Jessica Vanek is 18 years old and recently relocated from Las Vegas to Oklahoma where she is now attending Oklahoma City University as a Musical Theatre major. Though she loves musical theatre, she also has a deep devotion to jazz and standards. She has previously performed all across Las Vegas and has been pursuing her passion since the age of 9.
I've always been a fan of satire and cheesy comedy, but the Broadway smash 'Something Rotten' by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick took this art form to a whole new level. The show is currently on tour, and made a stop in Las Vegas's beautiful Smith Center. I was lucky enough to get tickets and experience this musical masterpiece.BWW BLOG: An Evening With Burt Bacharach at the Smith Center in Las Vegas August 10, 2017
Jess here. As some of you may know, I just graduated from a performing arts high school. Now that I'm on summer vacation I've taken some time to reflect upon my experiences in the high school theatre world. I thought I'd share some observations/insight with my fellow thespians, and attempt to shed a little light on topics that remain a mystery.BWW BLOG: CABARET JAZZ SPRING 2017 - Good Things Always Come in Three's June 12, 2017
Jess here. Las Vegas is known for its groundbreaking entertainment and risky performances. The production I just saw of HAND TO GOD at the newly-opened Majestic Repertory Theatre is no exception to the rule. This show was undoubtedly the funniest work I have ever seen, thanks to the actors and director, Troy Heard. HAND TO GOD follows Jason, a troubled teenage boy with a strange connection to his homemade puppet. Jason struggles to please his recently widowed mother who has put together a daily "Puppet Practice" group in the basement of a local Texas Lutheran Church. Things slowly start to spiral out of control when Jason's puppet, Tyrone, seems to develop a sinister mind of his own. Chaos and consequences ensue, as Jason and Tyrone ultimately go wild.BWW Blog: Jessica Vanek - Audiences Applaud Cockroach Theatre's SPINNING INTO BUTTER March 27, 2017
Jess here. I recently saw my first show at Cockroach Theatre, a well-established theatre company located here in Las Vegas. SPINNING INTO BUTTER by Rebecca Gilmanexposes current social issues through an honest story that could, in reality, have taken place in Anywhere, USA. This play dealt with concepts not normally portrayed on a stage, and delivered a powerful punch that left the audience enlightened. The story is set at fictional Belmont College in Vermont, and explores racial issues that college campuses sometimes face. The show begins with Sarah Daniels, a Dean who is trying to get a student to lie about his ethnicity so he will be a stronger candidate for a scholarship. She does this with the best intentions, but it's not taken well by the student, Patrick Chibas. Meanwhile Simon (a character in name only), an African-American student attending the predominantly white Belmont College, reports a series of hate crimes being inflicted upon him. Dean Daniels along with two other Deans struggle to fix the issue, yet against Dean Daniels' better judgment, decide that a campus-wide forum is the best way to remedy the situation. Ultimately, the forum is a huge failure, and results in more of a divide than it began with. Dean Daniels continues to try to do what's right, but struggles with the process due to her subconscious racism. This story discusses the complexity of race and discrimination and how, despite the outlawing of segregation, America still struggles to treat all races equally.