Essentials: A&E Picks June 20-26 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Entertainment Picks

Essentials: A&E Picks June 20-26

Jeff Wilson, Doug Stanhope, Once Upon a Mattress & More




Jeff Wilson: The Greened House Effect

Those who have actually accepted the reality of climate change can feel overwhelmed by the subject; it feels too immense to respond to anything an individual can do. But veteran builder and home-improvement show host Jeff Wilson provides a guide to the many ways individuals can turn their homes into examples of more responsible living.

The Greened House Effect takes Wilson’s 25 years of experience and channels it into helpful hints for “greening” residences. He addresses the idea of a “deep energy retrofit”—a top-to-bottom extreme makeover to make your current home as energy-efficient as possible, in ways that can allow you to recover the expense as quickly as possible through energy-cost savings. It may end up feeling like the most responsible investment you ever made in your home. Join Wilson for a book signing, and learn more about the project at (Scott Renshaw)
Jeff Wilson: The Greened House Effect @ Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square, 801-328-2586, June 20, 7 p.m., free.

Maximilian Werner: Evolved
Utah author Maximilian Werner has already produced one of the state’s best nonfiction books of 2013 in his fascinating memoir Gravity Hill. But in his latest nonfiction work, Werner expands his view beyond his own life story to something that’s more like the life story of the entire human species.
Evolved: Chronicles of a Pleistocene Mind takes readers on a journey beyond the assumptions that the simple decisions they make in life are simple at all. In fact, they might be grounded in tens of thousands of years of evolutionary processes, making such mundane matters as the side of the bed you choose to sleep on the end of an epic biological journey. Werner makes evolutionary theory accessible through case studies of both human and nonhuman subjects, teaching us how immersed all living creatures still are in the things that made the difference between life and death hundreds of generations ago. (Scott Renshaw)
Maximilian Werner: Evolved: Chronicles of a Pleistocene Mind @ The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, June 20, 7 p.m.


Doug Stanhope

Comedian Doug Stanhope returns to Salt Lake City for the first time since recording his 2012 Comedy Central special, Before Turning the Gun on Himself, here; the special quickly reached No. 1 on many comedy charts.

Stanhope’s always been a provocative comic, not only for his material, but also for his choice turns on television. He co-hosted The Man Show with Joe Rogan for a while before becoming that creepy guy ensnaring blotto coeds in Girls Gone Wild: America Uncovered. But he has also always relished being an outsider, going so far as to organize a touring group of comedians called The Unbookables. Still, after all that negative attention, his live show is widely considered one of the best in the country, and his colleagues regularly sing his praises; Louis C.K. cast him in an emotional turn as a struggling comedian threatening to commit suicide.

The thing is, if you go to Stanhope’s website, the first thing you’ll find is Wolf Blitzer casually interviewing an Oklahoma tornado survivor for some good old cable-disaster porn. Why, you may ask? Because when Blitzer repeatedly tells her that she is blessed and then asks if she “thanks the Lord” for her and her family’s survival, she can’t help but mention that no, she doesn’t, because she’s an atheist. It might seem like an odd cause to get behind for a comedian of Stanhope’s reputation, but Stanhope is raising funds to help rebuild their home—pretty touching for a comedian more used to telling jokes about prostitutes and their libertarian leanings. (Jacob Stringer)
Doug Stanhope @ The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 801-467-8499, June 21, 8:30 p.m., $25.,

Colour Maisch: The Soft Animal of Your Body
Some artists have an immediate, tactile, almost visceral relationship with the materials of their art. Colour Maisch is completing a master of fine arts in ceramics at the University of Utah, but she incorporates a lot of other materials—even found objects—into her works. For example, when she encases shapes formed of clay inside nylon stockings, or adds porcelain and dried grasses into the mix, the results are both organic and slightly otherworldly; they seem to have fused to create some strange new being, an unexpected entity in the world that defies expectation yet distantly refers to familiar things. The stocking-clad blobs of clay resemble cloves of garlic.

It’s no surprise that food enters into it. “I am drawn to the lush, animal nature of the gut,” the artist says on her website,, and she is part-owner of The Blended Table catering company. The creations of her artistic table play on the way we consume art, with the mind as well as with “gut reactions,” and they are as visually lush as they are enigmatic, beckoning to the inquisitive eye. There is a kind of alchemy that doesn’t transform the objects as much as it does those who view them.

Maisch has shown at numerous other local galleries, including Kayo Gallery, the Art Barn and Patrick Moore, but this is her first exhibit at Nox Contemporary. (Brian Staker)
Colour Maisch: The Soft Animal of Your Body @ Nox Contemporary, 440 S. 400 West, Suite H, 801-289-6269, through July 19, by appointment only, free; opening reception June 21, 6-9 p.m.

Design of the Devil’s Hand?
What is the relationship between art and evil? “The idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” as the saying goes, implying that an imagination not tasked with chores will fall prey to all sorts of debauchery—including, perhaps, making art.

In the group show Design of the Devil’s Hand?, local artists Robin Banks and Justin Nelson-Carruth examine the connection between art, “the devil” and the beauty of uniformity. “The devil” is in quotes presumably because, as such a powerful archetype, the word can represent any number of things—from evil to transformation, depending on whether you consult mainstream religious authorities or Tarot-card readers.

