Briefs: Music, theater and more




“Catch Me If You Can” doesn’t open at The Smith Center until mid-June.

But Frank Abnagale , the real-life inspiration for the Tony-winning 2011 Broadway show (and the 2002 movie that inspired it), will share his firsthand experiences there Thursday night.

A notorious imposter and trickster, Abnagale recalls his early con-artist days — when he impersonated a pilot, pediatrician, stockbroker, college professor and even an assistant attorney general, all while cashing $2.5 million in forged checks.

“Frank Abnagale: Catch Me If You Can” begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 361 Symphony Park Ave. For tickets ($24-$59), call 702-749-2000 or go online to




Awards for the annual “Celebrating Life! 2013” fine arts competition, sponsored by the Las Vegas Arts Commission and the city of Las Vegas, will be presented at 6 p.m. Friday at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.

The awards ceremony, followed by a reception, honors winning entrants in the 13th annual “Celebrating Life!” contest for Southern Nevada artists 50 and older. Their work will be displayed at Charleston Heights through July 13; award-winning pieces will then transfer to the City Hall Chamber Gallery from July 25-Sept. 5. Artists whose works were not selected for the juried “Celebrating Life! 2013” show have the option of displaying their submissions in the Salon des Refuses exhibit in the Charleston Heights gallery through June 22.

“Celebrating Life! 2013” will be on display at Charleston Heights from 12:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 702-229-6383.

And on Thursday, locals will have the chance to meet the artists behind “Our Las Vegas: A Cultural Animation Project,” currently on display in the Chamber Gallery on the second floor of Las Vegas City Hall, 495 S. Main St.

The free meet-the-artists reception, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday in the gallery, honors the featured works’ creators, who have studios and galleries inside downtown’s Emergency Arts.

“Our Las Vegas,” a project of the Las Vegas Arts Commission, continues at the City Hall Chamber Gallery through July 18; exhibit hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; call 702-229-1012 for more information.


acclaimed ‘BILLBOARD’


Commercialism, fame, art and love inspire the award-winning comedy “Billboard.”

SRO Productions opens a two-weekend run of Michael Vukadinovich’s play today at the Onyx Theatre.

Based on a true story, the comedy — winner of the 2006 Tim Robbins Playwrighting Contest for Plays of Social Significance — focuses on a recent college graduate, weighed down by student loans, who receives a big paycheck to tattoo a corporate logo on his forehead. His artist girlfriend Katelyn is not impressed — until she begins to see his body as an example of how consumerism has permeated our daily lives.

“Billboard” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and May 31-June 1 at the Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Ave. For tickets ($20), call 702-732-7225 or visit




Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., will resound with down-home, foot-tapping sounds during Bluegrass Celebration Saturday.

The centerpiece of the celebration: a concert at 5 p.m. by the band Lonesome Otis in the center’s theater. Based in Southern California, Lonesome Otis — alias Steve Stout (banjo, fiddle, vocals), Chris Ruud (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Chris Cerna (bass, mandolin, vocals), Celeste Cerna (bass) and Gilbert Hancock (banjo) — will perform traditional, gospel and contemporary songs, including originals written by the band members.

Prior to the concert, at 3:30 p.m., Out of the Desert will perform in the center ballroom, featuring award-winning instrumentalists who also sing four-part harmonies: Mark Sanders (banjo, vocals), Rick Seligman (fiddle), John Lundmark (guitar, vocals), Brian Burns (bass, vocals) and Jon Meek (dobro, fiddle, mandolin, vocals). Bring an instrument to join the 4 p.m. porch-picking session.

Following Lonesome Otis, Las Vegas-based Stuck in Reverse will perform at 6:30 p.m. Peggy Ruesch (guitar, vocals), Jan Ruesch (bass), Vera Vann-Wilson (banjo), Leon Evans (guitar) and Tom Flagg (mandolin) have played together for 13 years, building a repertoire of traditional, gospel and original music.

Following the performances, bluegrass fans can stay late and dance to even more live music with the Southern Nevada Old Time Contra Dancers, who’ll be kicking up their heels until 10 p.m. (Concertgoers receive half off contra dance admission with their ticket stubs.)

Tickets to the Lonesome Otis concert are $10; Contra Dance admission is $10 for adults, $5 for members, students and military and $3 for children under 16 and nondancers; other Bluegrass Celebration events are free. For tickets and information, call 702-229-6383 or visit


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