Smith Center for the Performing Arts

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Coordinates: 36°10′7″N 115°9′8″W / 36.16861°N 115.15222°W / 36.16861; -115.15222

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
Smithcenterlv.jpg
Photo of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in February 2012
Location 361 Symphony Park Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada
Coordinates 36°10′7″N 115°9′8″W / 36.16861°N 115.15222°W / 36.16861; -115.15222
Type Performing Arts Center
Built 2009-2012 (David M. Schwarz)
Opened March 10, 2012
Capacity 2,050
Website www.thesmithcenter.com

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is located in Downtown Las Vegas's 61-acre Symphony Park and is a five-acre, world-class performing arts center consisting of three theaters in two buildings;[1] groundbreaking for the $470 million project was May 26, 2009.[1][2] The Neo Art Deco design style was chosen by David M. Schwarz[3] to echo the design elements of another architectural tour de force in Nevada, the Hoover Dam, just 30 miles to the southeast. The center features a 17-story carillon tower containing 47 bells and is the first performing arts center in the nation to be Gold LEED certified. It opened on March 10, 2012.[4][5]

The Smith Center features international music, and dance companies and is the home of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theatre. The Center is under the leadership of President and CEO Myron Martin, COO Paul Beard, Chief Financial Officer John Burnett, CMO Suzanne Chabre, Candy Schneider and Terry Jones[6]

History[edit]

Prior to The Smith Center opening, Las Vegas was one of the largest cities in the country without a performing arts center. Some highly customized production shows and venues have long existed at various resorts on the Las Vegas Strip but none were geared towards the variety of performances that a stand alone center would provide, such as that required for touring Broadway productions or major symphony orchestras. A smaller performing arts venue at the University of Nevada Las Vegas was inadequate for these purposes.

While plans for a new center were initially conceived around 1994, it was a donation in 2005, the second largest donation to performing arts in United States history, by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of $150 million, together with a car rental fee to repay bonds of $105 million initiated by Clark County and the State of Nevada, that move the public-private project towards construction. As the largest benefactors, the building was therefore named after Fred and Mary Smith, the chairman of the foundation and his wife. The City of Las Vegas began separate plans around 2000 to build a downtown urban district called Symphony Park, which was selected as the site for the Center.[7][8]

In 2010 it was announced that the Lied Discovery Children's Museum would move to the Smith Center, replacing an originally proposed 600-seat theater that was scrapped from the plans in 2008. The reasoning was that the city already had numerous similarly sized venues in the various hotel resorts. A partnership with the Kennedy Center and some classrooms onsite serves to provide educational opportunities for local youth. With the Center's opening in 2012, in addition to performances, the planners expect the center to foster arts awareness and help to revitalize the downtown area.[8][9]

Design and Artwork[edit]

The Smith Center Board wanted a timeless and elegant design, selecting architect David M. Schwarz to design the center, using inspiration from the Hoover Dam's Art Deco style as a major and lasting historical influence in the Las Vegas area. The building is a pastiche of Bertam Goodhue's 1922 design for the Nebraska State Capitol at Lincoln and John & Donald Parkinson's 1929 Bullocks Wilshire in Los Angeles. White Indiana limestone for the facade (as at Lincoln), as well as numerous detail elements based on the Hoover Dam and 1920's motifs feature throughout the facility, including a winged sculpture in the Center lobby modeled after the dam's famous Winged Figures of the Republic statues. A prominent flower theme was also added in select places since Mary Smith's favorite flower is the Blue Iris. In addition, artwork by local artists from the Las Vegas Art Museum have been loaned to the center to be displayed.[10][11]

A large concert hall and two smaller theaters were designed as the main venues. At the corner is a 17-story tower featuring 47 bells and providing a new focal point for the downtown skyline, as well as the Center. Audio design firm Akustiks worked with Schwarz to ensure optimum sound quality in all the venues, installing high tech sound enhancing features like retractable drapery and auto closing doors to reflect or absorb sounds based on the performance type. The main hall is also double soundproofed against outside noises. An outdoor park plaza was also built, serving as an additional outdoor concert venue if needed. It features an artwork by Tim Bavington, representing Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”[10][12][13][14]

Entertainment venues[edit]

The three main venues at the Smith Center are the Reynolds Hall, Cabaret Jazz Theater, and the Troesh Studio Theater, the first of which is located in its namesake building and the latter two in the Boman Pavilion.[15]

