Vegas City Opera will hold auditions for its 13th season at the Charleston Heights Arts Center including Threepenny Opera, Die Walker, Salon Soiree's, an Opera Three Way and more from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on May 19 and May 20. Email RebeccaM@VegasCityOpera.org to reserve a spot and click here for more info.
top of page
40-plus and still golden
By Paul Atreides
★★★★ - Delicious
It’s been more than a year since my last theatre review. The play “Thurgood” was presented in person to an audience of six in the venue, which seats 155. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the theatre community with dark houses. But it looks like we’re back, baby.
Venturing out among unmasked people was a little scary, but how could I not attend when the two lead roles of Ethel and Norman Thayer are filled by Las Vegas icons Valerie Carpenter-Bernstein and Gary Lunn, respectively.
For the final production of their 21-22 season, Vegas Theatre Company (formerly Cockroach Theatre) has mounted “On Golden Pond” by Ernest Thompson. It’s a script that mostly holds up after 43 years. After all, there are still curmudgeonly old men who would be lost without their caring wives.
Lunn takes curmudgeon and makes us love him. His Norman is full of fun. There’s a half-smile that appears when he’s poking fun at someone else’s expense. The only one who catches on fast and sees it for what it is is his future son-in-law, Bill Ray. When Lunn dispenses with being old and near death, the idea that he’s serious is just below the surface of the factiousness. Lunn is having a good time, and it shows.
After 49 years of marriage, his wife Ethel is well aware of Norman’s shenanigans. Carpenter-Bernstein responds to the “old poop” with total love and understanding. She brings feistiness and a tiny bit of looniness to the role while, at the same time, keeping a laser focus on the husband, who seems to be obsessed with aging and dying.
Playing daughter Chelsea (Katrina Currow) is a tough, unenviable task. The script doesn’t provide the transitional dialogue needed to move from happiness to ruminating on her faulty relationship with a father she refers to as Norman rather than Daddy to allowing herself to show her excitement and happiness at having gotten married while on vacation in Brussels. As a result, Currow still pulls off a decent job.
As Chelsea’s fiancé-turned-husband, Bill Ray, Mario Peoples, is on to Norman pretty quickly. Given one scene, he delivers a fine performance putting Norman in his place and coming to what might be considered a gentleman’s agreement when it comes to sex with Chelsea.
Billy (Sofonyas Alebachew) is Bill’s 13-year-old son. Alebachew portrays Billy as a beaming, fun-loving kid from the get-go rather than the sullen, rebelling child of divorce. And that’s the problem. When he first meets Norman, he tries to shock and taunt an old man. By the end of the play, they’ve become buddies and partners in crime. However, it feels as if any character growth is missing.
The supporting cast also includes Erik Amblad as Charlie, the guy who delivers the mail to the residents of Golden Pond via boat and has kept a candle burning for Chelsea. Amblad digs into Charlie with gusto, mining every extrinsic motivation in the script to great success. He’s a joy to watch, and the laugh is contagious.
Overall, it’s a lovely evening that starts out with Jenn Chandler playing her cello and singing to entertain the audience with tunes such as “Summer Wind” and “Singing In the Rain.” Her interpretations of the songs, along with the scene interludes she’s composed for the production, are wonderfully fitting.
What: On Golden Pond
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday - Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday through May 8
No performance Friday, May 6 due to First Friday
Where: Vegas Theatre Company, 1025 S. 1st St
Tickets: $25 - $33 (725-222-9661 or visit theatre.vegas
Grade: **** Delicious
Producer: Vegas Theatre Company; Director: Daz Weller; Set Design: Whitney Lehn Meltz; Lighting Design: Jordan Hall; Sound/Projection Design: M. Sohaa Smith; Stage Manager: Lily E Vetter; Original Compositions/Live Music: Jenn Chandler
The inaugural exhibition showcases the grand opening of Nuwu Art Gallery + Community Center
The SOOV Exhibition by Artivist and MFA candidate Fawn Douglas is the inaugural exhibition for the grand opening of Nuwu Art Gallery + Community Center on April 22 with the exhibit on display through May 7.
The Nuwu Art Gallery + Community Center is a POC-owned space in Southern Nevada that works to uplift our communities through strengthening cultural knowledge and identity through the arts, activism, and education. Nuwu Art advocates for the equity of our communities through an ongoing process of decolonization,
Fawn will be presenting her thesis exhibition and culminating show SOOV for the Master of Fine Arts Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). SOOV will also make history as the inaugural exhibition that opens the doors of the Nuwu Art Gallery + Community Center for the first time to the public.
“The word soov translates to “willow” or “sumac” in the Southern Paiute language. It is a word that represents me: strength, creativity, and a builder of things that will last. My art is a woven testament to my history, my present, and what I wish to sustain into the future. My work is a reflection of not only myself, but of my people, my community, and a dream placed into motion that will surpass me, generations into the future,” says Fawn.
Fawn calls herself an “artivist” and is an Indigenous American artivist and enrolled member of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. She comes from a proud mixed heritage of Las Vegas Paiute, Moapa Paiute, Southern Cheyenne, Creek, Pawnee, and Scottish. Fawn is the head matriarch of Nuwu Art + Activism Studios, located in the heart of the Historic Huntridge Neighborhood in Las Vegas. She is dedicated to the intersections of art, activism, community, education, culture, identity, place, and sovereignty. Within her art-making, she tells stories in order to remember the past and to ensure the stories of Indigenous peoples are heard in the present. Her studio practice includes painting, weaving, sculpture, dance, and other types of performance.
Fawn currently does art and cultural consulting through Nuwu Art organizes with the nonprofit
IndigenousAF, and works part-time as a Cultural Engagement Specialist with Meow Wolf. She is completing her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches Art Fundamentals as a graduate instructor in the Department of Art. Fawn was recently inducted into the 18th Annual UNLV College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame.
The Nuwu Art team consists of artivist Fawn Douglas and educator Dr. A.B. Wilkinson. Fawn is an Indigenous artist and activist who is currently completing the MFA program at UNLV. A.B. is an associate professor in the Department of History at UNLV. Professor Wilkinson has research and teaching interests in African American history, Native American history, Ethnic Studies, decolonial theory, and critical race theory in the Americas and Caribbean. Fawn and A.B. are the co-owners of Nuwu Art, which houses the Nuwu Art Collective—a group of diverse artists who share space at the Nuwu Art Studios and express themselves through film, comics, curation, painting, performance, mixed media, and other mediums.
IndigenousAF (IAF Inc.) is a nonprofit organization in Nevada that supports community work and projects which strengthen Indigenous cultures, knowledge, and identity through the arts and education. IAF Inc. raises and distributes funding directly for experienced individuals, groups, and sister organizations that help to preserve and extend cultural traditions within our beautifully diverse communities. IndigenousAF members help manage and organize programming at the Indigenous Arts Facilities, located at the Nuwu Art Center.
The schedule of the exhibit is:
Opening Performance and Reception: 6 to 8 p.m. on April 22
Show Dates: April 22 to May 7
Nuwu Art Gallery Hours
Weekdays: Private viewings by appointment only. RSVP with email@example.com
Saturdays: April 23 (Closed), April 30 and May 7, Noon to 5 p.m.
Sundays: April 24 and May 1, Noon to 5 p.m.
Artist Talk and Closing Reception: 6 to 8 p.m. May 6
SOOV Exhibition will be present at the Nuwu Art Gallery + Community Center, located at 1331 S. Maryland Parkway. The Parking entrance is at 1325 S. Maryland Parkway. For more information visit www.nuwuart.com and www.indigenousAF.org.
bottom of page