The Smith Center for the Performing Arts Opens in Las Vegas with Star-Studded Concert

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Jennifer Hudson
An extraordinary line-up of performers from across the arts community ushered in a new era of culture as they graced the stage for the opening of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas on March 10. Led by quintessential host and award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, the evening featured performances by the who’s who of music and Broadway’s brightest stars (Pictured above: Jennifer Hudson – Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com)

Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

The sold-out show featured incredible pairings of musical talent and rare performances. Broadway superstars Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sherie Rene Scott, Cheyenne Jackson, Laura Osnes, Benjamin Walker and Montego Glover shared medleys from hit shows including West Side Story, Rent, The Lion King and Guys and Dolls. Country star Martina McBride and Train lead singer Pat Monahan teamed up for a medley featuring “Marry Me” and “A Song For You,” while legends Carole King and Mavis Staples performed hit “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Theater-goers were thrilled to see Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard perform “Pancho and Lefty.” The duo was later joined by Grammy-winner Emmylou Harris to perform “Ramblin’ Fever.” American Ballet Theater’s Marcello Gomes and Luciana Paris performed a dazzling tribute to the late Frank Sinatra. Diva songstress Jennifer Hudson, accompanied by a 70-member choir, closed the evening with a spectacular rendition of “Take Care of This House.” All artists were backed by a world-class orchestra and Emmy Award-winning Musical Director Rob Mathes.

Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

“Tonight we celebrated more than the opening of The Smith Center,” said Myron Martin, President and CEO of The Smith Center. “We celebrated this community’s commitment to the arts and to creating something important and lasting for the people who live here and for generations to come.”

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

More than two decades in the making, The Smith Center’s purpose is to provide residents of Las Vegas an all-encompassing cultural experience featuring the very best in arts programming from around the world. From first-run Broadway touring productions on stage at Reynolds Hall to legendary entertainers at Cabaret Jazz, The Smith Center will provide diverse entertainment on a weekly basis. The Smith Center will also be the centerpiece of arts education in the community. Through affiliations with the John F. Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child program and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, along with creative programming designed for students, The Smith Center will seek to augment and expand arts education for all Southern Nevada students.

Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

The full line of up performers at the grand opening of The Smith Center included: Host Neil Patrick Harris, Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson; country artists Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris and Martina McBride; singer songwriter Carole King; trumpeter Arturo Sandoval; violinist Joshua Bell; gospel great Mavis Staples; Train lead singer Pat Monahan; American rock legend John Fogerty; Broadway stars Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (Kiss Me Kate, Ragtime) Laura Osnes (Grease, South Pacific, Anything Goes), Cheyenne Jackson (television’s Glee, 30 Rock and Broadway’s Xanadu, All Shook Up), Sherie Rene Scott (Aida, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Montego Glover (Memphis, Color Purple) and Benjamin Walker (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Inherit the Wind); and American Ballet Theater dancers Marcello Gomes and Luciana Paris. Kathleen “Bird” York (Crash, Seven Pounds and Lifetime’s new original series The Client List) served as announcer for the evening.

Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

The Smith Center opening was produced and directed by George Stevens, Jr., and Michael Stevens, who produce the Kennedy Center Honors each year. The Smith Center opening will be broadcast on national television at a later date.

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

About The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
Located in downtown’s 61-acre urban development, Symphony Park, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a public/private partnership that is the new centerpiece of cultural life in Las Vegas, offering a blend of performances by resident companies, as well as first-run touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus features three performance spaces, the 2,050-seat main performance area in Reynolds Hall and Boman Pavilion’s 258-seat Cabaret Jazz and 250-seat Troesh Studio Theater, and is home to a 1.7 acre park, which can be used for outdoor concerts. Additionally, the campus will be the new location of the Discovery Children’s Museum. The Smith Center is the cultural center for Las Vegas – a place that educates, entertains and excites the citizens of the Las Vegas community. For more information about The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, please visit www.thesmithcenter.com. Keep up with news and events on Facebook.

Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

John Fogerty
John Fogerty

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

John Fogerty
John Fogerty

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

John Fogerty
John Fogerty

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Pat Monahan and Martina McBride
Pat Monahan and Martina McBride

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Carole King
Carole King

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Carole King
Carole King

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Carole King
Carole King

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Carole King and Mavis Staples
Carole King and Mavis Staples

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Carole King, Martina McBride and Jennifer Hudson
Carole King, Martina McBride and Jennifer Hudson

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Luciana Paris and Marcello Gomes
Luciana Paris and Marcello Gomes

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Luciana Paris and Marcello Gomes
Luciana Paris and Marcello Gomes

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Luciana Paris and Marcello Gomes
Luciana Paris and Marcello Gomes

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Sherie Rene Scott
Sherie Rene Scott

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Arturo Sandoval
Arturo Sandoval

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Myron Martin
Myron Martin

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

Myron Martin, Fred Smith and Don Snyder
Myron Martin, Fred Smith and Don Snyder

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas

Photo: © Erik Kabik/ Cassi Thomas/ www.erikkabik.com.