  • 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall is designed to keep the seats close to the stage, seating is on 5 levels[1][2][16]
  • 258-seat Cabaret Jazz cabaret style theater for more intimate performances[1][2][17] Clint Holmes performs on the weekend of each month in the cabaret which has two levels of seating.[18]
  • 250-seat Troesh Studio Theater rehearsal theater[1][2][17]
  • The 2-acre (0.81 ha) Donald W. Reynolds Symphony Park lawn for outdoor performances[19]

Other Features[edit]

  • 47 bell carillon; is a 17 story tall tower containing cast brass bells that ring over 4 octaves.[20][21] The carillon was originally planned as a 36 bell instrument with a 3 octave range.[22]
  • Elaine Wynn Studio for Arts Education
  • Grand Lobby
  • Founder's Room and Mezzanine Lounge

Productions[edit]

Resident Companies[edit]

2012 Broadway Las Vegas Series[edit]

- The Color Purple: April 3–8, 2012

- Mary Poppins: May 22–27, 2012

- Million Dollar Quartet: June 12–17, 2012

- Memphis: A New Musical: July 18–22, 2012[23]

2012-2013 Broadway Las Vegas Season[edit]

- Wicked the Musical: August 29-October 7, 2012[24] - The Addams Family: November 20–25, 2012 - Anything Goes: February 5–10, 2013 - West Side Story: February 25-March 3, 2013 - Shrek the Musical: March 19–24, 2013 - Disney's Beauty and the Beast: April 16–21, 2013 - Billy Elliot the Musical: May 14–19, 2013 - Catch Me If You Can: June 18–23, 2013 - Green Day's American Idiot: June 11–16, 2013

2013-2014 Broadway Las Vegas Season[edit]

- Les Misérables: August 7–11, 2013 - The Wizard of Oz: September 10–15, 2013 - War Horse: October 2–6, 2013 - Sister Act: October 15–20, 2013 - Evita: November 26-December 1, 2013 - Mamma Mia!: January 7–12, 2014 - Flashdance- The Musical: January 28- February 2, 2014 - The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess: April 15–20, 2014 - Once: May 20–25, 2014 - The Book Of Mormon: June 10-July 6, 2014

Donald W. Reynolds Discovery Center[edit]

Part of the Smith Center campus includes the new home of the Lied Discovery Children's Museum, to be renamed the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Scherzer, Barbara (2009-05-20). "Vegas' Smith Center given greenlight". Variety (magazine). Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d Choate, Alan (2009-05-06). "Smith Performing Arts Center project gets city go-ahead". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  3. ^ Schwarz Architects about the Smith Center
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Your Name Here (2013-01-24). "Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ) - The Smith Center for the Performing Arts". Thesmithcenter.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  6. ^ "The Smith Center for the Performing Arts". Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  7. ^ Your Name Here (2013-01-24). "History - The Smith Center for the Performing Arts". Thesmithcenter.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  8. ^ a b Bornfeld, Steve (2012-03-08). "How the Lineup Stacks Up | Vegas Seven". Weeklyseven.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  9. ^ By sevenhills (2010-08-11). "Children's museum plans for Smith Center expansion - Las Vegas Sun News". Lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  10. ^ a b Jones, Jay (March 4, 2012). "Las Vegas: Curtains to open on Smith Center for the Performing Arts". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ "Las Vegas Art Museum's collection finds new place to hang, at Smith Center". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  12. ^ "Can the Smith Center connect the cultural dots?". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  13. ^ "The Smith Center for the Performing Arts Rises :: Articles". Vegas Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  14. ^ "That brightly colored sculpture outside the Smith Center? It's music to artist's eyes - Las Vegas Sun News". Lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  15. ^ Your Name Here (2013-01-24). "Venues - The Smith Center for the Performing Arts". Thesmithcenter.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  16. ^ "REYNOLDS HALL SEATING CHART". Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "Events By Venue". Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ "CABARET JAZZ - The Smith Center for the Performing Arts". Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  19. ^ March 2, 2012 KLAS special on the Smith Center
  20. ^ "Verdin Carillon Completes World-Class Performing Arts Center". Verdin. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Carillon Tower". Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Groundbreaking held for The Smith Center for the Performing Arts". Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Smith Center Update". Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  24. ^ "Smith Center books musical 'Wicked' as its inaugural Broadway touring show". Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  25. ^ By sevenhills (2010-08-11). "Children's museum plans for Smith Center expansion - Las Vegas Sun News". Lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 

External links[edit]