- Mindy Tucker
Everyone has faced disruptions in their lives and jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic—but not all of us have had the rest of the world see what those disruptions look like. Much like many other live late-night comedy programs, Saturday Night Live went remote this spring for several episodes, forcing cast members like Michael Che—who has spend six years as a writer and Weekend Update co-anchor for the venerable show—to perform via webcam and without the response of a live studio audience. The task was made even more challenging by Che's personal experience with the pandemic in New York, as he revealed that his beloved grandmother had been one of the casualties.
Now, the 37-year-old comedian heads back out on the road—including an upcoming three-night stint at Wiseguys' Gateway location (194 S. 400 West, June 25-27, $25, wiseguyscomedy.com)—to continue the kind of risky stand-up he has showcased throughout his career, including his 2016 Netflix special Michael Che Matters. That title was a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, which was part of one of Che's earliest introductions to the American public, as he briefly served as a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart exploring where a Black man could be safe in America in the wake of the 2014 racial violence in Ferguson, Mo.
Che's career hasn't been without controversy, however, including public social-media feuds with other writers and comedians, and jokes at the expense of transgender people. In a time of upheaval, it will be fascinating to see the targets to which he now turns his comedy. (Scott Renshaw)UPDATE: These performances have been cancelled. No re-scheduled dates have yet to be determined
- Kathleen Sykes
Utah Opera: The Little Prince on Demand
Even as some kinds of live performance slowly re-emerge from pandemic hibernation, many others—the kind usually performed on big stages for big audiences—are still sorely missed. For those who have been missing the majestic productions of Utah Opera, the company is offering a new virtual opportunity for fans to re-visit a popular recent production, or discover it for the first time.
Beginning June 22 and available through Aug. 5 at UtahOpera.org, Utah Opera is streaming the company's January 2019 Tara Faircloth-directed production of The Little Prince, the 2003 operatic version of the classic Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book with music by Academy Award-winning composer Rachel Portman and book by playwright Nicholas Wright. The familiar plot follows the story of a pilot who crashes in the desert, and encounters a young child who offers unique lessons along with the story of his life. Utah Opera's production featured singers from the Madeline Choir School, including then 11-year-old Nitai Fluchel as The Little Prince.
In addition to the original production itself, Utah Opera is offering an online reunion of the cast and select creative team members moderated by the hosts of Utah Opera/Utah Symphony's Ghost Light Podcast, Jeff Counts and Carol Anderson; supplementary online learning materials offer additional ways to learn more about the show. "The opera was an immediate hit with our audience and community and is arguably one of the most successful Utah Opera presentations in the company's history," Utah Opera artistic director Christopher McBeth says via press release. "May it bring magic and music into your life as it did ours." (SR)
Brigham City Museum Art Evolving Perceptions Quilt Exhibition
We've all tried to find comforts where we can during a difficult time, including seeking out art. As Brigham City Museum (24 N. 300 West, Brigham City, brighamcitymuseum.org) re-opens after the pandemic-mandated closure, it showcases a creative form that's immersed in the idea of comfort: the tactile pleasures of quilts.
Evolving Perceptions—running now through Sept. 6—marks the return of the Brigham City Museum's annual showcase of quilt artistry, and for the second year includes a collaboration with Studio Arts Quilt Associates (SAQA) members in the Colorado/Utah/Wyoming region. The juried exhibition features the work of 30 artists (Margaret Abramshe's "Aunt Gin" is pictured) exploring a combination of new and traditional art quilting techniques, as originally presented in the Foothills Art Center of Golden, Colo. Guided tours are available
"It is exciting to be in a position to welcome the public into our space again, and with such a beautifully curated show," Brigham City Museum director Alana Blumenthal says via press release. "Each piece tells a story, and I think this show provides something for everyone.
In an effort to ensure a safe experience for all visitors, the museum has instituted several measures to minimize risk of COVID-19 spread. All museum employees will be screened daily and are required to wear masks, and each visiting household will be required to provide a form to allow for contact tracing. Additionally, the museum will be offering priority hours for those who identify with higher-risk groups, from 10 a.m.- noon Tuesday-Friday and noon – 1 p.m. Saturday. (SR)
Gallery MAR: Urban Sensibilities Summer Exhibition
For those who are comfortable heading back out into the world, the openings at local galleries continue to trickle into the summer. At Park City's Gallery MAR (436 Main St., gallerymar.com), the first exhibition back from closure features a group show showcasing a wide variety of styles and subject matter.
On June 26, Gallery MAR opens Urban Sensibilities, featuring work by Havoc Hendricks, Laura Wait, Horacio Rodrigues and the duo known as KOLLABS. Hendricks is scheduled to be in attendance for the artist reception June 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., which will also include live music by Melissa McDonald and individually-wrapped and transmission-safe food prepared by Savoury Kitchen.
Idaho native Havoc Hendricks presents work that he refers to as "detailed minimalism," exploring the natural world with simplicity and natural lines. New Mexico-based Laura Wait demonstrates the influence of Japanese calligraphy in her works on paper with mixed paint. Local ceramic artist Horacio Rodgrigues (his "Blue Gun" is pictured) visits the physical and metaphorical borders he has crossed in his work and in a life defined by multiple cultures and identities, employing a technique that builds multiple fired layers over the base clay. And KOLLABS presents fascinating mixed-media creations that include photography and paint on their panels as the two artists transform images of wildlife.
As we continue to try to make sense of the new world around us, take the opportunity as your degree of comfort permits to appreciate the work of artists. Visit the gallery website for hours of operation and additional information. (SR)