Essentials: Entertainment Picks April 23-29 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
Support the Free Press.
Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters.
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984.
Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

Culture » Entertainment Picks

Essentials: Entertainment Picks April 23-29





"444" is police radio code for officer-involved shooting. The anonymous arts collective MITT2020 is presenting exhibit 444 at CUAC Contemporary Art, featuring artifacts, found photography and video footage from local police shootings in recent years. 444 is among the most highly provocative and politically charged exhibit the nonprofit art gallery has staged. Although the group says in its statement that its "aim is to present artifacts that reflect actual items used in recent police-related homicides, including video footage released by police about those incidents, in a way that doesn't take an ideological position," it has stated that the officers were, in most cases, justified—although some incidents are still under investigation. Attempting to remove ideology from the presentation might prove overly idealistic, but attempting to create an environment that fosters open dialogue is commendable. The sheer number of such incidents, when presented together in this way, and the act of bearing witness to the video evidence, suggests wider implications about the culture in which we are living. Viewing these objects in the context of an art exhibit causes one to ponder the visual semiotics and aesthetic language of these incidents. Some incidents are still fresh in the memory of local residents, and this presentation is, on one level, a stark reminder of the pain that resonates through a community after any act of violence. But it might also provide a welcome opportunity to step back, reflect and consider ways we as a community and culture might find resolution. (Brian Staker) 444: an exhibition by MITT2020 @ CUAC Contemporary Art, 175 E. 200 South, 385-215-6768, through May 9, Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays, noon-4 p.m.,



Pygmalion Theatre Co.: Mockingbird
Adapted by Julie Jensen from Kathryn Erskine's National Book Award-winning novel of the same name, Mockingbird is brought with great flair to the local stage by Pygmalion Theatre Co.—not "flair" in the sense of excessive or ornamental flash, but an elegance and sweep that belies the small-minded notion that tastefulness and conscientiousness must be inherently dry or plain. Tracy Callahan's direction flows organically and keeps up a brisk pace while giving individual scenes their chance to land dramatically. And there is a lot of drama: The story focuses on Caitlin, a fifth-grade girl with Asperger's Syndrome, struggling to come to emotional terms with the aftermath of a school shooting in which her brother and others of his peers were killed. Her classmates—and, closer to home, her father—are all reeling in ways that seem entirely foreign to her. That natural conflict drives the play, anchored by the perfectly calibrated performance Camrey Bagley (pictured) gives as Caitlin. She pulls off the tremendously difficult feat of playing a character with a very pronounced kind of otherness without ever veering into caricature, all while still conveying Caitlin's extreme precociousness and periodic razor-sharp wit. The rest of the ensemble serves, by turns, as Greek chorus, scenery and a more general sense of a larger swirling incomprehensibility. Occasionally, they cohere into discrete characters; Robert Scott Smith stands out as Caitlin's grieving father. Mockingbird is a great example of staging as text in theater and is an entertaining and emotionally rewarding play to boot. (Danny Bowes) Pygmalion Theatre Co.: Mockingbird @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, April 23-25, April 30-May 2, 7:30 p.m.; matinees April 26 & May 2, 2 p.m., $20.



TiltShift Film Festival
In recent years, film festivals have emerged in what seems to be every possible area of specialization, from comedy to horror, from LGBTQ to especially-for-kids. But just as adolescents and teens often find themselves between worlds in their lives, it's been hard to find a showcase of films focused on the breadth and complexity of their experience. Co-sponsored by the Utah Film Center and SpyHop, the inaugural TiltShift Film Festival looks to fill that gap. Organizers have programmed five features—narrative and documentary, and from a variety of countries—with a unique youth perspective that's sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always honest. Among the highlights are a pair of films that were featured in the 2015 Sundance Film Festival: Girlhood (pictured), a rich portrait of a 16-year-old black girl in Paris who tries to find strength when she befriends a trio of tough neighborhood girls; and How to Dance in Ohio, the documentary study of several young people on the autism spectrum participating in a program to prepare them for social situations—like proms—that often confound them. But beyond watching stories about their experience, teens can get a taste for how to create stories of their own. A trio of short film programs will showcase work by youth filmmakers, and workshops (some drop-in, others requiring registration) will introduce would-be auteurs to the finer points of production design, special-effects makeup and choreographing a fight scene. This weekend, Utah teens, the movies are all about you. (Scott Renshaw) TiltShift Film Festival @ Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 801-746-7000, April 24-26, visit website for event schedule, free admission.



Alonzo King LINES Ballet
For Alonzo King, traditional ballet is simply a starting point. He and his company LINES use ballet as a foundation, then renew and reinvigorate it with contemporary energy to help transcend the boundaries of the traditional art form. That's no mean feat, but King and his company have been pulling it off for more than 30 years. Initially, it helped King to exist outside ballet centers like Paris, St. Petersburg, London and New York City when attempting to develop so radical an art ideology. San Francisco was perfect for him to set up shop and experiment on the sometimes confining rigors of the balletic tradition. He saw the art form as a science of sorts, founded on universal standards of movement, including, as he calls it, "geometric principles of energy and evolution." His aim was to build an entirely new language of movement beyond the accepted strict classical forms, techniques and structures by creating works he refers to as "thought structures"—manipulations of natural energies that rule and regulate the shape and movement of pieces. His newest ballet, Biophony, was created in collaboration with bio-acoustician Bernie Krause, whose score is a collection of five rare soundscapes, including both marine and terrestrial habitats. In continuing King's previous explorations into community and cultural traditions, this new piece extends those "thought structures" into the natural environment as a nod to bio-interconnectedness. Also on the program are two pieces from the company's repertoire: "Concerto of Two Violins" set to Bach's Concerto in D Minor and "Men's Quintet" with music by Edgar Meyer and Pharoah Sanders. (Jacob Stringer) Alonzo King LINES Ballet @ Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 435-655-3114, April 25, 7:30 p.m., $20-$69.



10th annual Nihon Matsuri Japan Festival
Before Utah was even a state, Japanese immigrants and their descendants lived in a section of downtown Salt Lake City known as Japantown. The community thrived from 1884 until 1966, when the core section of the neighborhood was demolished to make way for the Salt Palace. The Japanese Church of Christ and the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple are all that remain of the area. Nihon Matsuri is an annual festival aimed at promoting Japanese and Japanese-American culture in Utah, as well as giving younger generations the opportunity to explore that ancestral culture. The public is invited to take part in this unique festival that features calligraphy, martial arts, a cosplay fashion show, ikebana flower arranging, doll making, bonsai classes, an anime-costume contest, historic photos, plentiful Japanese food and more. For this 10th anniversary, festivities will also include singing from the One Voice Children's Choir (pictured) and live odori dance and taiko-drumming performances. (Gavin Sheehan) 10th annual Nihon Matsuri Japan Festival @ 100 South (Japantown Street) between 200 West and 300 West, April 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free.