Archive for February, 2008

Las Vegas Academy Theatre Presents Cats

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The Theatre department at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts is known nation wide as being one of the most prestigious high school theatre programs in the United States. With a substantial budget and a very respectable number of season subscribers, the Academy Theatre Department is able to create productions that have been called “Better Than Broadway” by local critics and patrons.

Every February, the Theatre department produces their largest musical of a six show season, in which there are usually more than 150 students working to create the best production possible. Large main-stage productions in recent seasons have included Les Miserables, Jekyll and Hyde, Beauty and The Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Miss Saigon to name a few. This year, Las Vegas Academy Theatre is tackling what is considered to be one of the most expensive shows they have ever produced, “Cats : Las Vegas”.

The 1981 musical, Cats, by Andrew Lloyd Webber was the second longest running show on Broadway, opening in 1982 at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City, and closing in June of 1997 after 7,458 performances. Webber’s plotless musical is known for its intense dance and is commonly forgiven for the banausic music and lyrics derived from the poetry of T.S. Elliot, simply because of the shows fun nature. And this version of Cats is colorful, fun and an all around good time.

Co-Director’s Glenn Edwards and Tammy Pessango decided to take the Academy’s production of Cats in an all new direction by setting the show in the historic Neon Graveyard in Las Vegas. Set designer Thomas Bumblauskas has given us a glamorous yet run down look to the setting by creating replicas of famous signs from old Las Vegas that acts as a hang-out for the “Jellicle Cats” of Las Vegas. The set is complete with the Silver Boot, a Lady Luck slot machine replica, A Caesar’s Palace sign, A Horseshoe from Binion’s Horseshoe, a Stardust sign, and many many more Las Vegas icons that can be found in the Neon Graveyard. The characters of the show have also been given iconic looks through costuming by Terry McGonigle and character directions. Personalities in the show include Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Danny Gans, Siegfried and Roy, Liberace, Cirque Du Soleil Dancers, Chippendales, and The Blue Man group to name a few.

It’s not just the show that brings Las Vegas history to life, but also the venue in which it is being performed in. Cats: Las Vegas is playing in the Las Vegas Academy Performing Arts Center Theatre, which was formerly the theatre for the original Las Vegas High School. The Performing Arts Center is the oldest running theatre in Las Vegas with a construction date of 1948.

With a production price tag hovering at around $125,000, Cats: Las Vegas is one of the most expensive and elaborate productions the Las Vegas Academy Theatre Department has ever put on. The show is entirely student run and operated and with a cast of 58 singers and dancers, a 34 member pit orchestra, and an extensive technical crew, this production truly gives numerous Las Vegas Academy students opportunities to work on creating a wonderful piece of art enjoyable for the whole family.

Las Vegas Review Journal critic Anthony Del Valle was quoted as saying that the “Fun of Cats: Las Vegas is Infectious”. The show is a perfect family production and like most Academy Theatre shows, is considered the best bargain ticket in town.

Cats: Las Vegas will be playing at the Las Vegas Academy Performing Arts Center on the East corner of 9th Street and Clark Avenue on February 21, 22, and 23 at 7:00pm, with 2:00pm Matinee performance on Saturday, February 23, 2008. Tickets for evening shows are $20 and matinee tickets are $15 a piece.

If you have children, the cast of Cats: Las Vegas is doing a meet and great “Meow Mixer” on Saturday the 16th and Saturday the 23th at 12pm, where children will have the opportunity to play with the “kitties”, win prizes at games, and get their picture taken with the Cats of their choice. Tickets to the “Meow Mixer” are $40 but that includes your ticket to the Matinee performance following the “Meow Mixer”. To purchase tickets, visit www.starticketsplus.com or go to lvacademytheatre.org/cats. You can also purchase tickets by calling 1-800-585-3737.

Team Shelby at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Carroll Shelby and Ford Motor Company came together back in 1962 to create Shelby Automotive, which in turn transformed the Ford Mustang into a muscle car of historic proportions. The magic continues right here in Las Vegas as Mr. Shelby celebrates his 85th birthday and the introduction of the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR.

Each Shelby GT500KR starts out as a GT500, built at AutoAlliance International Inc., in Flat Rock, Michigan. From there, the GT’s are shipped to Shelby Automobile’s facility at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Every GT500KR is then outfitted with a Racing Performance Pack, custom exhaust and a special short-throw shifter. Further additions and refinements create a hand customized product that gets delivered to each customer in an enclosed transporter. Pretty serious stuff!

