Tom Donoghue/Picture Group
Monday, June 27, 2011 | 1:21 p.m.
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The 25th Annual Golden Rainbow Ribbon of Life show drew a healthy crowd of 1,100 to Paris Theater on Sunday, surpassing last year’s attendance and raising more than $140,000 even before the take from the silent auction was tallied.
But the post-show buzz was already about the venue for next year’s show, which will be held at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The announcement was made near the end of the production by KLAS Channel 8 anchor and show co-host Chris Saldana, who handled emcee duties with the eminent Edie the Entertainer of “Zumanity.”
The production was infused with a Smith Center feel already, as Dana Rogers Martin, wife of Smith Center executive Myron Martin and a former Miss Texas America, sang “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked.” The musical is part of the Smith Center Broadway Las Vegas series schedule and plays the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall from Aug. 29-Oct. 7 2012.
The date for the 2012 show is already locked in: June 26. Golden Rainbow President Greg Nielson said talks were ongoing for about two months to stage next year’s benefit at the Smith Center. It’s a good move, beneficial to both sides, as Golden Rainbow seeks to continue to raise money and awareness for those suffering from AIDS/HIV and the Smith Center seeks to bolster its local identity in its first year of operations. The show has ping-ponged around the city in its 25-year history, most recently being held at Jubilee Theater at Bally’s, the Las Vegas Hilton Theater and at Paris. Maybe it can find a permanent home at the Smith Center.
The show itself was stuffed with great performances. Clint Holmes; Josh Strickland; Stephanie Dianna Sanchez; the casts of “Jubilee,” “The Lion King,” “Phantom -- Las Vegas Spectacular,” Rag Tag Entertainment, “Jersey Boys,” “Fantasy,” Donny & Marie, “Bite,” “Le Reve,” “Divas Las Vegas,” Show in the Sky at Studio 54, “Vegas! The Show,” “Tony ’n Tina’s Wedding,” “An Evening at La Cage,” the UNLV Dance Department, the Las Vegas Locos cheerleading team and “Centrifuge” at Foothills High School all participated.
Alumni numbers featuring Nielson and past presidents Ron DeCar, Carol Hunter, Lee Platkin, Paul Speers, Brian Sagert and a stand-up set from George Wallace filled out the nearly three-hour program for one of the city’s best fundraising productions. It’d be tempting to say, let’s do it next year, but that’s already handled.