Expect some drama with the new theater season

Vegas premieres. Oldies. Shakespeare. Sondheim. Stoppard. Originals, and a surprising amount of drama mixed in with a lot of comedy.

The roster of local shows announced for the 2012-2013 theater season suggests a variety of goodies in store for fans.

We begin with the Las Vegas debut of "Closer," a celebrated relationships drama now at The Box Office. If you miss this Atlas Theatre production, though, you can wait till later in the season when Las Vegas Little Theatre will perform it.

LVLT offers a busy mix of intense scripts ("The Pillowman"), over-the-top laughs ("Boeing-Boeing") and light, modern, controversial situations ("The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife"). Working on three stages, LVLT is by far the most prolific playhouse in town.

The Smith Center brings us a touring production of Cole Porter’s lively "Anything Goes"; if you miss that, you can catch it next summer at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

The new performing arts center also is introducing Vegas to recent Broadway musicals such as "The Addams Family," "Shrek," "Billy Elliot," "American Idiot," "Catch Me If You Can" and the current "Wicked." There are also shows many feel are always worth another look: "West Side Story" and "Disney’s Beauty and the Beast."

The Utah Shakespeare Festival extends its current run of "Les Miserables" through October to run alongside "Stones in His Pocket" and "Hamlet." Its summer season in 2013 will include the rarely performed "King John," "Love’s Labour’s Lost," "The Tempest," "Twelve Angry Men" and "Peter and the Starcatcher" (about an orphan who grows into Peter Pan).

If you prefer a less-traditional version of "Hamlet," you may be interested in Onyx Theatre’s hosting of Table 8 Productions’ update. The playhouse’s Off-Strip Productions also will be mounting a new vision of the Stephen Sondheim musical "Sweeney Todd."

Fans of the long-standing Cockroach Theatre will likely be eager to see its new downtown performing space when it presents the original play "Nurture," at the Art Square Theatre.

Nevada Conservatory puts together a multitude of "moods," including a drama about three Victorian women ("On the Verge"), "Arcadia," "Gemini" the musical "Urinetown" and William Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet" (if you miss NCT’s October Bard, you can catch the Utah Festival’s touring production in February at the College of Southern Nevada).

The college will present the Tony-winning "Art," as well as Eugene O’Neill’s "Ah, Wilderness."

New York’s Acting Company stops at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Performing Arts Center with its take on "Of Mice and Men."

The ever-reliable Rainbow Company features, among other things, an adaptation of "Tom Sawyer," the musical "Honk!" and another chapter in its Nevada history series.

Super Summer Theatre, long a staple of traditional musicals, brings "Leader of the Pack," "The Music Man," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and the Las Vegas premiere of "Legally Blonde."

The calendar of shows that follows is only a sprinkling of what’s in store. Most local troupes announce their season one show at a time. Some don’t have any shows yet planned, but you can be sure they’ll soon have something scheduled. And the popular Signature Productions, which usually mounts several musicals each year, is on hold until it finds a new home.

Many performances take place only on the weekends. And be warned, all dates and places are tentative. Be sure to contact the venues in advance before making plans.

Here’s a month-by-month peek at what’s now on the boards:


Now-Sept. 15: Patrick Marber’s "Closer," a look at two relationships changing over a period of years; Atlas Theatre, at The Box Office, 1129 S. Casino Center Blvd.

Now-Oct. 7: "Wicked," the Stephen Schwartz touring musical about The Wicked Witch before she became The Wicked Witch; at The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave.

Now-Oct. 27: "Les Miserables," the Alain Boublil/Claude Michael Schonberg/Herbert Kretzmer musical about revolution and redemption; is in repertory at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, 351 W. Center St., Cedar City, Utah.

Sept. 7-23: "Hamlet," an original update of William Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy; Table 8 Productions at the Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Ave., 16B.

Sept. 14-23: "On the Verge" by Eric Overmyer, about three Victorian women exploring space, time, history, feminism and fashion; Nevada Conservatory Theatre at University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Black Box, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway.

Sept. 14-30: Warren Leight’s "Side Man," a chronicle of three decades of the Jazz Age; on Las Vegas Little Theatre’s mainstage, 3920 Schiff Drive.

