THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR AUG 17 - 23 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Entertainment Picks

THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR AUG 17 - 23

New World Shakespeare Company: Antony & Cleopatra, SB Dance Curbside Theater: Tarotville, City Weekly Utah Beer Festival, and more.

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New World Shakespeare Company: Antony & Cleopatra
Many of the most celebrated works by William Shakespeare are known for their gender-bending plots, in characters like Twelfth Night's Viola and As You Like It's Rosalind—and that's leaving aside the Elizabethan theater tradition of men playing all roles regardless of gender. So it feels like a natural fit to take one of Shakespeare's darker works and break out of the more traditional, binary-gendered casting.

New World Shakespeare takes just such an approach with Antony & Cleopatra, the 1607 Shakespeare play that delved into the complex relationship between Marc Antony, one of the triumvirs of the Roman Republic, and his lover Cleopatra. While the narrative of the play includes plenty of political maneuverings—including conflict between Antony and his fellow triumvir, Octavius—much of the focus is on the choices Antony makes as a result of his infatuation with Cleopatra, and the tragic consequences of a relationship other people believe is causing damage to the republic, including Cleopatra's legendary suicide by the bite of an asp. According to producer/director Blayne Wiley, ""Our production is gender-fluid, power-fluid and time-fluid. We chose non-binary and unexpected casting to help to portray surprising and ever-changing power dynamics while telling a quasi-historical story."

Antony & Cleopatra concludes its run at the Alliance Theater's Sister Dottie S. Dixon Blackbox (602 E 500 South) Aug. 17 – 20, with performances 7:30 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The production offers its support for Trans Lifeline (877-565-8660, translifeline.org) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988). Tickets are $20, available at the door or via newworldshakespeare.com. (Scott Renshaw)

PAUL CHRISTEAN
  • Paul Christean

SB Dance Curbside Theater: Tarotville
Where many people in the arts community saw their "pandemic pivots" as something they were ready to let go as soon as conventional performances were available again, choreographer Stephen Brown saw an ongoing opportunity for new creativity. The pop-up performances of SB Dance's Curbside Theater make use of a 40-square-foot portable stage, and Brown loves the constraints, as well as the unique settings provided by outdoor, mobile shows. "When I go to the theater, there is an almost bottomless foundation to look to of rules, models, ways of doing things," Brown says. "When I do this, it feels like we are making this up as we go."

That includes an audience-participation component for the new production for 2023, Tarotville, which was initially inspired by Brown's desire to move 180 degrees from last year's focus on love to a focus on death. "If you think about Death in a tarot way, or like Jungian philosophy, it's the end of one thing and the beginning of another," he says. "And it just took off from there. As I learned more about tarot, its roots, it's about archetypes. And that's what almost all art is about anyway."

Tarotville's summer season runs through Oct. 7, with performance dates including Aug. 18 (Woodbine Food Hall, 545 W. 700 South, 8:30 p.m.), Sept. 6 (Pierpont Garage Rooftop, 147 W. Pierpont Ave., 8 p.m.), Sept. 7 (Legacy Bridge, University of Utah, 8 p.m.) and Sept. 9 (Jordan River Nature Center, 1125 W. 3300 South, 8:30 p.m.). Most performances are free with donation requested; visit curbsidetheater.com for additional dates and information. (SR)

CITY WEEKLY
  • City Weekly

City Weekly Utah Beer Festival
As the Utah craft beer, cider and spirits industry grows—seemingly adding new vendors by the week—so too must the City Weekly Utah Beer Festival grow. For 2023, the 13th annual Beer Festival moves from its recent home at The Gateway to a new venue at The Granary Live, with more space for breweries from around the state (and the nation), entertainment, shady spots and more.

The centerpiece, of course, is the collection of beverages, and its truly impressive: More than 60 breweries, including 25 Utah breweries, offering sample sizes of more than 250 individual craft creations to sample, with newcomers like South Salt Lake's Chappell Brewing and Logan's Prodigy Brewing. Music headliners will take the stage each day, including Dead Zephyrs, Soul Maloney, Makisi and Magda-Vega, with additional entertainment coming in the form of Drag Bingo, mini-golf and bar trivia competitions daily hosted by Questionable SLC. Bike Like City provides bike valet services for attendees, and the venue is accessible just four blocks from the 900 South Blue Line Trax station for those who would prefer not to get behind the wheel.

The 2023 City Weekly Utah Beer Festival runs Aug. 18 – 19 at The Granary Live (742 S. 500 West), 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. daily. Per-day tickets are $15 per day for entry-only/designated driver, $30 general admission (including 10 beverage punches), $35 for early beer drinkers (1 p.m. admission) and $75 VIP; full weekend tickets are also available. Refill punches will also be available onsite. Visit utahbeerfestival.com for tickets and additional event information. (SR)