- Michelle Stanell
Saxsquatch PriMate Social
If you're looking for a unique way to get into the Valentine's Day mood, it doesn't get any better than hearing the sexy sounds of a saxophone from a guy dressed as Bigfoot, all while learning about how other primates get their freak on.
The Saxsquatch PriMate Social is right in the wheelhouse of the distinctive "edutainment" events sponsored by STEAMpunk Academy, but in this case, timing was everything. STEAMpunk Academy executive director Justice Morath explains that Marcus King Band saxophonist Dean Mitchell was looking for a place to perform his side act as Saxsquatch—the aforementioned horn-blowing hominid—in conjunction with the band's performance at The Depot (see p. 28). "We're thinking, 'How can we make this somehow fit what we do?'" Morath says. "We know a couple of anthropologists and primatologists; let's make it about primate mating systems."
In addition to the performance by Mitchell/Saxsquatch, the event includes video featuring information about various primates' mating habits, and the similarities and differences compared to humans. Supplementing that educational information is a pair of experts on site—anthropologists Brenda Wiebe and Alex Porpora—to provide additional information to guests. While the event is geared toward adults, Morath notes that the content will be presented in a "family-friendly" way.
"What makes it most interesting [as a Valentine's Day activity] is people will learn about other primate mating systems, and have an interesting tidbit of information to take home and think about pair-bonding," Morath adds. "Being able to look at love and our rituals around it from the lens of an anthropologist." (Scott Renshaw)
Saxsquatch PriMate Social @ Dreamscapes, 110 W. Rio Grande St., 801-637-5155, Feb. 13, 7 p.m., $20, steampunkacademy.org
- Tory Guilfoyle
Kimball Art Center: Art of Love
Whether you're consciously coupled or a bachelorette with a bestie, Kimball Art Center is offering patrons the Art of Love this week to celebrate Valentine's Day. Skip the standard fare of chocolate or roses and form a deeper connection through creativity with dinner, drinks, music and various art projects.
"Whether you celebrate or dread Valentine's Day, there's much to love about making art. Participating in the creative process reduces stress and opens the heart and mind to possibilities," Amy Roberts, the center's senior director of marketing and events, says. "You'll be hard pressed to find those same benefits by going to dinner and a movie."
For this event, focused on creating keepsakes and memories for years to come, the ticket price includes a buffet dinner with vegan options, a variety of libations, and a live band to complement the mood. In addition, expert instruction and art supplies are available to make any or all of several projects. The three art methods include crafting a fused-glass candleholder, painting a beautiful bouquet in watercolors, or discovering printmaking by designing a one-of-a-kind monoprint. No experience is necessary, and all skill levels are welcome.
"Even if you don't know which end of the paintbrush to use, this is a judgment-free zone and our expert instructors will help you create a lasting memory," Roberts adds. Participants, she predicts, "will find inspiration, form a connection, and deepen their appreciation for the artistic process." (Colette A. Finney)
Art of Love by Kimball Art Center @ The St. Regis Deer Valley, 2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, 435-649-8882, Feb. 14, 6 p.m., 18+, $75, kimballartcenter.org
- Ben Morgan Photography
FRIDAY 2/14 and SATURDAY 2/15
A couple of hours into plucking, tucking and painting, there's a moment when the transformation is fully realized for drag entertainer Jason CoZmo: applying the contour on his chest to complete the Dolly Parton illusion. "I call it my 'rusty seagulls,'" he says. "It's a mix of brown and oranges, and when I wipe it off afterward, my chest looks pissed off at me."
A little bit more than a year into CoZmo's Metro Music Hall residency, his Dolly—as well as Nick Russell's Kylie Minogue, Jeremy Sidwell's Lady Gaga, Israel Isaac's Charo ("It's just ridiculous ... full-on coochie-coochie," CoZmo advances) and even an ABBA tribute number—takes the stage for a Valentine's Day extravaganza.
For CoZmo, the show is also a chance to bring back one of his personal faves from the drag archives—Lucille Ball. Before his trailer was permanently hitched at Dollywood, it turns out, the Magna-based entertainer made a name for himself channeling the Vitameatavegamin spokeswoman.
"I won a zillion contests impersonating her," he says of his love for Lucy. "If I were to relate to anyone, it would be her because she wasn't a singer or a dancer. She was a comedian; she was a clown."
He also admires the crimson-haired comedian's shrewd business acumen. "The character Lucy and Lucille Ball, just like Dolly, she ran everything," he says. "And just like with the Jason CoZmo show, you couldn't put on the show without Lucy," he adds with a laugh.
Missed out on the fun, met someone new post-Valentine's or are celebrating a recent divorce? The divas return the following weekend for a second helping of drag fabulousness. (Enrique Limón)
Viva La Diva SweetHeartz Diva! @ Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 385-528-0952, Feb. 14 & 15, 8 p.m., 21+, $30, thevivaladivashow.com
- Tom Sparks Photography
Salt Lake Choral Artists: My Funny Valentine: Love Songs Through the Ages
Let's face it: Most of us get somewhat sentimental around Valentine's Day. It's the one time of year where we're able to share our feelings with the people we love, and become an unapologetic sap without any prodding or hesitation. A bouquet of roses, a box of chocolates and a candlelight dinner are typical, but the soundtrack that accompanies it all is equally essential as well.
Consequently, credit the Salt Lake Choral Artists for providing that melodic backdrop courtesy of My Funny Valentine: Love Songs Through the Ages, a concert that presents choral arrangements of popular love songs that have attained popular appeal. A collaboration with the Salt Lake Symphonic Choir, it's especially auspicious given that the latter's conductor is a former graduate student of Brady R. Allred, the Concert Choir's artistic director. Indeed, Valentine vibes reign all around.
"As I was planning this program and digging through my thousands of files, I had my mom and dad in mind, thinking about the songs that they loved to listen to when I was a teenager," Allred says via email. "It was touching to hear my father sing lines from 'I Honestly Love You' to my mother when it would come on the radio, or when I would sit at the piano and play for them. My 80-year-old parents will be attending the concert and so it's a special tribute to them." And, we'd add, a salute to all sentimental souls. (Lee Zimmerman)
Salt Lake Choral Artists: My Funny Valentine: Love Songs Through the Ages @ Libby Gardner Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., $10-$15, saltlakechoralartists.org