Essentials: Entertainment Picks Jan. 16-22 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

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Essentials: Entertainment Picks Jan. 16-22




Salt 9: Jillian Mayer
Many understand the phrase “identity crisis” as describing a phenomenon that usually befalls younger people struggling to understand who they are. But artist and Salt 9 exhibitor Jillian Mayer is asking what happens to modern generations when you throw in the complicating factor of online identity. An exciting artist in her early 30s, Mayer brings a post-technological-revolution vantage point to an exhibition that might leave some viewers shaken, if not stirred. The gallery space floor will be covered in neon green carpet and sand, with a green screen used as a backdrop for projecting a subject into any possible situation or form. With this “canvas” of the exhibition, Mayer is suggesting that in a technological society, the subject can and will be anything they wish to be in the virtual world, creating identities as desired for public persona and exchange. The “reality” of the past has become something anomalous, and the produced “variable of identity” is the new “reality.” The exhibition also includes a video of Mayer’s own birth, given a background of green glow, the same as her exhibition’s “canvas.” The face of her mother is exchanged with her own—Mayer using her own face to give birth to herself. A sculpture of her own head has also been replicated from pixels taken from the Internet, an eerie new variation on carving images into materials by hand. (Ehren Clark)
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, 801-581-7332, Jan. 17-Aug. 17, exhibition preview Jan. 16, 4 p.m., free. UMFA.


Rio Gallery: Only Light
Martin Luther King Day is Monday, Jan. 20, and the Rio Gallery will celebrate the occasion with the group exhibition Only Light. The title comes from a quote from Dr. King: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Inspired by those words, 20 local artists of note will present pieces illuminating that theme in their own personal genres and styles. The group includes some of the most progressive artists in the area, like Czech-born Lenka Konopasek, whose work is marked by the conflict-ridden history of Central Europe; Trent Alvey, whose work is influenced by Eastern philosophy; Trevor Southey, who explores the dialogue between Mormonism and homosexuality in sweeping postmodern canvases; and Margaret Tarampi, who’s been influenced by her study of psychology. The work in the show goes as far back as Carlos Anderson’s 1939 painting “Genius Draws No Color Line”, depicting Marian Anderson singing in front of the Lincoln Memorial after not being allowed to perform for an integrated audience, and is an example of the Depression-era Social Realist school. The artists participate in a kind of visual dialogue on civil and human rights through their works on this show, and it’s illuminating to experience that conversation. The documentary film Utah’s Freedom Riders will also be shown, courtesy of KUED. The exhibition is a joint effort of the Utah Arts & Museums Visual Arts program and the Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs. (Brian Staker)
Rio Gallery, 300 S. Rio Grande St., 801-236-7555, Jan. 17-Feb. 14, opening reception Jan. 17, 6-9 p.m., free.

Tim Meadows
Like a lot of Saturday Night Live alumni, Tim Meadows is probably best known for a character he created during his 10 years on the show—in his case, Leon Phelps, aka The Ladies Man. Even though it’s been 14 years since he left SNL and the Ladies Man movie quickly came and went in theaters, Meadows is still enjoying the recognition he gets from its resurgence through cable reruns. That doesn’t mean he’s sitting around just waiting for royalty checks, though. Since 2012, Meadows has been on the road perfecting his stand-up routine—something he started doing only relatively recently. Meadows is no stranger to live comedy—between SNL and several years with Chicago’s famed Second City improv group before that—but stand-up was never something he gave much thought to. For a large part of the 2000s, Meadows toured the country with a few other improv performers, and the show would be built around the group. He’d do the occasional five minutes of stand-up during the show, and as he got more comfortable on his own, the sets would get longer. After spending time in 2011 honing his craft at various Chicago open-mic nights, Meadows finally hit the road for a solo stand-up tour, and hasn’t looked back. Stand-up has become his new passion, and he’s spent the past two years playing clubs all over the country. This weekend, he brings his laid-back style to Utah for two nights at Wiseguys in West Valley City—but don’t expect the Courvoisier to flow along with the laughs. (Trevor Hale)
Wiseguys West Valley, 2194 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801- 463-2909, Jan. 17-18, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., $20.

CLOCHE Artists Collective
There is a kind of clarity in beginning a new year, and Art Access Gallery opens the year with glass sculptures by the CLOCHE Artists Collective. They’re works with a certain weight, heft and presence, yet also a kind of lightness implied by the medium. The group consists of Jack Bowman, Dan Cummings, Stephen Teuscher, Kerry Transtrum and Brian Usher. They use a variety of glassworking techniques, and often add other materials such as stone, wood and paint to the works in an effort to create pieces that engage the viewer in new ways. It may not even be initially apparent that glass is the primary material. These meditative works provide a space to clear your mind and prepare for what the new year may bring. Showing concurrently with the glassworks are documentary photographs and writings by Kristina Lenzi and Sue Henich. (Brian Staker)
Art Access Gallery, 230 S. 500 West, No. 230, 801- 328-0703, Jan. 17-Feb. 14, opening reception Jan. 17, 6-9 p.m., free.

