- Graham Brown
SONDERimmersive: The Carousel
The recent production of Through Yonder Window by SONDERimmersive—a drive-in take on Romeo & Juliet produced in a parking garage—was one of the first original local shows to embrace the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the staging. The company continue its creative way of making lemonade from lemons with The Carousel, at the Dreamscapes gallery (110 S. Rio Grande St. in The Gateway) beginning July 27. Tickets are $20 per person, available at Universe.com/TheCarousel.
According to SONDERimmersive's artistic director Graham Brown, the show was inspired in part by the 10 rooms in the Dreamscapes space, which gave rise to a story idea involving 10 characters with highly symbolic names like The Bereaved, The Architect, The Pathfinder and The Jester. Audience members—no more than three in a group, socially distanced from the performers—accompany one of the characters on a room-by-room tour of the gallery, before switching over to another character. At times, the individual stories of each character intersect, allowing for an experience of the same story from different perspectives. Audience members also become part of the story, including wearing special masks and costuming elements.
Brown acknowledges that the shifting nature of the pandemic has required these productions to adapt on the fly to allow for the safest experience. "I think there's a potential [for artists] feeling like, 'I give up ... I'm just going to go get a normal job, he says. "But it's like weeds busting through cracks in pavement, living at all costs. Keeping that in mind is what helps me go, 'This is important.'" (Scott Renshaw)
Pioneer Day events
The 24th of July in Utah is usually a festive occasion, a state holiday recognizing the arrival of the Latter-day Saint immigrants and Utah statehood with parades, rodeos and more big gatherings. With such events not safe at this time, it's left for other, smaller-scale events to pick up some of the slack.
While Spanish Fork's annual Fiesta Days have cancelled several large gatherings for safety reasons, many other events are still taking place. Interested participants can register for the Tennis Tournament or Golf Tournament beginning Saturday, July 25, or the 10K and Mile Run taking place on Friday, July 24. Most significantly, those looking for a big bang for their Pioneer Day can enjoy the Fireworks Spectacular on July 24 at 10 p.m. over the Sports Park (493 W. Volunteer Dr.). Spectators are encouraged to watch the show from alternate locations, as the fireworks will have larger shells and go higher than in years past, allowing for plenty of socially-distanced ways to enjoy the oohs and aahs. Visit SpanishFork.org for a full list of scheduled events.
Kamas Valley Fiesta Days is also continuing with some appropriate events, including the morning Fun Run at 7 a.m. on July 24, an evening "Flipped Parade" (with stationary floats that visitors can drive by), a Motorcycle Ride Saturday morning, July 25, and a Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival throughout the day on Saturday. Enjoy fireworks shows on both Friday and Saturday night at 10 p.m. from your favorite location. Visit KamasCityUt.gov for additional events, and celebrate safely. (SR)
- Wikimedia Commons
Intermezzo Chamber Music Streamed Concert Series
Music can soothe the soul—and heaven knows most of us need a lot of soul-soothing at the moment, as the stresses of life mount. Throughout the summer, while performing arts have remined largely silent, the Intermezzo Chamber Music Series—now in its 19th year—has presented a series of concerts streamed live from the Gallivan Center in collaboration with the Excellence in the Community concert series every Tuesday night, and this week continues the group's theme celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth.
On July 27 at 8 p.m., Intermezzo and the cellists of the Utah Symphony present a program showcasing the complete Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano, accompanied by pianist Vedrana Subotic. Soloists Matthew Johnson, Anne Lee, Louis-Philippe Robillard, Pegsoon Whang and Walter Haman are showcased individually for the five pieces, which cover a span of the composer's life from 1796 to 1815; accompanying cellists include Symphony member and Holladay native Kevin Shumway. Additionally, excerpts from Beethoven's letters will be featured in dramatic readings by Utah acting legend Anne Cullimore Decker.
Next week, the programming for the summer concludes on Aug. 3 at 8 p.m., with a program including Beethoven's Septet in E-flat Major and Nielsen's Woodwind Quintet. While all of the streaming concerts are presented free of charge to the public, you can support the organization financially at IntermezzoConcerts.org. While we await the chance to join these artists live again for intimate experiences of great classical works, tune in from your home and get a welcome dose of beautiful music. (SR)
- Jim Martin
Godspellconcert version at The Gateway
We're all figuring this pandemic thing out as we go along, including what kinds of events are okay, and where it's okay to hold them. This week, The Box performing arts space at The Gateway presents a concert version of the 1971 Broadway musical Godspell, in an outdoor space with special safety processes for both performers and audience members. "Our feeling is, we don't know when it's going to be safe to perform in indoors, or when people will feel safe going to a show indoors," says The Box facilities director Jim Martin. "We could wait for that to happen, or we can do like other people around the country and figure out how to work within this new normal. A lot of our folks have felt really lost without that outlet they depend upon."
Godspell tells the story of Jesus largely through the songs of award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), including now-standards like "Day by Day," "Prepare Ye" and "Save the People." Cast members include Dee Tua'one as Jesus and Matthew Davids as John and Judas, directed by Beth Bruner, who oversaw a 2001 local production of the musical. "The show has a message of togetherness, and I think collectively, that's what we need right now," Martin says.
Performances will be held at The Gateway's Level 4 patio, adjacent to Discovery Gateway, July 29-Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. nightly, tickets $20 per person. Performers will be singing with individual, unshared microphones, with only 50 seats per performance and attendees admitted at staggered times to avoid over-crowding. Masks are required for all audience members. (SR)