Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Smith Center Cabaret

Last year the Smith Center for the Performing Arts opened near downtown. We have been to a number of events in the 2,000 seat main auditorium (including Wicked a few months ago) but have wanted to see what the smaller 250 seat cabaret venue was like.

We’re on the email list for event announcements, and I finally found one in the cabaret that sounded ok and fit our schedule – we’ve been trying to keep working on the kitchen to get that darn thing done already and not wanting to take time away. I purchased tickets for a recent Friday night to hear Billy Stritch sing the Mel Torme songbook; it was a pretty nice evening.

The Smith Center was built with an Art Deco styling, to kind of match the Hoover Dam. It’s a little different than any of the casinos, which have been built in quite a variety of styles but nothing specifically Art Deco. New York New York comes close, but a few years ago it was modernized (again) and not doesn’t have much of a specific style. The cabaret at the Smith Center is built on two levels, with main seating based on small round tables with four chairs around each. The second level balcony runs around the two sides and the back and has smaller tables for two along the railings.

They serve a variety of snacks, cheese and dessert trays along with having a full mixed bar and table service. Looks like most people get there early and just enjoy some time, like most club scenes. I thought the ceiling was rather interesting – steps of glass with chrome strips

The music was pretty good – Billy on piano with a drummer and upright bass.

I hadn’t heard of him before, but evidently he’s been around town a lot. Clint Holmes was in the audience (and introduced) along with Mel Torme’s sister. Clint is a regular at the cabaret theater, been wanting to see him but his nights seemed to conflict with other events. Someday.