THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR AUG. 29 - SEPT. 4 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Entertainment Picks


Utah/BYU football, A Brief Waltz in a Little Room: 23 Short Plays About Walter Eyer, Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship, Mackenzi Lee: Loki: Where Mischief Lies


  • Pastelitodepapa via Wikimedia Commons

Utah/BYU football

There are many intense college football rivalries throughout America, but only one rises to the level of being called, "The Holy War." Many fan bases have bad feelings about each other, but when it comes to Utah vs. BYU, each side feels the Beehive State would be a better place to live if only those blue or red people would leave.

The rivalry is such that the two sides can't even agree on how many times they've played each other. The Utes claim they first beat Brigham Young Academy back in 1896 and the red team leads the rivalry 61-34-4, making this the 100th meeting of the two. BYU claims the six games played before 1922, involved Brigham Young Academy and not Brigham Young University, so they don't count, and this is merely the 94th game in the series. What's not in dispute is that this game is the season opener for both schools and the Utes have an 8-0 record against the Cougs dating back to 2010.

Utah is coming off a 2018 season where it won the Pac-12 South Division for the first time and finished 9-5 overall, and are a favorite to be playing for the Pac-12 championship again. BYU, playing as an independent, finished off the season at 7-6, with their final win coming in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Also scheduled for the upcoming weekend are Utah State and Weber State, with both teams coming off 11-win seasons. The Aggies travel cross country to open at Wake Forest on Friday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. The Wildcats open at San Diego State on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. (Geoff Griffin)

Utah/BYU football @ LaVell Edwards Stadium, 1700 N. Canyon Road, Provo, Aug. 29, 8:15 p.m., $70-$250, TV: ESPN,

  • Ashley Thalman

A Brief Waltz in a Little Room: 23 Short Plays About Walter Eyer

There's a difference between innovative theater and experimental theater. A Brief Waltz in a Little Room—the current production from the Sackerson theater company—provides an ideal example.

Described as a "pop-up immersive theatre piece" by Morag Shepherd, one of the producers of the project, it begins when 10 audience members enter a hallway lined with 10 doors. Behind each door, they experience a scene with an actor, film, art installation or audio recording forming a portrait of a fractured individual, Walter Eyer (Robert Scott Smith, pictured).

Co-creator Alex Ungerman shares via email, "Three years ago, we created an experience called The Worst Thing I've Ever Done, which consisted of a mobile theater booth just large enough for one actor and one audience member at a time. Our latest work draws heavily on what we learned with that."

"We wanted to tell a story of living a double existence," Shepherd adds. "I have close friends who are, or were, in a mixed-orientation marriage, and the idea seemed relevant and pertinent."

Ungerman calls it "a story about identity, family, love and deeply-held secrets." Because each audience member experiences the rooms in a different order, it allows for interpreting the story in different ways.

"We have tried to include as many senses as possible to put the audience in the role of Walter," Shepherd continues. "It allows for a more intimate and empathetic view and experience." (Lee Zimmerman)

A Brief Waltz in a Little Room: 23 Short Plays About Walter Eyer @ Urban Arts Gallery, 116 S. Rio Grande St., 801-613-0582, through Sept. 14, Thursday-Saturday, 7-8:30 p.m., $25-$35,

  • Vickie Close

Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship

The dog days of summer are here—bringing the heat and the dozens of very cute and very skilled herding dogs of the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Classic. Roughly 28,000 people make their way to Midway annually for this four-day showcase of human and animal talent. The herder teams travel in from all over North America, Europe, South America and Africa for the dogs to gather up wild range Rocky Mountain ewes, bring them down the mountainside on a designed course—all in 13 minutes. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs, umbrellas and other canopies for sun protection as they watch the runs.

This year also offers a host of other activities. These include more animal-centric options like the Earthwings Raptor Show and the Wild Wonders and Exotic Animal Show. The festival also hosts cultural celebrations; events like the Utah State Highland Games Championship, Navajo Weaving Demo, bagpipe performances and various kids' crafts take place throughout each day of the competition.

The event features dozens of food vendors from around the state—including Park City Coffee Roasters, Rosemary's Navajo Tacos and Lola's Street Kitchen. The main dish of the event itself is American lamb, but visitors can also eat beef, poultry and plenty of vegetarian entrées. While this is an event for and by dog-lovers, the only canines allowed onsite are those in the competition and service dogs. A rowdy spectator dog could ruin a competitor's run. (Kylee Ehmann)

Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship @ Soldier Hollow, 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway, 801-556-9229, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 7:45 a.m.-6 p.m., $6-$50,

  • Marvel Comics

Mackenzi Lee: Loki: Where Mischief Lies

We all love a hero, but sometimes a villain makes such an impression that it's hard not to gravitate toward them. Such has been the case in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Loki, the trickster-god adopted brother of Thor who—largely thanks to the charismatic performance by Tom Hiddleston—became the blockbuster Marvel films' most popular recurring antagonist (and possibly-redeemed misunderstood good guy).

Not surprisingly, Marvel is looking to capitalize on the character's appeal, with a planned series on the soon-to-launch Disney+ streaming service and in new stories. Loki: Where Mischief Lies—by best-selling young adult author Mackenzi Lee (The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue)—begins a planned trilogy of origin/prequel stories by Lee focusing on some of the more morally complex Marvel characters. This tale focuses on a young Loki at a time when many other Asgardians suspect him of the potential for villainy, but the sorceress-in-training Amora sees the potential for good in him. Amora's banishment to earth, and a subsequent string of earthly murders that appear connected to Asgardian magic, sends Loki to 19th-century London on a journey that might determine his destiny.

Join the author for a special reading and signing event that includes a ticketed option through Eventbrite that guarantees admission along with a copy of the book. Learn some of the back story that helps explore how every villain once thought of themselves as a hero. (Scott Renshaw)

Mackenzi Lee: Loki: Where Mischief Lies @ The King's English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, Sept. 3, 7 p.m., reserved seating and copy of book with $20 online ticket or free on a space-available basis with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.,