Although David Kranes’ “Nevada” has clever staging, competent lighting and effective set, the acting was slightly uneven with the hyper, cowboy-wannabe lead just “over the top” at times with a trope “yippie-ie-yahe-ness,” although the point of the play IS to show Las Vegas’ numerous over-the-top characters familiar to us all — drunk flirter; guileless off-key lounge singer in attire 30 years behind; old crooner with endless tales no one listens to; harassed floor manager always evaluating staff, complete with clipboard; bartender who endures; card shark-turned opportunistic thief; innocent rich-gal, supporting everyone else’s dreams with her body and especially her wallet; and manic-gambler (complete with incorrect two hands on throwing dice).
We see these drifters and dreamers in six different staged areas simultaneously…which is “dream-quality” blocking.
Each iconic character lives their Western roles faithfully for tourists’ benefit, and atmosphere, in “Nevada’s” ‘Golden Dude Casino,’ complete with amorphous gilded-cowboy statue centered on the ol’ time bar mantle.
Acted primarily by members of MFA Professional Training program at Nevada Conservatory Theatre UNLV, it succeeds at conveying a “lyrical non-realistic nuanced production” which uses a “visual equivalent of heightened language.”
David Kranes is “emeritus professor of English at University of Utah… graduating from Yale Drama School. For fourteen years he served as the artistic director of the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Lab. During his teaching career, Kranes received every teaching award offered by the University of Utah, including the prestigious University Professor Award and Ramona Cannon Teaching Award.” (Source: “The Kings English Bookshop” website.) 8 p.m., October 16-18.
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