THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR MAR 25 - 31 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Entertainment Picks


Stegner Center Virtual Symposium: The Plastics Paradox, Erica Rhodes @ Wiseguys Jordan Landing, Odyssey Dance: Shut Up & Dance, and more.



Stegner Center Virtual Symposium: The Plastics Paradox
The modern world has brought with it innumerable innovations which, while seemingly simplifying our lives, have also led to unforeseen complications. Petrochemicals, for example, led to the creation of plastics, which serve valuable roles in everything from medicine to product packaging. Yet they're also part of a crisis in waste products, while potentially having other environmental and health impacts.

The 26th annual Wallace Stegner Center Symposium, in conjunction with The King's English Bookshop, goes virtual this year to address The Plastics Paradox: Societal Boon or Environmental Bane? Two days of programming, March 25-26, will cover a wide range of topics on law, health and lifestyle choices, beginning with keynote speaker Roland Geyer, professor of Environmental Science at UC-Santa Barbara, addressing "Plastic: Too Much of a Good Thing?" Additional sessions include photographer Br'ette J. Vanhouten presenting a visual essay on "Plastics in the Modern World;" "Plastics and the Environment," with a panel including assistant professor Anela Choy from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC-San Diego; Joshua Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist, speaking on "Overcoming Consumerism for a Better You and a Better Planet;" and panel discussions about plastics usage from both a national/global and individual/community perspective, both of which will offer opportunities for audience interaction and discussion.

Become part of this crucial conversation about sustainable practices by participating in this fascinating event. Online registration is available at, and events will begin at 8:30 a.m. daily via Zoom. Visit the website for additional information about speakers, prices and programming schedule. (Scott Renshaw)

  • Ryan West

Erica Rhodes @ Wiseguys Jordan Landing
Self-deprecation is a foundation of a lot of comedy—and it's obvious that Erica Rhodes understands how to make that concept work. After all, the Massachusetts native is able to have fun with her own helium-squeak of a voice, commenting in her Dry Bar Comedy Special, "I had an acting teacher once who said, 'If you don't fix your voice, you're never going to have a career.' And so far, he's right."

That's more than a slight exaggeration, considering that Rhodes has been working in entertainment for nearly two-thirds of her life, ever since she debuted as a 10-year-old on the celebrated A Prairie Home Companion. While she's had acting roles over the years—including indie films like Big Sky and Play Nice, and guest spots on TV series like Modern Family and Veep—she's made her strongest mark in stand-up, like catching the eye of judge Jeff Foxworthy on the comedy competition show Bring the Funny.

Her distinctive voice—both literal, and artistic—adds a spark to observations about being in her 30s: "For some reason, the second you turn 30, you start saying, 'That's it, I'm old.' And for 10 years you just keep saying it. ... Then you turn 40 and you're like, 'Now I'm old. I could've been young for an extra 10 years.'"

Rhodes brings her talents to Wiseguys Jordan Landing (3763 W. Center Park Dr., West Jordan, for performances March 26-27, 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20; visit the website for ticket purchases, and for COVID protocol information. (SR)

  • Annie Van Alstyne

Odyssey Dance: Shut Up & Dance
You can practically feel the excitement as Salt Lake County arts venues—with recent changes in guidelines inspired by increasing vaccinations and falling COVID case counts—begin opening up to live performances again, like the Utah Symphony returning to Abravanel Hall. The Capitol Theatre also comes back to life, as Odyssey Dance brings its repertory program of two productions on the traditional umbrella designation of Shut Up & Dance.

Romeo & Juliet: One Funky Tale (which we previewed earlier this month when it played at Tuacahn) puts the kind of spin on this story that you'd expect from the company that turned cinematic serial killers and monsters intoThriller's traditional Halloween showcase of entertaining chills. The choreography transforms the well-known tale of the Verona teenagers into a high-energy demonstration of hip-hop, Latin and contemporary dance. And as a special piece of audience participation, those in attendance even get to help decide if Romeo and Juliet live or die. Meanwhile, Chicago Nights—created by founder/artistic director Derryl Yeager—mixes up some of the most infamous tales of the Prohibition era, from Chicago's Roxie Hart to Al Capone to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. The result mixes a variety of dance styles in a celebration of the colorful Jazz Age milieu.

Romeo & Juliet: One Funky Tale plays March 26 & March 27 at 7:30 p.m., while Chicago Nights plays March 25 at 7:30 p.m. and March 27 at noon. Tickets begin at $35, and are available at Visit the website for information on health and safety protocols. (SR)

  • Tabernacle Choir

Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square virtual Messiah
For many in Utah—especially thanks to the annual performance by the Utah Symphony—Handel's Messiah oratorio is linked with the Christmas season. But a piece of music celebrating Jesus Christ as the Savior certainly has a place during the Lenten season as well. This year, kick of Easter Week with a performance of the Messiah by the world-famous Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

The performance was originally presented in 2018, but re-presented last year and again this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and safety issues regarding choir performances. But that simply provides additional opportunities to experience the majestic music, accompanied by the Choir and featured soloists Amanda Woodbury (soprano), Tamara Mumford (mezzo-soprano), Tyler Nelson (tenor) and Tyler Simpson (bass-baritone). The Choir's history with Handel's Messiah goes back more than a century, including some of its earliest recorded work. The very first recording of the Choir, in 1910, featured the famed "Hallelujah" chorus, while "Worthy is the Lamb" became the Choir's first-ever recording with electrical microphones in 1927, just a week before the first-ever occasion of the Messiah being electrically recorded in its entirety in London. The "Hallelujah" chorus has subsequently appeared on more than a dozen albums by the Choir over the years.

The free live-stream begins Friday, March 26 at 7 p.m. via and various other official YouTube and Facebook channels that can be found at Subsequently, viewers will be able to view on-demand via many of those same channels, as well as BYUtv broadcasts on Easter Sunday. (SR)