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BWW Blog: Jessica Vanek - Las Vegas Celebrates The Smith Center for the Performing Arts 5th Anniversary

Jess here. One of my favorite entertainment hotspots in Las Vegas is none other than The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. March 10, 2017 marked their 5th Anniversary, and I was lucky enough to attend their "Celebrating Five Years of Heart" concert last week. Hosted by Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor (stars of the revival of THE LAST FIVE YEARS), this extravaganza included a variety of exciting performances, allowing audience members to experience the arts in a fashion that only the Smith Center can provide.

The evening began with a scene from THE TEMPEST performed by Teller, from Penn & Teller, and Nate Dendy. Needless to say, the piece was filled with incredible magic, and many people (including myself) were giddy when hearing the usually silent Teller speak for the first time.

Other spectacular performances included Santino Fontana and Jessica Fontana reviving the classic duet "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA. The two played opposite each other during the run on Broadway, and it was really as beautiful as it seemed (pun intended). Grammy and Tony award nominated composer Frank Wildhorn also made an appearance, joined by jazz phenomenon Clint Holmes. Together, the two famously presented the world-class song "This is the Moment" from Wildhorn's wildly successful JEKYLL & HYDE.

Adam Kantor delivered a spectacular performance of "Miracle of Miracles" from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, of which he was a part of during the recent revival on Broadway. His portrayal of Motel was nothing short of wonderful, and his voice was undeniably flawless. Betsy Wolfe closed the show with a beautifully heartfelt rendition of "Take Care of This House" from Leonard Bernstein's 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE. It was truly a showstopping number that perfectly summarized how our community feels about the Smith Center.

Other highlights included Jessica Fontana and Christine Hudman reprising their roles from the Las Vegas born IDAHO! THE COMEDY MUSICAL. Their performances were just as hilarious as when they initially debuted on the Smith Center stage. Chandra Lee Schwartz of the legendary musical WICKED also entertained the audience with Glinda's hilarious solo "Popular" and local youth theatre troupe, BROADWAY IN THE H.O.O.D. performed a number from THE WIZ that was fantastic.

In other exciting news, the community is buzzing about the re-naming of the Cabaret Jazz room to "The Martin Cabaret Jazz." The founders of The Smith Center decided to honor Myron Martin's deep dedication to the venue, and no one is more deserving of this recognition than Martin himself. Martin's daughter, Molly, was at his side when the announcement was made, adding the perfect touch to this very special evening.

And if all that isn't enough....just a few days prior to the 5th Anniversary concert, The Smith Center announced their 2017-2018 Broadway Las Vegas Series lineup: SOMETHING ROTTEN, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE KING AND I, THE BODYGUARD, RENT, LOVE NEVER DIES, THE COLOR PURPLE, and last, but certainly not least, HAMILTON! This revolutionary season is going to be amazing!

Las Vegas is so very fortunate to be the home of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. I would like to personally wish a happy anniversary to the venue that exposed me to, and ultimately taught me to love musical theatre. Here's to many more years of delivering the magic of Broadway and award winning jazz to the entertainment capital of the world!

"Years from now, we'll remember and we'll come back, buy the rooftop and hang a plaque: This is where we began, being what we can." -Stephen Sondheim

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From This Author Guest Blogger: Jessica Vanek