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‘Hamilton’ postponed as Smith Center remains dark indefinitely

Updated May 27, 2020 - 11:03 am

“Hamilton” has been felled by COVID-19.

The hit musical’s run from September through October at The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall has been postponed and won’t play in the current Broadway Las Vegas Series season. Smith Center President Myron Martin made the announcement via email Wednesday.

“Our community may be starting to reopen, but sadly it’s clear that large theater venues will be among the last facilities to reopen,” Martin wrote. “Our doors have been closed for months now, and we remain dark indefinitely.”

Martin had applied his theater ingenuity to a comprehensive health-safety plan. He’s a member of the Vegas Events COVID-19 Committee of venue operators and resort executives brainstorming concepts for theaters, showrooms, arenas and stadiums to reopen safely.

But Martin has accepted the reality that theater ambiance and box-office business at Reynolds Hall can’t be attained amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While I have been hopeful from the onset of this pandemic that we would be reunited again soon, the reality is that social distancing just doesn’t work in a theater,” Martin said. “Not only is it financially impossible to accomplish, it is artistically troubling as well. We all know how the magic of a live performance is created when we sit arm-to-arm and share the experience with others — laughing, crying, singing along.”

The Smith Center is rescheduling concerts and events that had been booked this summer and fall. Martin can’t firmly predict when Reynolds Hall, Myron’s Cabaret Jazz or Troesh Studio Theater will reopen.

In the face of the schedule upheavals, Martin has also announced the Road to Recovery Fund, a clearinghouse donation portal on The Smith Center’s official website. The initiative is open to anyone who wants to become a member, donate their postponed show ticket refunds back to the center, or make a straight monetary gift.

Martin dubs the campaign “a major fundraising effort to ensure that we are able to reopen, present live performances, provide stages for our resident companies and deliver transformational arts education programming in the future.”

A 25-year Las Vegas resident and a beacon in the arts community, Martin added, “You will be hearing more about this fundraising initiative in the coming weeks, but we hope you will agree that if there was ever a time for us to ask you for help, that time is now. With your financial support, we can raise the curtain again.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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