Nitro Circus Live
Travis Pastrana has made a name for himself over the years with a little bit of everything—including BMX, motocross, rally racing, NASCAR driving and X Games Championships. He may be most recognized as the ringleader of Nitro Circus—a collective of extreme sports athletes who specialize in death-defying stunts. Starting out with a series of DVDs made in Pastrana’s Maryland backyard, Nitro Circus caught the attention of Jackass producers Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine, who helped turn it into a series for MTV. Nitro Circus Live boasts a crew of more than 40 professional athletes who have been on the road with their high-flying show throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand. With only 15 U.S. cities scheduled in North America, the show will be stopping by Salt Lake City this week. Leaning away from the slapstick comedy stunts that defined Jackass, Pastrana and his crew of modern-day daredevils use everything they can—from BMX bikes, to motorcycles, even golf carts—to entertain and impress. (Trevor Hale)
EnergySolutions Arena, 301 W. South Temple, 801-325-7328, Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m. $37-$137.

Utah Repertory Theatre: Bonnie & Clyde
Beloved, celebrated Broadway musicals have been built around Nazis in Germany (Cabaret), Nazis in Austria (The Sound of Music) and a giant carnivorous plant that eats people (Little Shop of Horrors). So no, it shouldn’t seem completely preposterous to find that the lives of notorious criminal lovers-on-the-lam Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow have been given the singin’- and-dancin’ treatment. Utah Repertory Theatre presents the Utah premiere of the 2011 Broadway stage musical version ofBonnie & Clyde, with music by Frank Wildhorn (The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War) and lyrics by Don Black (Sunset Boulevard). Utah Rep production team members had a chance to meet with Wildhorn when he performed at BYU in October, and picked the composer’s brain to help guide the production. Catch the show with its unique blend of blues, gospel and rockabilly following Bonnie and Clyde through love, robbery and blazes of gunfire. (Scott Renshaw)
Lehi Arts Center, 685 N. Center St., Lehi, 801-766-0912, Jan. 17-Feb. 1, $15-$18, Jan. 23 “Pay What You May” performance.


Utah Opera: La Traviata
Ribaldry, love, romance, betrayal and death by consumption are all good reasons Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata is one of the most popular operas of all time. And although the fat lady may not sing at the end, a lady does indeed die. In fact, by the climactic point, our heroine, Violetta, is so weak from consumption that she can barely utter her lines; the powerful score is left to portray her final agonies. Things start on a lighter note—like Parisian parties where noblemen and courtesans drink, gamble and cavort to excess. It’s only when the young bourgeois Alfredo confesses his love to the courtesan Violetta that things truly get complicated. By Act 2, he’s willing to forgo his noble life and live in contentment with her in the French countryside. Of course, his father will have none of it, and convinces her to break it off with him, concealing her true reasons why, so that both may return to their “proper” stations in life.The story may sound a bit familiar to anyone who has seen the film Pretty Woman, in which the filmmakers paid homage to Verdi by including a scene in which Richard Gere and Julia Roberts enjoy a performance of the classic work. But unlike the fantasy of the film, in true operatic fashion, La Traviatasacrifices love conquering all to more powerfully demonstrate the inequalities and injustices that a pompous and “proper” society inflicts upon us—especially those less unfortunate and outcast. (Jacob Stringer)
Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 801-355-2787, Jan. 18, 20, 22, 24 & 26, 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. matinee Jan. 26, $18-$95.

Salt Lake Symphony Annual Family Concert
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to expose your family to new experiences or add some culture into their diets, then cellos, flutes and violins are just the ticket. The Salt Lake Symphony’s annual family concert, on the University of Utah campus, is appropriate for all ages and will provide a unique presentation of Sergei Prokofiev’s classics. Conducted by Maestro Robert Baldwin, these symphonic stories will include music from The Chronicles of Narnia and Peter & the Wolf. Baldwin will be joined by Jay Perry and Christy Summerhays from Plan-B Theatre Company. Summerhays directed Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf, an elementary-school program that toured 30 schools around the state with Perry in the lead role. Prepare to be enveloped by a combination of beautiful music and acting: musical theater at its best. (Aimee Cook O’Brien)
Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, University of Utah, 801-581-7100, Jan. 18, 2 p.m. $3-$10.


Brodi Ashton: Evertrue
When Nikki Beckett disappeared for six months, of course everyone was worried … but not nearly as worried as they should have been, given the circumstances. A dashing immortal named Cole had enticed Nikki to Everneath, the underworld domain where his kind survive by feeding on the lives of mortals. Now, à la the Persephone myth, Cole wants to take over Everneath by making Nikki his queen. The only hitch in Cole’s plan is that Nikki’s heart belongs to another: Jack, the boyfriend for whom she risked everything to rescue from Everneath and isn’t willing to lose again. Evertrue brings the Everneath triology’s tale of unlikely love, lessons, and alliances to an end. So if you like high-school drama, love triangles and Greek mythology, hearing Brodi Ashton read from her upcoming novel is an event you don’t want to miss. Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase Evertrue from The King’s English Bookshop. (Julia Shumway)
The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484- 9100, Jan. 21, 7 p.m., free.

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