COVID has locked the Smith Center as other Las Vegas venues regenerate

The differences between Neonopolis on Fremont Street and the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Symphony Park could fill a folder.

For example, no ax is thrown at the Smith Center. Also no karaoke bar or tattoo parlor.

But both venues hosted The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas. As we know, TCS has been playing Myron’s Cabaret Jazz from its opening in March 2012 to the COVID lockdown of the room in March 2020.

Most recently, the series was headlined by Notoriety on the top level of Neonopolis.

Could Notoriety serve as The Composers Showcase’s next long-term home as Cab Jazz isn’t scheduled to reopen until September?

Of course it could. Is it? Unlikely.

“I plan to be back at Cab Jazz even though there are a lot of people who think I shouldn’t because it was closed for so long and we had a lot of other places for live entertainment.” TCS co-founder Keith Thompson says. “But really, there is no better place for this type of show than Cabaret Jazz. You can’t do better than the Smith Center. “

President of the Smith Center Myron Martin is clear about his support for The Composers Showcase. He wants it back at Cab Jazz. He’s also an advocate of Vegas entertainers, concepts, and opportunities.

“I’m glad entertainers found other places to practice their craft when cab jazz couldn’t be open,” says Martin. “I support all of these places that create a cabaret environment because there is no better term. I like that. It’s good for performers, and it’s good for people who just want to go out and see shows. “

Notoriety is an association that, to use Thompson’s term, has been reinforced. Ken Hendersons The multi-talented destination is quickly establishing itself as the anchor tenant of Neonopolis. It helps that all-star shows like TCS have drawn the entertainment community to the venue.

Tuesday’s presentation is another gem, The Composer’s Showcase’s 15th anniversary, which also coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Composers Showcase Entertainment Community Relief Fund (limited-seat tickets are available quickly, but the online stream is for 20 US dollars available from thecomposersshowcase.com).

Thompson enters with the innkeeper as usual Clint Holmes and original music by TCS returnees like Life Cormibi Drew from “Menopause The Musical” (which was seen on Show No. 2 in April 2006), Enoch Augustus Scott from “Zombie Burlesque”, Vegas singer Chadwick Johnson and always happy TCS vet Mark Wherry of the College of Southern Nevada (he and Scott teamed up on the Vegas satirical project “Tiger Thing”).

After visiting the second Composers Showcase in the since then closed Suede Restaurant and almost every one since then, we can vouch for the flexibility of the series. TCS has jumped through the valley in its 15 years, from the Liberace Museum to Creative Studios to Garfield’s on the Lake on the Desert Shores and finally Cabaret Jazz.

Hence, the option of moving TCS or moving it to a new room has been tempting as Cab Jazz has more company than ever among off-strip music clubs. Venues like the Vegas Room (and the more spacious Nevada Room) in the Commercial Center, the Italian American Club, and the Copa Room in the Bootlegger Bistro are among the live music centers that have flourished due to dark cabaret jazz.

Open for four years, Space has also started operations as COVID restrictions are eased (Tony Prize Winner) John Lloyd Youngreturning on May 1st is a recurring headliner there. owner Mark Shunock has Original Chaos, a front-facing classic rock band Dai Richards from “Tenors of Rock” rolling on Friday night to play the entire “Hotel California”.

Even Holmes, who was the first resident headliner of Cabaret Jazz, appeared on Notoriety’s monthly “Regeneration” series. The Cocktail Cabaret, which Thompson is co-producing, is a revue that Cleopatra’s Barge played at Caesars Palace and which appears to be tailored to cab jazz. Instead, the show takes place on Wednesday in the IAC showroom.

Whether the success of such off-strip venues can sustain continued success depends on the post-COVID market. Cabaret Jazz is reopening. Expect it to fill up quickly as top Vegas entertainers will always be booking shows there. The Strip is reactivating, offering smaller venues its own challenges.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is careful to predict public gatherings. For an early judgment, stop by again in the fall, perhaps at The Comoposers Showcase.

Skye high

Skye Dee Miles’ Countless friends in Las Vegas descend on The Space on Tuesday evening. “For The Love of Skye” is a boost for the popular singer who, as we say, has been through a lot in the past few weeks. She just gives a lot, so we give back.

The all-star performance will be moderated by singing greats Michelle Johnson, Mikalah Gordon, Allen Coats, Lily Arce and Miles Friend and confidante Tanya Popovich.

Vegas favorites like Holmes Earl Turner, Chris Phillips from Zowie Bowie, Tyriq Johnson from Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns, Jennifer Romas from Sexxy, Savannah Smith of The moon tailors Headlner Kelly Vohnn (End of “Vegas Gone Country” at the V Theater) and Chris Lash (“Baz” and “Jersey Boys”) are supposed to perform.

David Perricos Pop 40 is the house band, and the Boom Boom Room Dancers are also on the bill. As I said, come to the Holmes, stay to the boom boom.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” You can find the podcast at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @ JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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