Thursday 10.18 “True!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” It’s the first line from one of the most popular horror stories ever written, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. Get reacquainted (and spooked) with the dark side of literature at TIMELESS TALES OF TERROR, a performance by the Babcock Performing Readers, with readings of 19th-century-set horror stories—all for (a not scary) free admission. Timeless Tales of Terror @ Little Theatre, 200 S. Central Campus Drive, University of Utah Union Building, 7:30 p.m., BabcockReaders.com
Friday 10.19 The first annual TAIWAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL might come as a bit of a surprise, since it skipped the “modest beginnings” part and opted for a full-scale five-day festival at multiple venues. Here’s one entertainment route today: Attend a tea ceremony at the Grand America (1 p.m.) and head to the Rose Wagner Center where you can see a film (Eat Drink Man Woman, at 3:30 p.m.—one of the many films showing today), then enjoy a panpipe-and-puppet-theater performance (7 p.m.). But that’s just one of the day’s options. Take a look online for a detailed list of events. Taiwan Cultural Festival @ various locations, Oct. 15-20, SLCFilmCenter.org
• In the midst of buildings coming down in Sugar House, it’s refreshing to hear about the opening of a new business. The (aptly named) Sugar Space is a multidisciplinary arts center, and is celebrating its opening with two dance pieces by founders Brittany Reese Dance: THE COURTING GAME and BLINK. The two pieces explore the intertwined concept of attraction through the ages and what role space and time play in that—and the time is right tonight for all Sugar House-a-holics to unite! The Courting Game and BLINK @ The Sugar Space, 616 E. Wilmington Ave. (2190 South), Oct. 19-20, 8 p.m. TheSugarSpace.com
Saturday 10.20 While some look to the future of new businesses for entertainment (see previous item), others look to the past—like the repertoire of the vocal quintet FIVE BY DESIGN. This weekend, the group presents the comedy musical sketch Stay Tuned, which features classic songs, memorable commercial jingles (Rice Krispies, Chevrolet) and comedy sketches from the 1950s and 1960s. Abravanel Hall becomes a variety-show venue for the whole family—with Utah Symphony’s help. Five by Design @ Abravanel Hall, 123 S. West Temple, Oct. 19-20, 8 p.m. Tickets: 533-NOTE, UtahSymphony.org
• Typically speaking, a cheesy horror movie includes piles of dead bodies as well as characteristic lines of dialogue—you know things are about to get scary when you hear: “Should we split up?” or “The window won’t open!” The folks from OUT/EX love to hate these films as much as the next person and are presenting their own “best of the bad” horror clips in Horrible-Terrific/Terrible-Horror, with clips from underground filmmakers in the lost media archive. Eliza Wren also plays her original score during a screening of the 1985 Disney fantasy Return to Oz. OUT/EX @ NoBrow Coffee and Tea, 315 E. 300 South, 8 p.m.
Sunday 10.21 Some authors present difficult stories with sugarcoating to help the medicine go down. Mary Dickson doesn’t roll like that. In EXPOSED, a play produced by Plan-B Theatre Company, the occasional and long-time City Weekly contributor looks at nuclear testing and the fallout—literal and otherwise—from four decades of American government testing. A downwinder herself, Dickson weaves her personal story with the national identity of America and all its secrets. The docudrama runs in conjunction with The Pickle Company’s exhibition by the same name. Exposed @ Studio Theatre, Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, Oct. 19-Nov. 4. Tickets: 355-ARTS, PlanBTheatre.org
Monday 10.22 It’s easy to see that Exposed (see Sunday) is easily the scariest event this week due to its real-world subject matter. But that doesn’t mean fun-scary performances like THRILLER don’t have their place. Odyssey Dance Company brings the Mummy, Jason and Frankenstein to life in its seasonal hit. Catch the production at Kingsbury Hall where you can relive all of the favorite pieces like “The Curse of the Mummy” and “Salem’s Mass.” Thriller @ Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, U of U, Oct. 18-31. Tickets: 581-9100; Ellen Eccles Theatre, 43 S. Main, Logan, Oct. 18-20. Tickets: 435-752-0026, CenterForTheArts.us; Tuacahn Amphitheatre, 1100 Tuacahn Dr., St. George, Oct. 25-31. Tickets: 801-746-9882, Tuacahn.org
Wednesday 10.24 We all think we know how to do origami. With a few folds of paper and a little imagination, we’ve got a crane. But then there’s the work of origami artist S. MATTHEW JONES. His show at Art Access II Gallery titled BROWN SERIES, FOLDING DECAY tops any scrap-paper bird and explores the complex cycles of life in nature. Right … well, on to watercolors, fellow amateurs! Folding Decay: Work by Matthew Jones @ Art Access II Gallery, 230 S. 500 West, 328-0703, Oct. 19-Nov. 9. Reception: Oct. 19, 6-9 p.m.