With more than 20 local artists represented, crossing the spectrum of styles and the uniformity of the printmaking medium, the exhibition should provide a lot of fascinating takes on the subject. What does the sensuality of Sri Whipple’s work, the street-smart charisma of Trent Call, the naturalistic outlines of Nic Annette Miller’s prints or the psychological subversion of Meg Charlier’s art have to say on the topic of the devil?

In the hands of these local artists, the nature of individuality in opposition to culture’s demands to conform is tied up with the devil as much as the making of art itself. At the core of the show is the devil, not as a shadowy underworld figure but as a side of human nature. Befittingly, Squatters is providing Hell’s Keep and Outer Darkness beer. (Brian Staker)
Design of the Devil’s Hand? @ Mandate Press, 1077 S. Main, 801-359-4868, June 21, 7-11 p.m., free.

Once Upon a Mattress
A mute king, an overbearing queen, a meek prince and a princess nicknamed “Fred” from the swamplands. These are the central characters in Once Upon a Mattress, the comedic musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess & the Pea.
The 1959 off-Broadway production is a refreshing change of pace for the University of Utah Department of Theatre. Getting away from dark and dramatic themes, this show takes its cues from Broadway’s golden age with beautiful song numbers and big, colorful dance routines. It’s a summer pick that’s lighthearted and family-friendly.

Adding to the fun, theater patrons are invited to “picnic on the plaza” before each evening performance. Bring blankets and your own food and drink, and relax on the lawn in front of the Pioneer Memorial Theatre. On Saturdays before each matinee, families with tickets for the show can attend a free tea party with music, games, crafts, lemonade and cookies. (Katherine Pioli)
Once Upon a Mattress @ Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, 801-581-7100, Friday-Sunday, June 21-July 7, 7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, $11 students, $18 general.


Andrew Dice Clay
The brash personality of Andrew Dice Clay—especially during his stand-up heyday in the 1980s, while opening for the likes of Guns N’ Roses—was always part of his charm. It also made him easy to love to hate.  

On a 2011 episode of the podcast WTF!, Clay told host Marc Maron about trying to leave that image behind by simply getting onstage and telling stories about his everyday life, like shopping at Staples with his kid. It’s hard to imagine “The Diceman” playing suburban dad, but that weird juxtaposition of his past and present is part of what gives him his current cachet. And Clay does have cachet, especially in the wake of his critically acclaimed turn in the final season of HBO’s Entourage.

Clay’s attempted honesty now, after years of trying to outrun his leather-sporting, fingerless-glove-wearing, smoking, potty-mouthed image, has also landed him a feature role in, of all things, Woody Allen’s upcoming film Blue Jasmine. So, though it may be hard to leave behind the legacy of caustically spewing “Jack and Jill went up the hill” jokes, starring opposite Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Louis C.K. in a film about corporate greed in America certainly can’t hurt.

A guy who once was the most popular and controversial comedian in the land, then spent a good portion of several decades relegated to C-list celebrity turns, gladly returns to play funny hardball once again in the big leagues—this time with real depth and, if anything, a shockingly self-effacing ego. (Jacob Stringer)
Andrew Dice Clay @ Wiseguys Comedy Café, 2194 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801-463-2909, June 22, 7 & 9:30 p.m., $25.


Plan-B Theatre Company: Reykjavik

In the final years of the Cold War, Russia had a stockpile of nuclear weapons that was nearly double that of the United States, spies were held up everywhere for both sides, and trust was in short supply. In October 1986, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavik, Iceland, as part of a two-day summit that would eventually lead to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and a slow end to the war.

Now, Plan-B Theatre Company will present a dramatized recounting of that summit with the latest addition to its Script-In-Hand series, Reykjavik. Actors Robert Scott Smith (Reagan) and Jason Tatom (Gorbachev) will be doing a stripped-down reading of the one-act production by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, historian and author Richard Rhodes (The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Masters of Death), in which the two world leaders debate over the removal and destruction of their countries’ nuclear weapons. (Gavin Sheehan)
Plan-B Theatre Company: Reykjavik @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, June 24, 7 p.m., free but tickets required.


Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher: Daggers Drawn
You’ve probably seen one of award-winning editorial cartoonist “Kal” Kallaugher’s amusing creations in print or making rounds on the Internet; Kallaugher is the editorial cartoonist for The Economist and, formerly, The Baltimore Sun. Throughout his 35-year career, he has created more than 8,000 cartoons and 140 magazine covers.

Daggers Drawn: 35 Years of Kal Cartoons in the Economist, which Kallaugher will be signing copies of at this event, is his sixth published work. It features over 300 of his best cartoons, Economist covers and essays, each a blend of journalism, art and humor. The book cover gives readers a taste for the particular brand of humor inside with a colorful cartoon of angry world leaders with daggers threateningly drawn at Kallaugher, who brandishes his weapon (a pen).

Daggers Drawn is beyond funny, and a must-have for cartoon enthusiasts, political junkies and anyone looking for a good laugh. The Salt Lake Tribune’s own editorial cartoonist, Pat Bagley, will be introducing Kallaugher at the event. (Renee Estrada)
Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher: Daggers Drawn @ Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 East, 801-521-3819, June 25, 7 p.m., free.

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