CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Vegas magazine celebrated Chanel at its gorgeous Wynn installation at a party hosted by Annemarie Jones, CENTER. At right is Vegas assistant distribution manager Rebekah Zimlich; I attended the American Heritage Dinner with Vegas assistant editor Emma Trotter; I hit new hot spot Hyde, at Bellagio, for the first time with Yelp’s Misti Yang; Happy New Year! Ringing in 2012 at Cosmopolitan with CEO John Unwin
I have been looking forward to this month almost since I moved here five years ago: A lifelong theater, dance, and live performance junkie, I thought the Smith Center’s March 10 grand opening would never come. My childhood was a blur of dance classes and begging my mom to take me to see every touring company that came through Orlando and Albuquerque, the cities where I grew up. Years later, living in New York City in my twenties meant a juggling of pennies, trying to save up for shows while barely scraping by, determined to become a writer. I walked out of every show, whether a Broadway musical extravaganza or one of the ballets at Lincoln Center, revved up and inspired that I had what it took to make my dreams come true.
While all of these memories contribute to my love of theater, it was while living in Austin that I developed an appreciation of how a cultural arts center can bring a community together. Whenever a touring Broadway production was scheduled to come through town, we looked forward to it for months. When the night arrived, the theater was packed with familiar faces buzzing about the show and mingling during intermission.
I so look forward to the Las Vegas community coming together at the Smith Center, which we spotlight in this issue, in a similar way. I already have my tickets to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, whose dancers and new artistic director we interviewed, and the two resident companies, Nevada Ballet Theatre and Las Vegas Philharmonic.
I hope to see you there,
Follow me on Twitter at @abbytegnelia
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AL POWERS (CHANEL PARTY)