‘Pawn Shop Live’ path is hardly cliche

A spoof of “Pawn Stars” headed to the Golden Nugget early next year promises a “big musical finale, and almost every Vegas cliche you can think of,” says Troy Heard, its director and co-writer.

But the very idea of “Pawn Shop Live” is more like the opposite of a Vegas cliche. So is its path to a showroom.

Tourists who line up in front of the Gold &Silver Pawn Shop may not see the wall that locals do between “Las Vegas entertainment” and that found beyond the Strip. But, thanks to the clout of the “Pawn Stars,” this project is the rare title — and perhaps the first original work — to cross that invisible line into the type of casino showroom most visitors know as Las Vegas.

“There’s been so much talent off-Strip, doing their own thing with minimal budgets,” says Derek Stonebarger, who operates Theatre7 downtown and is producing the pawnshop parody. “I know the people I’ve worked with either on the film side or the theater side are talented enough, but it has always seemed separated. We’re excited to bridge that gap.”

Stonebarger says the original idea was to stage an unauthorized “Pawn Stars” parody in Theatre7 and hope it created enough buzz to catch a casino’s attention. That step was skipped once the project came to the eye of Gold &Silver management, which decided to endorse it.

The move continues forward progress for those who would like to see more choice and fewer magicians in casino show venues.

“Evil Dead: The Musical” is so far the best example of a community production, first staged here at the Onyx Theatre. It moved to the tourist corridor to play two nights a week at the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort.

Later this month, “Evil Dead” will add nights as it moves into a third performance space inside the V complex. It’s a modest success so far, but one that suggests the kind of mindless theater you see on a boozy Friday night in a “theater town” such as Chicago can be commercially viable in Las Vegas, too.

“The thing this has that the ‘Evil Dead’ doesn’t is that the pawnshop guys, they’re here,” Heard says. Not only are the “Pawn Stars” strongly branded with Vegas, they promise to make occasional appearances at the end of the show or in the lobby afterward.

That type of support also promises a budget others eyeing a crossover would envy. Last year, a trio of community theater producers hatched what seemed like a solid plan to stage “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” at the Plaza.

On paper, it sounded great. A title with familiarity and sexy brand sizzle, but one not often performed. And it required only a small band on a single standing set.

But the execution was cheap, cheap. Taped music, a tacky set and no marketing. It proved the first rule of survival for any crossover: The production has to be better than what visitors could see in their own community theater back home.

That’s been no problem on the other side of this two-way street. Those who work in showrooms have long lent their talents to community-based productions, sometimes even taking vacation time to indulge their love of theater.

Phil Shelburne, who helms the Excalibur’s “Tournament of Kings,” has been instrumental in raising the quality of Super Summer Theatre at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.

This year’s staging of “Legally Blonde” was good enough that there was talk of moving it intact to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts for a few more shows, before the logistics proved more complex than the idea.

“You would have assumed it was a national tour,” says Andy Walmsley, the set designer who created the stages for “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent.”

“Blonde” was one of several community-based productions Walmsley has volunteered to design just because “I love doing musicals. It’s just fun.

“We’re lucky because there’s a huge pool of talent here,” Walmsley adds.

“I’m still very new to all of this, which is ridiculous when I’ve been here eight years,” he says with a laugh. “I’m finally getting with the program and seeing what else is here.”

And it looks like those who operate the casino venues are starting to do that, too.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Famous Infinity Mirror Room is open in Las Vegas
Yayoi Kusama's "Aftermath of Obliteration of Infinity" mirror room is open at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Glittering Lights dazzles Las Vegas
The Glittering Lights holiday display is shining at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Skybar at Waldorf Astoria lets you sip your way through Las Vegas history
Skybar At Waldorf Astoria Lets You Sip Your Way Through Las Vegas History (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stan Lee in Las Vegas for Madame Tussauds unveiling
Stan Lee Las Vegas speaks with the Review-Journal's Chris Lawrence about his love for his fans and shared universes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ultimate Belgium Waffle Sundae at Lavo
Lavo at the Palazzo serves a 16-scoop ice cream sundae that costs $800. (Rochelle Ricahrds, Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel lLas Vegas Review-Journal)
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"The Lion King" roars into Las Vegas
New music club 172 brings loud luxury to Las Vegas
New music venue at the Rio brings rock ’n’ roll and food together at intimate club. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fans fear for Zak Bagans’ safety in Las Vegas Halloween TV special
Fly Linq zip line time lapse
Fly Linq zip line timelapse
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu (Al Mancini Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like