Spring has officially sprung in Las Vegas. And with warmer weather comes an influx of artful activities throughout the valley. Rock out to the orchestral music of “Game of Thrones: Live” at MGM or head downtown for the pop-up art gallery “Tilting the Basin.” If you’d rather take in the sights from indoors, dine at the Sugar Factory’s new Chocolate Lounge overlooking the Strip or seek out Las Vegas’ trendiest new vegan superfood.
GRAB A BITE
Oh La La, the charming French boite, is short on space and tucked into some out-of-the-way spot. It serves food that is transcendent while staying true to tradition. The menu fulfills the promise of classique and traditionnel with such starters such as escargots prepared in the traditional manner, in a dish with wells where the snail nuggets are cosseted in garlic butter. Read the full review here.
Move over tofu and tempeh. Step aside quinoa and lentils. Enter jackfruit, the monstrous southeast Asian relative of the fig and the breadfruit is being hailed as the ultimate meat substitute. You can find the new vegan superfood in the form of curry at Lotus of Siam and as a replacement for pulled pork at Go Vegan Café. Read more about where to find jackfruit here.
GET A DRINK
Turning fantasy into reality at the Sugar Factory’s Chocolate Lounge in Fashion Show mall involved several chocolatey challenges.The second-floor bar and restaurant with cocoa-colored decor and a sweet view of the Strip offers chocolate-based martinis not available at the Sugar Factory itself.
Cocktail concoctions include Frozen Spiked Hot Chocolate and Frozen Chocolate Bacon S’mores. Food items include a variety of chocolate fondues, sweet candy-topped pizzas and an array of meat and cheese boards. See more of the Chocolate Lounge here.
Japan is a relative newcomer to the small club of nations that produce serious whisky (or whiskey, depending on the country). Japanese distilleries offer both blended and single-malt creations. The Japanese brand Suntory alone creates 116 single malts, six more than the entire nation of Scotland. Flavors range from light and sweet to heavy, smoky and loaded with peat. Find it served straight or in a cocktail at SushiSamba. Find out more about Japanese Whisky here.
SEE A SHOW
Just a couple of guys sitting around swapping songs and stories. Nothing so special about that. Except when the guys on stage happen to be Vince Gill and Lyle Lovett.
On one side, there’s Gill, the country stalwart with 21 Grammys for his vocal, instrumental, songwriting and producing talents. On the other: Lovett, who has four Grammys of his own, thanks to his signature blend of country, jazz, Western swing and blues.
“Sesame Street” meets “The Exorcist” in Robert Askins’ irreverent comedy about a devout young member of a Texas church’s puppet ministry who discovers his sock puppet has a satanic mind of its own. “Hand to God’s” Las Vegas premiere continues at Majestic Repertory Theatre, 1217 S. Main St., through April 15; performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sundays. For tickets ($23), visit www.majesticrepertory.com.
— Hand to God Broadway (@HandtoGodBway) January 4, 2016
A song of ice and fire? Why just one? How about an evening of thundering soundtrack score, since you have a full orchestra, real fire and “Game of Thrones” composer Ramin Djawadi at the helm? Watch out for dragons on the way to the MGM Grand Garden on Saturday. Tickets are $39.50 to $99.50 for the 8 p.m. show; call 888-929-7849. See what Djawadi has to say here.
“Death of a Bachelor” finds Brendon Urie reborn. The Panic! at the Disco frontman is the sole remaining member of the Vegas-born band, whose aforementioned latest record Urie has described as a mix between Frank Sinatra and Queen. That’s a pretty apt encapsulation of an album of suave bombast. See them at 7 p.m. Friday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Tickets are$39.50 to $59.50; call 702-632-7580.
Las Vegans Zak Bagans and Aaron Goodwin kick off the 14th season of “Ghost Adventures” (9 p.m. Saturday, Travel) with an investigation of the Stone Lion Inn in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
ORDER YOUR OWN BURGER
A Las Vegas McDonald’s now features two new kiosks near the counter. Rather than placing your order with a server, select the meal you want on the high-tech touch screen menu. The kiosks are in 2,600 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide but the restaurant near the intersection of Sunset and Durango is the first in Nevada to offer the digital interactive experience.
TILTING THE BASIN
The exhibit “Tilting the Basin” is finally tilting toward Southern Nevada. After a 2½-month run last year at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, the show — subtitled “Contemporary Art of Nevada” — is officially open in an Arts District warehouse turned pop-up museum. See it Wednesdays through Sundays at 920 S. Commerce St. Read more about the pop-up here.
BUBBLE UP FOR VINO
The 43 annual UNLVino launches Thursday with Bubble-Licious at The Venetian, with tickets $100 in advance, $125 at the door. It’ll be followed by Sake Fever March 31 at Red Rock Resort ($75/$100) and the Grand Tasting April 1 at Paris Las Vegas($100/$125). It’s drinking (and plenty of eating) for a good cause; all three events will help fund scholarships for students int he William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV. For details and advance tickets, visit unlvino.com or call 702-739-3267.
FEMALE FILM FESTIVAL
It’s the largest — and, well, so far only — festival in Nevada designed to support the fair representation of women in film.
The third Nevada Women’s Film Festival is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at the Springs Preserve and Eclipse Theaters.
This year’s featured guest, director Ana Lily Amirpour, will be honored with a screening of her acclaimed Iranian vampire movie “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” followed by a discussion and Q&A. The event starts at 4 p.m. Saturday at theSprings Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd.
Local producer May May Luong (“Thor at the Bus Stop,” “Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West”) will be saluted as the 2017 Nevada Woman Filmmaker of the Year. The tribute and instructional session is slated for 7 p.m. Friday at the Springs Preserve.
The festival will conclude with its annual Femmy Awards, set for 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Springs Preserve.
For ticket information and a full screening schedule, see www.nwffest.com.
SOAK UP SOME SUN
Daylight Beach Club’s grand opening weekend for pool party season will include the debut of its weekly hip-hop party, LITSundays, featuring a performance by rapper Tyga. Doors open at 11 a.m. at Mandalay Bay. Tickets start at $30 for men and$20 for women.
DJ Jazzy Jeff will perform a DJ set at Rehab Beach Club on Sunday. Doors open at 11 a.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel. Tickets start at $10 for women and $20 for men.
Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop will host the “Westcoast Spring Break” event featuring beats by DJ C-Mike on Friday. Doors open at 10 p.m. at Paris Las Vegas. Tickets start at $20 for women and $30 for men.