Smith Center For The Performing Arts Launches 2012 Concert Series

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts has wasted no time in launching their 2012 Concert Series.  The first concert was the star studded Gala opening which we reviewed earlier this week.  Last night we had the opportunity to see Michael Feinstein and his orchestra performing in the 2050 seat Reynolds Hall. On Sunday, we had been told the performance was SOLD OUT, but just for curiosity, we checked back on Tuesday and yes, there were two tickets available in the balcony section.  Would have preferred a little closer, but how the acoustics work in the balcony section is a good test of any major center for the performing arts.  As it turns out, there were more empty seats last night than we expected having been told it was sold out on Sunday.  I would suggest that you check back occasionally if you are trying to get tickets to a specific show because it definitely paid off for us. 

For those unfamiliar with Michael Feinstein, he is an acclaimed pianist/vocalist who has been dubbed "The Ambassador of the Great Michael FeinsteinAmerican Songbook".  His performance last night was focused on "The Sinatra Project"which features songs performed by Old Blue Eyes and includes Feinstein's reminiscences of times he shared with Frank & Barbara Sinatra. This is our second event at the new Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and once again we couldn't have been happier with the performance and the venue.  Although our seats were far enough away that my iPhone struggled to get a clear picture, we could see the stage well.  And most important the acoustics were excellent.  We did not miss a beat, even in the balcony. The songs Feinstein selected ranged from All My Tomorrows to Fly Me to the Moon to When they Begin the Beguine.  Early on, he exclaimed that "This is the most extraordinary hall I've ever been in!"  Considering that he has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and that in 2010 he became the director of Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center, I would say his comments were quite an accomplishment for the architect and the supporters of our new star. 

When we had attended the Gala opening, the show was being filmed for PBS and there was no intermission.  This time, we had a chance to wander around during intermission.  Yes, they do have a menu that is catered by the Culinary Arts Institute.  We had enjoyed an early bite at the nearby Triple George but it was very pleasant to enjoy a glass of wine and the view from the balcony. During the intermission, we did have a chance to meet some of the other guests.  Everyone we've met who has been attending the Smith Center has had nothing but praise for the performances and the venue.  We are confident that Las Vegas new prize is going to establish itself as one of the great performing halls for its design and acoustics.

After intermission, Michael Feinstein and his orchestra returned to the stage.  Performing such classics as "Fools Rush In" and acknowledging Steve Lawrence who was in the audience without Edie.  Apparently Edie had broken her toe.  Feinstein also acknowledged Robert Goulet's widow, Vera who was in the audience.  As Feinstein went into an encore of "For Once in My Life" he again complemented the Smith Center with the exclamation that he, "Can't wait to come back!"    For his finale encore of "The Lady is a Tramp" he stood on top of the grand piano.  After last night's show, we can't wait to have him come back to the Smith Center either!

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