Sept. 19-Oct. 26: "Stones in His Pockets," Marie Jones’ comedy/drama about the onstage and offstage lives of two men/15 characters; in repertory at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Sept. 20-Oct. 27: "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, about a young man who can’t get over that Daddy’s dead and Mommy’s partying too soon; in repertory at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Sept. 21-Oct. 7: The original dark comedy "Nurture" by Johnna Adams about two single parents; Cockroach Theatre, at Art Square, 1025 S. First St.

Sept. 21-Sept. 30: The Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty musical "Seussical," based on the Dr. Seuss characters; presented by RagTag Entertainment at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway.

Sept. 28-30: "My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy," Steve Solomon’s one-man comedy about a man growing up in a zany family; The Smith Center.


Oct. 5-14: "Tom Sawyer," adapted by Sarah Spencer from the Mark Twain novel, about a kid on the Mississippi who just can’t stay out of trouble; Rainbow Company, at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.

Oct. 5-14: "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, about a friar who gives two lovers some very bad advice; Nevada Conservatory Theatre at UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre.

Oct. 12-18: "Golf With Alan Shepard" by Carter Lewis, a comedy about friendship; Speeding Theatre – Over 55, at the Las Vegas Little Theatre.

Oct. 12-21: Yasmina Reza’s "Art," about three men whose friendship is tested by a white canvas; at College of Southern Nevada’s BackStage Theatre, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave.

Oct. 12-28: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical about a man with an out-of-control temper; Off-Strip Productions at the Onyx Theatre.

Oct. 19-Nov. 4: "The Pillowman" by Martin McDonagh, about a writer whose stories too closely resemble actual, unsolved murder cases; at Las Vegas Little Theatre’s Fischer Black Box.

Oct. 21: "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, about two very different ranch hands; presented by New York’s The Acting Company at UNLV’s Artemus Ham Hall.

Oct. 26-28: College of Southern Nevada presents an evening of one-acts at the BackStage Theatre.


Nov. 2-18: Daniel Sullivan and the Seattle Repertory Company’s "Inspecting Carol," about a playhouse desperately trying to put on a show; on Las Vegas Little Theatre’s mainstage.

Nov. 9-11: "Arthur and Esther," an original play by former University of Nevada, Las Vegas student Ross Howard, about a librarian who goes wacky; Off-Strip Productions at the Onyx Theatre.

Nov. 9-16: "Rabbit Hole" by David Lindsay-Abaire, about a family coping with the death of a child; Nevada Conservatory Theatre, at the UNLV Black Box.

Nov. 9-18: Eugene O’Neill’s warm, slightly autobiographical comedy "Ah, Wilderness," at the College of Southern Nevada’s Nicholas Horn Theatre.

Nov. 20-25: "The Addams Family," the touring Marshall Brickman/Rick Elice/Andrew Lippa musical based on the Charles Addams cartoons; The Smith Center.

Nov. 30-Dec. 2: "Late Night Catechism" by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan, a touring interactive comedy in which the audience is part of a nun’s class; The Smith Center.

Nov. 30-Dec. 9: "Arcadia" by Tom Stoppard, an examination of the nature of truth and time; Nevada Conservatory Theatre, at UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre.


Dec. 7-9: "A Little Theatre Christmas," holiday sketches on the Las Vegas Little Theatre mainstage.

Dec. 7-16: "Honk!" the Anthony Drewe and George Stiles musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale about tolerance; Rainbow Company at the Charleston Heights Arts Center.

Dec. 7-23: Stephen Belber’s "Tape," about the mysteries of memory; at Las Vegas Little Theatre’s Fischer Black Box.

Dec. 14-23: A Christmas production (to be announced) at the Las Vegas Little Theatre Studio.


Jan. 11-27: Marc Camoletti’s "Boeing-Boeing," about a playboy bachelor caught womanizing multiple women; on Las Vegas Little Theatre’s mainstage.


Feb. 1-10: "Gemini" by Albert Innaurato about a young humble man trying to deal with the elevated social status of two of his college friends; Nevada Conservatory Theatre, at UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre.

Feb. 5-10: "Anything Goes," a touring Cole Porter musical about nutsy characters aboard a ship; The Smith Center.

