Wow! Ribbon of Life Benefit a Great Showcase for Las Vegas Talent

Beautiful people, in the form of Nathan Estimada (Chippendales at the Rio) and Pamela Schumacher (Jubilee alumni) welcomed guests to the 2012 Ribbon of Life benefit.
Photo by Diane Taylor

A year ago, a good friend raved about a benefit she had attended. She insisted on buying a ticket for me to that same benefit this year.

What a gift.

The benefit was the 26th Annual Ribbon of Life benefit, this year held June 24 at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The event is organized by Golden Rainbow, an organization helping Southern Nevadans affected by HIV/AIDS.

Just about everyone who has anything to do with entertainment in southern Nevada participates in the benefit. In addition to producing an entertainment show, Golden Rainbow organizers also produce an auction and a glossy souvenir booklet with full-page ads sponsored by “anybody who is anybody” in the Las Vegas valley.

(One surprise in the booklet was a full-page smiling photo of President Barak Obama. The first reaction is: Did the President buy a page, too? Upon closer look, a group of Obama supporters paid for the ad.)

Before the show began, a number of tall bejeweled showgirls and muscle-bound male dancers were on hand to look pretty and pose for photos. Several tables of auction items also attracted attention. As is the newest trend, auction bids could be transmitted by text, iPhone or iPad…no more bother with silly pencils and sign-up sheets.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts made all 380 artists participating in the show look and sound their best.

Photo by Diane Taylor

The caliber of the show itself was first rate — and I’m speaking as an entertainment junkie of many years. Frankly, I didn’t know we had so many talented dancers in town — with or without costumes. I took short videos of most, but not all of the scenes — not acts exactly, but scenes with singers, dancers and even acrobats. And clearly, lots of planning and rehearsal time was involved. The theme of the show was Ovations, so folks who liked Broadway-style production numbers were in heaven.

Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center was a perfect venue for the many show-stopping dance numbers. Even a few performers I had seen in other local venues looked and sounded better at Smith Center. The only problem? For some reason, the line to get in the men’s room at intermission was longer than the line to the ladies room. ALL the ladies were talking about it.

So clearly I, along with every entertainment writer in town, had a good time at the Ribbon of Life benefit last Sunday. The cause is a good one and the showcase of talent is spectacular. Bravo all!


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