The Great White Way comes to the Comstock

Submitted photoTony Wyndisch reprises Gene Kelly's role in "Singing In the Rain" from "A Tribute to the Best of Broadway" by the Nevada Civic Light Opera.

Submitted photoTony Wyndisch reprises Gene Kelly's role in "Singing In the Rain" from "A Tribute to the Best of Broadway" by the Nevada Civic Light Opera.

Broadway comes to Virginia City this weekend with "A Tribute to Broadway" at Piper's Opera House.

Twenty professional performers with the Nevada Civic Light Opera will celebrate numerous musicals by singing songs and performing song-and-dance routines, among other numbers.

The show will include parts of "Phantom of the Opera," "Annie," "Cats," "Chicago," "The King and I," "Les Miserables," "Cabaret" and more.

Susane Tagayev, who is directing the show, said all of the performers are from the Reno-Tahoe-Carson City area and have performed in many previous Nevada Civic Light Opera shows.

The show will be different from a traditional musical in that it will be many musicals, with lyrics the audience can sing along to.

"We divide it up into sections like divas, leading men, song and dance, kids on Broadway, great duets and show stoppers," she said.

One of those leading men is Mark D. Williams, whom Lev Tagayev, Susane's husband and producer called "one of the most popular tenors in the area."

Williams, of Minden, is the special guest artist and had performed the role of the phantom in the Nevada Civic Light Opera's production of "Phantom of the Opera" at Piper's five years ago.

He is the director of music at Lake Tahoe Community College, Susane Tagayev said, and performs lead roles for the Western Nevada Musical Theater and the Nevada Opera.

"He's been working with us for 10 years, and he's absolutely brilliant," she said. "He did 'Phantom' five years ago to sold-out houses. We had to add two shows because the word-of-mouth was just incredible."

Show tune lovers will be in their version of heaven with "Music of the Night" from "Phantom of the Opera," by Williams, "My Christine" by Emily Hammer of Reno and "Billy Elliott" by Ryan Vettle of Carson City.

Ryan was called back to perform the same show in New York, she said.

Tagayev said there will be many songs as well as special effects, such as a rain curtain for "Singing in the Rain," done by Tony Wyndisch, who also performs "Razzle Dazzle."

"It's not just people standing in a tux," she said. "It's about two hours' worth of songs."

There are only five performances, so reservations are a must.

Nevada Civic Light Opera was formed by Lev and Susane Tagayev, the founders of Tahoe Arts: Professional Theatre in Residence, in 2004. 

Its first production was Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music," starring Saundra Chaon in October at the Carson City Community Center and in November at Caesars Tahoe.

The Nevada Civic Light Opera has performed at Piper's Opera House and the Carson City Community Center with "Phantom of the Opera," "Head Chefs, Divas, and Desserts," "Showboat in Concert," as well as the Broadway smash musical, "Jekyll and Hyde," which also featured Williams.

Other productions include "Songs of Sinatra" starring Frank Carabetta and Meredith Willson's "The Music Man."

"A Tribute to Broadway" will have a champagne gala opening at 6:45 p.m. and show at 7:30 p.m. Friday. There will be matinee shows only at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Sept. 21 and Sept. 22.

- Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or call 881-7351.


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