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Vegas’s Performing Arts Center

A new concert hall in Las Vegas rivals great performing arts centers around the world.

Tower, Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Las Vegas, Nev., image
Photo caption
Bronze bells ring in the center's new tower.


No offense to Carrot Top, the shaggy Luxor hotel comedian, but Las Vegas has never entirely lived up to its claim of being the Entertainment Capital of the World. Cheeky razzle-dazzle has long dominated stages on the Strip; now the city is burnishing its credentials on the highbrow side. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts opened downtown on March 10, providing an elegant venue for plays, musicals, and concerts.

With its limestone facade, cloud-grazing tower housing a 47-bell carillon, and art deco architectural elements, the $470 million edifice is an unlikely addition to the city landscape. “When I say this building will rival the greatest performing arts centers in this country and around the world, I’m really quite serious,” says Myron Martin, the center’s president and CEO.

The opening lineup included the Broadway blockbuster Wicked and a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. For a current list of shows and performances, call (702) 749-2000 or visit

Photography courtesy of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts/Geri Kodey


This article was first published in March 2012 and updated in August 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.