Las Vegas Theater community greater than the sum of its parts

After decades of sporadic discord, Las Vegas’ theater community is finally harmonizing.

The musical “Peter Pan” — a co-production between UNLV-based Nevada Conservatory Theatre and the city of Las Vegas’ Rainbow Company Youth Theatre — is flying high at UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre. (It’s NCT’s second consecutive co-production, following “Disgraced,” the company’s latest collaboration with Cockroach Theatre.)

A Public Fit’s “The Realistic Joneses” closes a three-weekend run Sunday at the College of Southern Nevada’s Backstage Theatre.

And next month, Las Vegas Little Theatre will host the eighth annual Vegas Fringe Fest, a veritable theatrical buffet featuring everything from Aristophanes’ “The Frogs” to “Frogged,” a twist on the Brothers Grimm’s “Frog Prince.”

Yet the best evidence of this new collaborative spirit may be “White Rabbit Red Rabbit.”

Spearheaded by the experimental troupe The LAB LV, this free, five-week “theater pub crawl” finds the artistic directors of five local theater companies stepping onto a dramatic tightrope — by performing Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour’s solo show without having first seen the script.

There’s no rehearsal. No director calling the shots. Just a lone figure on a stage, doing a page-by-page reading. And, in the process, bringing to life Soleimanpour’s sometimes absurdist, sometimes haunting meditation on (among other things) the contradictory human impulses toward individuality, collegiality, competition and conformity.

NCT’s Christopher Edwards, Majestic Repertory Theatre’s Troy Heard and Cockroach’s Will Adamson have offered their takes on “White Rabbit Red Rabbit.”

But as The LAB LV’s Kate St-Pierre (performing at 8 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot of the El Cid Hotel, 259 S. Sixth St.) and Las Vegas Little Theatre’s Lysander Abadia (8 p.m. May 18 at 3920 Schiff Drive) wrap up the series, the mere fact of “White Rabbit Red Rabbit” reminds us that there’s strength in numbers. And no substitute for the magic of live theater, on stage and off.

Contact Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

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