THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR AUG 31 - SEP 6 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Entertainment Picks


Sammy Obeid, Urban Arts Festival, Invincible Czars: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu, and more.


  • Courtesy Photo

Sammy Obeid
There were plenty of things Sammy Obeid could have fallen back on when, in 2010, he hit a career rut in comedy that had him considering giving it up. After all, he had a degree from the University of California-Berkeley in business and mathematics, and had turned down a job from Google to get into the laughter game. But instead of packing it in, he kept packing suitcases, and continued to hone his craft with a much-chronicled 1,0001 consecutive days of performing standup that finished in 2013.

A decade later, Obeid now takes the occasional night off, but that obsessive dedication to being on stage shows up whenever he's in front of a crowd including playing off of his background coming out of Berkeley's bastion of liberalism. In his 2022 special Martyr in a Safe Space, he notes that "Berkeley was woke before people were woke to woke. ... Berkeley serves a function: We're here to show you where the line could be. We always have social issues, and people are like, 'Where's the line?' Berkeley is like, 'It's over here!' It's definitely not over there." He even has a bit of a local connection, as he observes when talking about his parents: "My dad was born a few hours outside of Jerusalem; my mom was born in Utah. So, both places where Jesus got resurrected."

Sammy Obeid plays Wiseguys Gateway (194 S. 400 West) on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30; visit to purchase tickets and for additional event information. (Scott Renshaw)

  • Ross Richey

Urban Arts Festival
For more than a decade, the Urban Arts Festival—presented by Utah Arts Alliance—has served as one of the best ways to demonstrate that Utah's culture is not monochromatic or as simple as stereotypes about the state would have some people believe. And every year, it expands the boundaries of the kinds of activities and creative endeavors that should be thought about as "art."

Many of the activities that have become synonymous with the Urban Arts Festival over the years return for 2023, including an artist marketplace with more than 90 working artists displaying and selling their work, a live mural-painting demonstration by more than 20 local muralists working throughout the venue, low-rider custom car culture event (with "hop-off" on Saturday at 5 p.m.), street basketball courtesy of the Hard-N-Paint Street Basketball League, kids' zone, Food Truck League offerings for your dining pleasure, and the always-popular Skate Deck Art Competition, on display at Urban Arts Gallery through Oct. 1 with prize-winners announced on Sunday. Skate culture gets an additional showcase with the brand-new pop-up skate park all day Saturday and Sunday. Plus, you get a terrific lineup of live entertainment on two stages, including King Cyborg, Zac Ivie, DJ LED, Erasole James, Mousley, Prophecy, T-Mental and more.

The 2023 Urban Arts Festival comes to The Gateway (400 W. 200 South) Saturday, Sept. 2 (noon – 10 p.m.) and Sunday, Sept. 3 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.). Admission is free to the public; visit for additional event information, including transportation and parking options, and full schedule of entertainment. (SR)

  • Courtesy Photo

Invincible Czars: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu
Silent movies are a big cultural blind spot for most Americans in the 21st century, but even those who do choose to seek them out are at a disadvantage in terms of seeing them as they were truly meant to be seen: accompanied by live musical performance. That's an issue that the Austin, Tex.-based experimental rock band Invincible Czars has been addressing for much of its 20-year history, one city at a time, and this week they return to Salt Lake City for a two-night stand as a sort of unofficial kick-off to this year's "Tower of Terror" seasonal repertory screenings of horror films.

Last year, Invincible Czars launched a tour marking the centennial of F.W. Murnau's seminal Dracula homage/rip-off Nosferatu, featuring their original score created in 2015. "People at our silent film shows had asked us for years to do a score for Nosferatu," writes band founder/guitarist Josh Robins on the band's website. "I was reluctant because it's so 'done,' but I acquiesced and started formulating ideas with [violinist Phil Davidson]. ... [Nosferatu] eclipsed everything we'd done previously." Then, in 2019, they turned to scoring 1920's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, but that centennial tour was cancelled due to COVID. Today, the band has become dedicated entirely to silent film performances of their original work.

Salt Lake Film Society's Broadway Centre Cinemas (111 E. 300 South) hosts Invincible Czars accompanying The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., and Nosferatu on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 for each performance; visit for tickets and additional event information. (SR)