Feb. 8-9: "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, about an apothecary who’s too careless with his drugs; Utah Shakespeare Festival School Tour, at the College of Southern Nevada’s Nicholas Horn Theatre.

Feb. 15-17: "Across the Truckee," the latest installment of "The Nevada Series" by Karen McKenney and J Neal, a musical revue-approach to our state’s history; Rainbow Company, at the Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St.

Feb. 15-March 30: Charles Busch’s "The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife," about a woman trying to cope with the chaos of her life; on Las Vegas Little Theatre’s mainstage.

Feb. 22-March 10: Patrick Marder’s "Closer," about the love and politics that intertwine four lives; at Las Vegas Little Theatre’s Fischer Black Box.

Feb. 26-March 3: "West Side Story," the touring Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim/Arthur Laurents musical about gangsters who like to sing and dance; The Smith Center.


March 8-17: "Equus" by Peter Schaffer, about a shrink treating a boy who’s blinded six horses; Nevada Conservatory Theatre, at UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre.

March 19-24: "Shrek," the touring Jeanine Tesori/David Lindsay-Abaire musical about an unseemly ogre rescuing a feisty princess; The Smith Center.

March 29-April 14: "The Mystery of Irma Vep" by Charles Ludlam, about a werewolf, a vampire and an Egyptian princess; on Las Vegas Little Theatre’s mainstage.


April 12-20: "The Learned Ladies" by Moliere, about three pretentious women who become obsessed with their own education and culture; Nevada Conservatory Theatre at the Black Box.

April 16-21: "Disney’s Beauty and the Beast," the touring Alan Menken/Howard Ashman musical about a nasty man who learns kindness; The Smith Center.

April 19-28: Jeanine Tesori/Bryan Crawley’s musical "Violet," set during the Civil Rights Movement; at the College of Southern Nevada’s Nicholas J. Horn Theatre.

April 26-May 5: "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale," adapted by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman, from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale; Rainbow Company, at the Charleston Heights Arts Center.


May 3-12: "Urinetown" by Mark Hollerman and Greg Kotis, a musical about a town where public restrooms are illegal; Nevada Conservatory Theatre, in UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre.

May 3-19: "Good People" by David Lindsay-Abaire, about a poor woman who hopes a returning home ex-childhood friend will help turn her life around; on Las Vegas Little Theatre’s mainstage.

May 14-19: "Billy Elliot," the touring Elton John/Lee Hall musical about a boy discovering the power of dance; The Smith Center.


June 11-16: "American Idiot," the Billie Joe Armstrong/Michael Mayer/Green Day touring musical about three lifelong friends battling their dreams; The Smith Center.

June 18-23: "Catch Me If You Can," the touring Terrence McNally/Marc Shaiman/Scott Whitman musical about a teenager who runs away from home for the glamorous life of forged checks; The Smith Center.

June 24-Aug. 31: In repertory: "King John" by William Shakespeare, about the struggles behind the throne for power; "Love’s Labour’s Lost" by Shakespeare, about the attempts of an idealistic young king to go without women for three years; "The Tempest," about a deposed duke shipwrecked on an island filled with magic; "Peter and the Starcatchers" by Rick Elice, about how an orphan grows into Peter Pan (playing through Oct. 18, 2013); "Anything Goes," the Cole Porter musical, about misadventures aboard a ship; "Twelve Angry Men" by Reginald Rose, about a jury’s tense deliberations – all at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

June (no announced date): "The Music Man" by Meredith Willson , a musical about a con artist who bewitches a small town; Super Summer Theatre/Huntsman Entertainment, at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, on Charleston Boulevard 10 miles west of the Las Vegas Beltway.


July 5-14: John Cariani’s "Almost, Maine," about young life and the Northern Lights; at the College of Southern Nevada’s BackStage Theatre.

July (no date announced): "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," the Frank Loesser musical about a young man climbing the corporate ladder; Super Summer Theatre/First Step Productions, at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.


August (no date announced): "Legally Blonde," the Laurence O’Keefe/Neil Benjamin/Heather Hach musical about a "dumb" young woman who decides to go to Harvard Law School; Super Summer Theatre/P.S. Productions, at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.

Anthony Del Valle can be reached at vegastheaterchat@aol.com. You can write him c/o Las Vegas Review-Journal, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125.

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