- Matthew Septimus
An Evening With Tanzina Vega and The Takeaway
The Takeaway with Tanzina Vega is a National Public Radio program that often explores issues that are important, but perhaps under-covered. Vega brings that focus to Salt Lake City on June 6 when she does a live broadcast in conjunction with KUER 90.1 FM at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.
Vega leads a discussion about the abduction and murder of indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people—a Native American categorization that goes back generations, predating and going beyond any of the current LGTBQ identities. Focus of the conversation will be on the Mountain West, and also on the thousands of Native American women who have gone missing or been murdered across the U.S. and in Canada.
Vega's guests include Jennifer Boyce, a board member of PANDOS—Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue and Organizing Support—which was formed in 2016 in response to the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests at Standing Rock. She leads the PANDOS committee on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) epidemic, and has experienced it first hand, with five family members who have been killed. Vega will also speak with Graham Lee Brewer, a member of the Cherokee Nation who also covers criminal justice for The Oklahoman.
The event is scheduled in the Moot Courtroom, beginning promptly at 7 p.m. Since this is a live radio show, late arrivals will not be admitted. (Geoff Griffin)
An Evening with Tanzina Vega and The Takeaway @ S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, 383 S. University St., June 6, 7 p.m., $20, kuer.org
- Camille Washington
Good Company Theatre: The View UpStairs
It was a terrible confluence of events that marked the first public performance of Max Vernon's musical The View UpStairs in 2016. The production—based on the real-life arson attack on the New Orleans gay bar The UpStairs Lounge in 1973 that killed 32 people—was already in the workshop stage when a gunman killed 49 people at Orlando's gay nightclub Pulse in June 2016. The cast of The View UpStairs debuted the songs at a benefit performance in July 2016—a reminder of the long history of violence against places that have been havens for LGBTQ people.
The plot of The View UpStairs has one man confronting that history in a surprisingly literal way. New Yorker Wes has relocated to his New Orleans hometown, and has purchased a burned-out building with no knowledge of its history. It's only after he walks through it that it actually comes to life, with Wes pulled back in time to 1973. Through the stories of those who lived it—bar employees, hustlers, closeted men—Wes begins to understand what it was like to be gay in the early years of the post-Stonewall attempt to live openly and authentically, finding somewhere to gather in peace and companionship.
Good Company Theatre's Pride Month production marks the Utah premiere of The View UpStairs. Says Good Company co-director Camille Washington, "It's easy for these tragedies to pass out of knowledge over time.The View UpStairsis a great reminder that strides toward equality are never free." (Scott Renshaw)
The View UpStairs @ Good Company Theatre, 2404 Wall Ave., Ogden, June 7-23, Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Second Saturday & Sundauy, 4 p.m. matinee, $20, goodcotheatre.com
- Cody Hoagland
Utah Scottish Festival and HighlandGames
Scots are a hearty breed, and their traditions reflect their reverence for home, hearth and hard work. It's little wonder then that more people in the world claimScottish origins than the current population of Scotland.
The 45th annual Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games offers opportunity to reconvene the clans and experience their history, culture and goodwill. "This festival is all about sharing our Scottish heritage with each other and the community at large," Jordan Hinckley, public relations liaison for the Utah Scottish Association, says via email. "During the 2000 census, it was reported that more than a quarter of the population of the state of Utah came from the Celtic nations of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England, so it is very likely that whether you know it or not, you may be a wee bit Scottish."
This year's festivities include more than 50 clans, dressed in their tartans and displaying colors and crests. An array of athletic games beckon amateurs and professionals, and an array of dancers, sheepdog herders, drum majors, pipers, fiddlers and bagpipe bands provide entertainment. For those that want to kick up their kilts and reveal all, the Wicked Tinkers and Molly's Revenge rock the crowd as well.
"What e're thou art, act well thy part," the Scots say. Aye, you lads and lassies, that's a mighty motto for all. (Lee Zimmerman)
Utah Scottish Festival and HighlandGames @ Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, June 7, 5-10 p.m.; June 8, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; June 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., $15-$20, free for active military, children 11 and under, and members of the Utah Scottish Association, utahscots.org
- Steven Gerner Via Wikimedia Commons
Holi Festival of Colors
Warmer temperatures typically mark the beginning of festival season, and though Utah's recent weather would suggest otherwise, those planning on hitting up the summer circuit needn't go farther than their own backyard for the eighth annual Holi Festival of Colors in downtown Salt Lake City. Instead of searching out nearby wacky festivals such as Frozen Dead Guy Days and the Headless Chicken Festival, get doused in a rainbow of colors by taking part in what is billed as the "World's Happiest Transformational Event."
Traditionally celebrated across India, the festival has been adapted over the years to merge with more modern traditions, and is widely regarded as celebrating the arrival of spring and goodness triumphing over evil. "Everyone is celebrating all we have in life and a higher consciousness together," festival organizer Charu Das says. "It is a dance party from beginning to end."
Young and old can come together in a joy-filled atmosphere to sing, dance and revel in the non-stop entertainment that includes live music. In addition, local favorite BollyPop Utah engages the audience with dancing that fuses Bollywood melodies with pop, Latin and Arabic music. Others looking for a quieter activity can join a yoga session or make a craft, while vendors sell vegan dishes. Highlighting the event are hourly "color throws" of eco-friendly powder beginning at noon—and, as always, hugs are free.
"The festival is so much fun," past attendee Analiza Holfeltz says. "It is an amazing way to bring people together, make new friends, and just enjoy the company of others." (Colette A. Finney)
Holi Festival of Colors @ Krishna Temple, 965 E. 3370 South, June 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $6.50, festivalofcolorsusa.com.