- Jamie Griffin
Courtney Carver: Soulful Simplicity
"Minimalism" has become something of a contemporary culture buzzword, perhaps evoking the image of lifestyle changes that are more trendy than profound. But for Utah's own Courtney Carver, a 2006 multiple sclerosis diagnosis led to a realization that her life full of stress and debt had to change if she was going to maintain her health.
That experience led to the creation of the website bemorewithless.com in 2010, part of a journey that has included changes in spending both time and money, and unique concepts like Project 333 (focused on reducing wardrobe to 33 items used over the space of three months). Now, Carver has gathered personal stories and guidelines for helping others in the book Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More. "I wrote this book," Carver writes, "for anyone who wants their life back."
Soulful Simplicity includes many of Carver's new mottos for living, with possibly counter-intuitive notions such as "Do things you don't want to do, so you can do the things you want to do." Without resorting to platitudes, Carver offers a pathway through the physical and emotional clutter that keeps people from giving attention to what—and who—matters most, and how to get out from under the burdens of financial insecurity that might be self-imposed. Join the author this week for a ticketed event that includes a signed copy of Soulful Simplicity, and begin your own journey toward finding a simpler but happier life. (Scott Renshaw)
Courtney Carver: Soulful Simplicity @ Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square, 801-328-2588, Jan. 4, 6:30 p.m., $20, wellerbookworks.com
- Mark Fischbach
Markiplier's You're Welcome Tour
Mark "Markiplier" Fischbach is one of the most recognizable faces of YouTube gaming and entertainment, building a brand based on his engagingly foul-mouthed Let's Play videos. Over the course of six years, he has created a community of more than 19 million subscribers that stretches across the globe, and this week he visits Utah as part of his You're Welcome tour.
Along with many of his friends—including Wade Barnes (LordMinion777), Bob Muyskens (Muyskerm), Tyler Scheid (Apocalypto12) and Ethan Nestor-Darling (CrankGameplays)—the star takes to the stage for a choose-your-own-adventure type of act that showcases his recent shift in focus to sketch comedy, in which the audience plays the most vital role. "Even if you [aren't] a fan of my channel, or any of my videos, you can enjoy the video objectively," Markiplier says in a video about the tour. "With improv and the choices that you guys make during the show, it can go a long way."
In the same video, he mentions wanting to do something special for those who want a VIP experience. So Markiplier will perform an acoustic music set before each show for those who opt for VIP tickets, which include early access to merchandise and an autographed VIP laminate. The You're Welcome tour is guaranteed to be an excellent opportunity for the Markiplier community to interact for a rare real-world meetup in a comfortable, fun environment. (Andrea Wall)
Markiplier's You're Welcome tour @ Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, 801-355-2787, Jan. 6, 8 p.m., $40-$125, artsaltlake.org
- Jeremy Daniel
Think The Producers with nary a Nazi mentioned, or the episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm that find Larry David launching a musical about a fatwa issued by Iran's Ayatollah. Musicals based on would-be musicals offer entertaining possibilities, a fact borne out by the recent success of Something Rotten!
A period piece with Elizabethan inspiration, it tells the tale of two 16th-century brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, who decide they can do megastar William Shakespeare one better by staging the world's first musical. Willie, they figure, has monopolized local stage success for far too long, so when the neighborhood soothsayer suggests that singing and dancing are the way of the future, they reckon that's the key to besting the Bard.
Conceived by brothers Karey Kirpatrick (whose film credits included animated features like Over the Hedge) and Wayne Kirkpatrick (a veteran composer of hits including Eric Clapton's "Change the World"), and co-written by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O' Farrell, Something Rotten! made its Broadway bow on March 23, 2015, foregoing the customary out-of-town tryouts. It garnered praise from the local press as well as nine Tony Award nominations, including one for Best Musical. After 742 performances on Broadway, the production took to the road, accumulating additional kudos along the way.
OK, Shakespeare it's not, but then that's the whole point. Still, it could put the ham in Hamlet and make Macbeth: The Musical a genuine possibility. (Lee Zimmerman)
Something Rotten! @ Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, Jan. 9-14, times vary, $35-$110, artsaltlake.org
- Prometheus Books
James Ure: Stop the Press
Join author James Ure for a tale of murder, back-room deals and cryptic warning notes delivered in shabby anonymous scrawl. While the plot's drama might suggest the makings of the next Sherlock Holmes, Stop the Press is a nonfiction examination of the great non-divide of church and state in Utah, viewed through the lens of a continuing feud between news publications. "An estimated 88 percent of Utah Legislature is Mormon," cites and expands Ure, "... Church and state are melded in Utah as in no other place in America."
This even-handed, well-researched compilation pieces the story together from a variety of viewpoints. Although many Deseret News representatives refused to comment during the book's research, Stop the Press still strikes a sweet balance between sympathizing with the LDS church during moments of genuine persecution, and shedding uncomfortable light on the truest representation of events available from reliable sources. Ure is a refreshing voice of transparency in a reporting era blurred by the smog of alternative facts and dollar-sign-driven agendas.
As an author, Mormon and ex-Tribune journalist himself, Ure serves as the perfect mouthpiece for an insider's view of (as the book is subtitled) How the Mormon Church Tried to Silence the Salt Lake Tribune. Ure still considers Mormonism to be his "tribe" and finds friendship among members despite his harsh reporter's gaze. "I love the Mormon people," Ure writes in his author's note. "Many of my devout relatives express their love for me regardless of my criticisms. They epitomize the basic goodness of Mormon members." (Samantha Herzog)
James Ure: Stop the Press @ Phillips Gallery, 444 E. 200 South, 801-484-9100, Jan. 10, 5 p.m., kingsenglish.com