Arts briefs: Dance, theater and more




Culture for a cause dances onto the College of Southern Nevada stage this weekend as performers from Nevada Ballet Theatre and “Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular” partner up for “Hope 5 – An Afternoon of Classical Ballet.”

The eight-dance concert includes some of ballet’s greatest hits, including the “Black Swan” pas de deux from “Swan Lake,” along with contemporary works.

A silent auction and reception with performers and crew round out the program, a benefit for Family Promise of Las Vegas, which helps local homeless families, and the CSN Performing Arts Center’s “Friends of the Horn Theatre.”

“Phantom” dancers Erina Noda and Rebekah Raun are the show’s artistic directors; they’re joined by fellow cast members Amelia Abrahams and Courtney Combs, plus NBT company members Barrington Lohr , Mary LaCroix-Lohr and Betsy Lucas and “Phantom” musicians Patrick Leveque , Isaias Hiram Urrabazo , Angela Chan, Ben Hale, James Harvey and Raymond Pancarowicz .

“Hope 5 – An Afternoon of Classical Ballet” will be presented at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre at the College of Southern Nevada, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., North Las Vegas. Tickets (including the post-show reception) are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors and are available by phone (651-5483) or online (

Book launch



Las Vegan Oksana Marafioti may have trained as a classical pianist and worked as a cinematographer, but she’s got a new profession to celebrate: author.

Marafioti’s newly released “American Gypsy: A Memoir” explores her own family history (she comes from a long line of Russian-Gypsy performers) and offers insights into the fascinating, sometimes secretive world of the Roma people – along with her own Russia-to-Vegas journey, via Hollywood.

And on Saturday at the Clark County Library, Marafioti will celebrate her book’s launch during “Growing Up Gypsy: An Afternoon with Music, Dance, Artwork and Words.”

As the event’s title implies, Marafioti and her book aren’t the only attractions; musicians Valeria Sokolova , Albina Asryan and the Hot Club of Las Vegas join dancers Zarin Standridge, Coral Citron of Fiesta Flamenca and Amira of Las Vegas and artist Elena Pisnaya Wherry on the program.

A book signing and reception will follow the free presentation; books will be available for sale at the door.

“Growing Up Gypsy” begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Main Theater of the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. More information is available by calling the library at 507-3400 or online at




The Las Vegas-based Firenze String Ensemble leads a magical musical tour Saturday afternoon, guiding audiences “From Beethoven to Bluegrass.”

The Winchester Center program presents a history of string music, featuring Beethoven’s Viola Quintet, Op. 29, along with a piece by fiddler Mark O’Connor, whose music spans the bluegrass, jazz and country genres.

Ensemble violinists Rebecca Ramsey and Gerri Thompson, violists Hanna Suk and Tiana Harjo and cellists Lindsey Springer and Moonlight Tran join scheduled guests Joel Ferguson on banjo, bassist Geoff Neuman , pianist Aaron Ramsey and clarinetist Martin Radunz .

They’ll perform at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod Drive. For tickets ($10 in advance, $12 at the door), call 455-7340.




Eat your hearts out, trash-TV queens. There’s a new bad girl on the scene – at least in “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” which launches a three-weekend run tonight at Las Vegas Little Theatre.

Described by one New York newspaper as “ ’South Park’ meets ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ” the musical campfest follows Pippi (played by Caitlin Shea), a stripper on the run who comes between an agoraphobic, “Dr. Phil”-loving wife (Kelly Ward) and her tollbooth-collector husband (Scott Caster ) at Armadillo Acres, Florida’s most exclusive trailer park.

Troy Heard directs the show, which features a book by Betsy Kelso and a score by David Nehls .

“The Great American Trailer Park Musical” will be presented at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Drive; additional performances are at 8 p.m. July 19-21 and 26-28, with 2 p.m. matinees July 22 and 29. Tickets ($25 general admission, $20 for LVLT season ticket holders) are available by calling 362-7996 or online at

Contact reporter Carol Cling at or 702-383-0272.

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