Jan. 5: Las Vegas showcases the work of local artists, live music and more during the monthly multi-block party that is First Fridays. The next one is scheduled for Jan. 5. Visitors can print out a map from the First Fridays website, then devise a walk through the downtown Las Vegas Arts District. It's sure to provide lessons in art appreciation and people watching.
6-10 p.m. Info: www.firstfriday-lasvegas.org, (702) 384-0092.
Feb. 17: They're having a blast of a different kind at the 1 1/2 -year-old Atomic Testing Museum near the Strip. The museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, offers visitors all sorts of information about the Nevada test site, which lies about 65 miles outside of Vegas. Between 1951 and 1992, almost 1,000 nuclear devices were detonated there, said Ellen Leigh, curator at the museum. At the museum's Ground Zero Theater, an air cannon and other devices are used to simulate the experience of an atomic test, Leigh said. Some of the museum's docents have witnessed nuclear tests and are on hand to chat with visitors about the experience. On Feb. 17, the museum will open the exhibition "100 Suns," photographs by Michael Light of atomic tests in the Pacific and at the Nevada site.
Atomic Testing Museum, 755 E. Flamingo Road. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Info: (702) 794-5161, www.atomictestingmuseum.org.
Really big shows
Jan. 31 and March 30: Las Vegas has seen stranger stuff than killer rabbits and the knights who say "ni." So the zany Monty Python musical "Spamalot" should fit right in when it opens March 30 at the brand-new Grail Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas. And if you want to see it sooner than later, you'll have to go to Vegas. A noncompetition agreement means the musical won't be coming any closer to L.A. while it's in Sin City. Another big Tony winner opening in Vegas in 2007 is "The Producers." Paris launches the musical Jan. 31, with David Hasselhoff in the role of the outrageously flamboyant director Roger DeBris.
Tickets for "The Producers" $75.50-$143.50. Call (888) 727-4758. Ticket prices for "Spamalot" have not yet been determined but will go on sale in January through Ticketmaster and montypythonsspamalot.com.
-- Amy Hubbard
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