First unveiled at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, the new GT500KR packs a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine with total output of 540 horsepower. The 500KR (King of the Road) is already being touted as the most powerful production Mustang ever produced. As you might expect, the new GT will be available (this spring) at specially selected Ford dealerships only. Pricetag? About $60,000 (if you can get one). Production is limited to 1,000 units so you really shouldn’t hesitate if you’re serious about owning this monster.

About Shelby Automobiles, Inc.

Shelby Automobiles operates a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in North Las Vegas. The company builds the Cobra 427 S/C, Cobra 289 FIA and street Cobra component vehicles, as well as a variety of pre and post-title Shelbys based on the current generation Ford Mustang. The website address is www.shelbyautos.com.

It's All About the Opportunity – Part II

Friday, February 15th, 2008

The hits just keep on coming! There is so much positive news about the current strength and future potential of Las Vegas, Nevada that we’re just going to make a list because the data speaks for itself. One record after another was broken in 2007 and the next five years look stellar. Take a look for yourself….

1) 2007 sets a new all-time record for visitors to the hottest vacation/business destination on the planet. 39.2 million people showed up to do the “Vegas thing” last year, an increase of 300,000 from the previous record.

2) The 2007 visitation record was the FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW that we set a record for tourist attendance. What else can you say?

3) Las Vegas tied the all-time room occupancy record (first set in 1996) in 2007 by posting a breathtaking figure of 90.4%. Why breathtaking? Average hotel occupancy percentages on the Las Vegas Strip are a stunning 27 points higher than the national hotel-industry average.

4) It should be no surprise that Gaming Revenue set a new all-time record as well. A cool $10.9 billion hit the casino cages across Clark County in 2007. Nice work if you can get it!

5) $40 billion worth of new hotel/resort development is slated for completion between now and 2012, with 9,000 (out of a total of 40,000) new hotel rooms coming on-line in 2008 alone. How many new jobs might 40 billion dollars and 40,000 hotel rooms generate? About 110,000…give or take.

6) Entrepreneur.com recently featured Las Vegas, Nevada as one of the four “Top Places to Buy” residential real estate in the entire country for 2008. Go figure…

7) Just last week, Forbes.com saw fit to include Las Vegas real estate in their Top 10 List of “Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters”. What a surprise…

Las Vegas Homes: It's All About the Opportunity

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

**The foreclosure problems in Las Vegas stem from the unaffordable terms of the mortgages themselves, rather than from local economic conditions** CNN Money.com

The Las Vegas real estate market is TEMPORARILY DISTORTED due to outrageously incompetent LENDING parameters from 2003 through 2006…..

This is a CRITICAL issue to clearly understand. Las Vegas real estate represents a tremendous opportunity for savvy buyers that understand fundamental value. Buyers are firmly in control (for now) and scoring fantastic deals on Las Vegas homes left and right. Major market corrections necessarily provide outsized opportunities for smart operators that didn’t fall for the hype and borrow money (mortgages) that made NO sense.

The underlying economy in Southern Nevada is structurally sound and about to get stronger than ever. The article link at the bottom of this post makes the case for future strength very persuasively. Not enough to convince you? Drive down the Las Vegas Strip and count the construction cranes. Don’t live anywhere near Las Vegas at the moment? Google Earth will show you everything you need to see!

Buyers who wait in 2008 will stand in line in 2009

The Las Vegas Business Press just published an article aptly named The Boulevard Formula by Howard Stutz. It’s well worth your time to read.

Click Here to Enjoy this Highly Informative Article

The Ridges in Summerlin Debuts Club Ridges

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

The Ridges could well be considered the crown jewel of luxury real estate in Summerlin. This exclusive guard-gated community features some of the most dramatic and stunning natural topography in Southern Nevada and offers unparalleled views of the entire Las Vegas valley. It was just a few years ago that Forbes magazine named The Ridges in Summerlin as one of the three most exclusive gated communities in the entire country. Since then, The Ridges has continued to distinguish itself by adding to the already spectacular selection of amenities. Case in point; Club Ridges, a private fitness facility for the exclusive use of Ridges’ residents. The new clubhouse measures nearly 9,000 square feet and includes a 2,400 square-foot fitness room as well as a 1,300 square-foot aerobic area. Exterior amenities include five lighted tennis courts, including one championship court, a family style resort pool and a year-round, 82-degree, heated lap pool. Michael Antos from The Michelle Sterling Las Vegas Real Estate Team is your trusted source for guidance and advice in The Ridges luxury golf community. He can be reached at 702-373-3240.