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Smith Center picks the big day

Circle the date on the calendar, if you’re a 20th-century holdover.
 
Otherwise, input it into your BlackBerry.
 
Either way …
“We’ve got an opening date,” said Myron Martin, president of the Smith Center for the Performing arts. “It’s March 10.”
As in one year from today — March 10, 2012.
 
“We’re going to have a grand gala performance, something really  special,” Martin said — declining to name any performers or the nature of the show that’s planned — after hosting Wednesday night’s public panel discussion with the center’s designers at the Historic Fifth Street School.
 
Shortly before the center opens to the public, Martin said, there will be a private ceremony to show appreciation to the workers building the complex.
 
An entry in the Symphony Park Lecture series, Wednesday’s event was the first joint appearance for the center’s designers — architect David Schwarz, theater designer Joshua Dachs and sound designer Paul Scarbrough — who explained the details of the Smith centerpiece, the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall, and took questions from the audience.
 
Slated as the shared home of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Ballet Theatre, the hall will also host touring versions of Broadway shows, the first of which, “Wicked,” has been booked into the center shortly after its opening.
 
At a cost of  $502 million, The Smith Center is under construction at Bonneville Avenue and Grand Central Parkway. It will also include cabaret space, a black box theater and educational facilities at Boman Pavilion, as well as a new building for the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, which will drop “Lied” from its title when it relocates from its current home at the Las Vegas Library.
 
Philanthropist Elaine Wynn donated $5 million to the project last December. The major donor is the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, which has contributed $190 million. The center is named for Fred W. Smith, former Review-Journal executive and chairman of the Reynolds Foundation, and for his late wife, Mary B. Smith.

“We are on time and on budget and we couldn’t be happier,” Martin said. “It’s becoming more beautiful every day.”

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