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The Henderson Pavilion offers another season of concerts, plays and festivals

In the 10 years since its inception, the Henderson Pavilion has continued to offer productions to enrich the community with arts.

Even when other performances are offered on the Strip or when facilities such as the Smith Center open, Bud Pico, manager of Henderson’s cultural arts and tourism programs, knows the pavilion features something different.

"We don’t plan to compete with them, and they aren’t competing with us," Pico said. "They are doing the exact same thing we are doing — bringing arts to the community."

The Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway, announced its lineup for 2012 in early February. The schedule offers a mixture of plays, festivals and bands.

The next event, slated for 8 p.m. April 7, is "The Symphonic Rock Show," which showcases the talents of Las Vegas band Yellow Brick Road. The band is accompanied by a hand-selected orchestra and a laser light show.

"It is one of the most anticipated shows this year," Pico said. "Show sales are already ahead."

The concert features the music of classic rock groups such as Aerosmith, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Last year’s show, which was the last show for the band’s former lead singer, Brody Dolyniuk, was a record for the pavilion with 3,600 tickets sold.

"It was a nice turnout," Dolyniuk said.

Dolyniuk is expected to reunite with the band for this show.

"I’m looking forward to seeing my Vegas family," Dolyniuk said.

In addition to joining the band for the evening, Dolyniuk is taking his first steps toward producing a show with "The Symphonic Rock Show."

"It marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another," Dolyniuk said.

Tickets are $15.

In April and May, two plays are scheduled to be featured at the pavilion.

The Rodgers & Hammerstein fairy tale "Cinderella," put on by the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company, is expected to enchant audiences at 8 p.m. April 13, 14, 20 and 21 and 7 p.m. April 15 and 22. Tickets are $10.

Even though a performance of "The Phantom of the Opera" is being shown at The Venetian, a different production of the show is expected to be in Henderson at 8 p.m. May 18-19.

"It is much different than what you see on the Strip," Pico said.

Put on by the Grammy-nominated theater company Vox Lumiere, the production is expected to have the 1925 silent film version playing in the background while actors perform.

For the second year, Henderson is expected to show a classic Charlie Chaplin film with live music from the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. This year’s film is "Modern Times." Tickets are $10.

The pavilion also plans to host two festivals.

The Blues and Brews Festival is scheduled from 2 to 10:30 p.m. May 12. At the event, people can experience tastes of the world’s top brewers with samples of lagers, ales and ciders, along with entertainment from blues musicians Shemekia Copeland and Eric Gales. Tickets are $29.

The inaugural BBQ & Music Festival is planned from 2 to 11 p.m. May 25 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 26. The event is expected to feature a competition of grill masters from around the country showing off their cooking skills. As part of the entertainment lineup, people can enjoy music from funk, soul and rock ‘n’ roll. Tickets are $39.

ORIGINS OF THE PAVILION

According to Pico, the concept of the pavilion came from the Green Valley Master Plan.

"The original direction was to have a 5,000-plus-seat performing arts theater rather than a standard concert hall," Pico said.

The pavilion opened in September 2002, offering 5,000 seats with the capacity to go up to 10,000 with the grass seating. Unfortunately, the pavilion didn’t meet everyone’s expectations.

"It wasn’t the programing," Pico said. "It was the sound."

The sound system didn’t fit the venue, which hindered attendance.

In 2006, after Henderson received a grant for $8 million from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, it decided to take the existing system and move it to a new venue, creating the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water St.

"And it’s working beautifully," Pico said.

The city then purchased a state-of-the-art sound system that fit the pavilion.

"Our first performance was Sheena Easton," Pico said. "It was received fantastically. We received raves about how much better the sound was."

Along the way, the pavilion has had a few hiccups. In May 2010, the pavilion’s structure was severely damaged by winds. In addition to causing about $300,000 in damage, it forced several concerts and events to be canceled or relocated while repairs were administered.

"We wanted to make sure it was 100 percent complete before we started offering programing," Pico said. "But we came back strong."

Pico said the first performance back was in August 2010.

Even though the pavilion features concerts, its highest attendance came from two different rallies by former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Pico said 10,000 people attended both events.

For more information, visit hendersonlive.com.

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.

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