In an effort to boost attendance, Bonnie Springs Ranch, 16935 Bonnie Springs Road, is offering visitors something new: dinner and a show.
The 60-year-old Wild West-themed tourist attraction in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is now home to "Bonnie's Old West Musical Revue," a throwback to traditional vaudeville musical and comedy acts.
"It's too early to tell how successful the show will be, but everyone I talk to says they love it," said Karin Bell, the ranch's restaurant and special events manager. "I think attendance (to the ranch) will get a boost as the show grows."
At the helm of the show, which opened in June, is Jonathan Gorst, the assistant conductor for "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular" at The Venetian.
Gorst is well-versed in the ways of vaudeville theater and said the style of theater was "handed" to him.
Gorst was 16 when he began writing, directing and performing vaudeville shows at the Gold Bar Room Theater inside the Imperial Hotel in Cripple Creek, Colo., near his hometown.
Now 39 and working on a big-budget Strip production, he said he could not shake his vaudevillian days of old.
"We've started a great relationship with Bonnie Springs," Gorst said. "It's been a perfect fit, and (management has) been really supportive."
Gorst and his wife, Marisa, wrote and cast the show, which is set to run at 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through August.
Tickets start at $16 for children 4 to 11 and at $26 for adults. The show is free for children 3 or younger.
Many of the performers work during the week in shows on the Strip, including cast member Solinea Stark who has been a professional dancer in Las Vegas since 2001 in shows such as Bally's "Jubilee!"
"It doesn't feel like work to me," Stark said. "I'm excited to come and perform here on the weekends."
Part of the show's appeal, according to Marisa Gorst, is the high-caliber talent of the cast members who put on the show every weekend simply because they enjoy doing it.
"We're one big happy family," she said. "We all love performing the show, and I think the audience can see that."
For the cast members - who also double as the crew; for instance, Stark operates the lights - the show reflects their individual experiences as Las Vegas performers.
"The show is a love letter between all of us to Vegas," said cast member Enoch Augustus Scott. "It's almost an inside joke for all of us."
Bell said despite the fact that the show is scheduled to run only through August, she would like to see it become a ranch mainstay.
"It's something new to offer to locals, and I'm hoping it really gets going," Bell said. "We definitely just need to boost attendance."
For more information, call 318-6530 or visit bonniesprings.com or oldwestmusical.com.
Contact Southwest/Spring Valley View reporter Nolan Lister at firstname.lastname@example.org or 383-0492.