In Brief: Theater, music and family fun



Las Vegas singer and songwriter Ashton Zyer takes over The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz Saturday with "Takin' Over Me."

The showcase spotlights an array of Vegas-to-Hollywood standards and ballads, along with some of Zyer's pop-jazz originals - as performed by the headliner and various Las Vegas-based special guests.

Before the 8 p.m. performance, a pre-show cocktail reception (from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.) to benefit the Rape Crisis Center will be held in the Courtyard Breezeway outside Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 361 Symphony Park Ave.

Tickets for the reception and show are $75; tickets for the show alone are $26-$35 and are available by calling 749-2000 or going online to



A new performance space - and a new play.

That's the double play Cockroach Theatre makes tonight at its new home, downtown's Art Square Theatre, with the world premiere of "Nurture."

Johnna Adams' dark comedy will run for three weekends. It focuses on two horrible single parents (played by Erik Amblad , Cockroach Theatre's artistic director, and Francine Gordon), drawn together by their equally abhorrent children, who attempt to form a modern nuclear family.

"Nurture," which won this year's Sin City New Play Contest, launches a partnership between Cockroach Theatre and Los Angeles-based Original Works Publishing at Cockroach's new Art Square Theatre, 1025 First St., Suite 110.

"Nurture" will be presented at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; additional performances are 8 p.m. Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 5-6 and 2 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 7. Tickets ($18 general admission, $15 students and seniors) are available at the Art Square Theatre box office or online at



An international trio of classical guitar masters - plus an award-winning pianist - share the stage tonight at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for the Prelude to the Allegro International Guitar Competition.

Brazil's Sergio Assad (who previously played Las Vegas in April with his brother Odair and Yo-Yo Ma), France's Roland Dyens and American Christopher McGuire headline; pianist Jose Feghali , who has performed with symphonies from Berlin to Beijing, also is scheduled to perform.

The concert begins at 8 tonight at Artemus Ham Hall on the UNLV campus, 4505 Maryland Parkway. Tickets ($35, $50 and $75) are available at the Performing Arts Center box office, by telephone at 895-2787 or online at

Family fun


Oh, the places they'll go ...

The Cat in the Hat and Horton the Elephant, that is.

They're two of the Dr. Seuss characters who populate the musical "Seussical," which begins a two-weekend run today at the Henderson Pavilion.

Narrated by the Cat in the Hat, "Seussical" follows Horton the Elephant as his adventures take him from the Jungle of Nool to Whoville and Circus McGurkus.

Conceived by former Monty Python member Eric Idle and Tony Award-winning "Ragtime" composers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, "Seussical" features a musical score that goes from pop to swing, R&B to Latin.

The RagTag Entertainment production will be presented at 8 p.m. today through Sunday at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway. Additional performances will take place at 8 p.m. Sept. 28-30.

Tickets are $10 and are available by telephone at 267-4849 or online at



It's two star-spangled salutes in one Sunday afternoon, as the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society celebrates the start of its 50th anniversary season - and commemorates campaign season - with "Songs of Our Politics."

The concert surveys more than 200 years of presidential campaign music, from Revolutionary to contemporary times, as performed by the 22-voice Musical Arts Singers and Instrumental Ensemble, under the direction of Douglas R. Peterson. Eric Eichorst provides keyboard accompaniment, while John Hanks narrates.

"Songs of Our Politics" has been a Musical Arts Singers staple since 1992, featuring campaign songs such as "Welcome Mighty Chief" from Washington's era, Abraham Lincoln's "Lincoln and Liberty," Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Happy Days Are Here Again," Dwight Eisenhower's "I Like Ike" and John F. Kennedy's "High Hopes."

The 2 p.m. Sunday concert takes place at the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod Drive. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door; for more information call 455-7340 or go online to

- Carol Cling