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Alena Dillon: My Body is a Big Fat Temple
We've long since passed the time when motherhood is romanticized as blissful and without profound challenges; it's a more open world about acknowledging how hard it can be physically and emotionally. That doesn't mean there isn't a lot to learn—and a lot of wry humor to be found—in one very personal story about approaching the precipice of motherhood, and dealing with all the accompanying struggles.
In her new memoir My Body is a Big Fat Temple, novelist Alena Dillon (Mercy House) deals with many different stops on her personal journey towards motherhood, from questioning whether she wants to be a parent at all, through the pain of miscarriages, the many physical changes accompanying pregnancy itself and the tangle of responses involved in being a first-time mom. Dillon touches on the very particular complication of parenting through the COVID pandemic, while wrestling with the more familiar notions of how you're supposed to feel towards your baby, and the things you're supposed to do. It's a clear-eyed but engaging perspective on how to deal with all the changes in your own body, even as you're expected to change in the way you interact with the new body that you're creating.
Join Dillon via a virtual author event sponsored by Weller Book Works (607 Trolley Square) taking place Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. The livestream is free to the public, and will be available through Weller's YouTube channel (youtube.com/channel/UCcQqlhbPwo_YfzIBsh9lleA). Purchase My Body is a Big Fat Temple in person at Weller Book Works, or online at wellerbookworks.com (Scott Renshaw)
Lots of comedians find humor in their relationships, and you might wonder if their partners find it funny. In Tom Segura's case, however, there's not really much doubt that his wife, Christina Pazsitsky, is on board with the jokes—she's a comedian, too, they co-host the Your Mom's House comedy podcast together, and she can give as good as she gets. And considering the level of outrageous button-pushing and borderline offensiveness (okay, over-the-borderline) that Segura finds in his stand-up, you'd have to have a thick skin to live in the same house.
Just take, for example, the jokes about the state of Louisiana that briefly made Segura a viral news story. In his subsequent Netflix special, 2020's Ball Hog, he talks about the more than 200,000 messages he received from those who were offended by his Louisiana-bashing jokes: "If you ever offend a large group of people—like, let's say, an entire state—you end up learning a lot about them. You don't want to. But they insist. ... Now I'm like an unofficial historian for the place I least want to go to."
Tom Segura visits Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. at the Eccles Theater (131 S. Main St.). Tickets are $55 - $109; in keeping with all Live at the Eccles-presented events, proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is required for admission, and masks are highly recommended for all attendees. Visit saltlakecountyarts.org/events to purchase tickets and for additional information. (SR)
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The Off Broadway Theatre: Dracula vs. Henry Botter
The year 2020 was already destined to be one of change and upheaval for the Off Broadway Theatre, as the veteran location of comedic entertainment faced a relocation after 25 years in its home on Main St. The pandemic altered all plans for producing live shows, of course, and scrambled the company's timeline for settling into a new home. But now, they've set up shop a bit farther south—at Draper's Historic Playhouse—and continue their tradition of lively genre parodies, often with a timely seasonal twist.
The Halloween season, for example, brings the mash-up of Dracula vs. Henry Botter. Originally created by local improv actor Logan Rogan, and updated for 2021 by Eric R. Jensen, it places the students at a certain wizarding school in the classroom of a new teacher, Drake Yula (also played by Jensen), who may not have their best intentions in mind. In the long tradition of OBT shows, it honors the source material with fun references to these familiar stories, while still creating something distinctly fresh.
Dracula vs. Henry Botter runs through Oct. 30 at the Draper Historic Playhouse (12366 S. 900 East), with performances Mondays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., plus 2 p.m. Saturday matinees. Tickets run $12 - $16. For those with a taste for improvisational comedy, the OBT also presents the long-running antics of Laughing Stock every Saturday night at 10 p.m. Visit theobt.org for ticket reservations, current health and safety protocols and additional show information for the rest of the 2021 season. (SR)
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Utopia Early Music: What Fright'ning Noise Is This? A Baroque Halloween
After a particularly scary year, Utopia Early Music at last returns to live performance in time for a season that seems particularly suited to the sounds of music from the baroque period. From the tinkling sounds of the harpsichord to the ominous tones of the cello, compositions from the 1600s and early 1700s can evoke spooky notions—and the subject matter of some of these works seems to fit just fine, as well.
Utopia Early Music's October performance What Frightn'ing Noise Is This? A Baroque Halloween offers a delightfully appropriate program of works for the quartet of Alex Woods (violin), Aubrey Woods (violin), Loren Carle (harpsichord) and Eleanor Christman Cox (Baroque cello) representing England, France and Italy. The centerpiece composer for this program is Englishman Henry Purcell, whose works on fanciful subjects including King Arthur and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream suggest his interest in more magical realms. Other scheduled pieces include Jean-Phillipe Rameau's "Trio of the Fates" from his opera Hyppolite et Aricie, and a composition by Marin Marais which is intended as a musical interpretation of a gall bladder surgery.
A Baroque Halloween runs for two performances—Saturday, Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 17 at 5 p.m.—at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark's (231 E. 100 South). Admission is pay what you are able, with a recommended donation of $15 per person general admission, $12 senior, $10 student. Face coverings will be required of all attendees throughout the duration of the performance. Visit utopiaearlymusic.org for additional information. (SR)