice, and when I had to sing any sad songs, I had to pretend that I was sad," de Alba recalls.

These days, de Alba is a contralto - and "when I sing any sad songs, now I sing them from my broken heart!"

De Alba's "Finocchio's Memoirs" show begins at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Onyx Theater, 953 E. Sahara Ave. Tickets are $10; call 732-7225 for more information.




The third Vegas Fringe Festival may have ended, but the winners linger on.

Encore performances of two winning one-acts - local playwright Erica Griffin's "Roles for Women," from Table 8 Productions, and Neil LaBute's "Iphigenia in Orem," from Olde English Productions - will be presented today and Saturday at Las Vegas Little Theatre, which hosted the festival.

"Iphigenia in Orem," which focused on a young Utahn, on a business trip to Las Vegas, relating a tragic tale to a stranger in a hotel bar; "Roles for Women" centers on actresses competing for "the role of a lifetime."

The one-acts, presented as a double bill, will be performed at 8 p.m. today and Saturday at Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3844 Schiff Dr. Tickets are $15 are available by telephone at 362-7996 or online at

- Carol Cling