- Kacey Spadafora
An Other Theater Co.: Last Train to Nibroc
A romantic comedy might be the most challenging kind of live show to present when social-distancing guidelines are necessary to keep performers safe. After all, a little something is bound to be lost when actors are whispering sweet nothings through a mask, or pantomime-kissing from six-feet distance. Provo's An Other Theater Co. found an idea way tell that kind of a story in the right way: casting a real-life married couple in the lead roles.
An Other Theater Co.'s production of Arlene Hutton's Last Train to Nibroc—concluding its run Oct. 15-17—casts newlyweds Laura Elise Chapman and Bruce Lloyd Feuston as May and Raleigh, who meet-cute on a train west of Chicago in December 1940 that happens to be carrying the bodies of writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathanael West. Aspiring writer Raleigh and aspiring missionary May soon figure out that they're from neighboring Kentucky towns. It's a classic "will they or won't they" set-up that spans three years as the characters navigate adjusting their dreams to the reality of wartime.
In addition to maintaining safety for the performers by having them from the same household, the production will also have Chapman and Feuston dress and mic themselves to remain contactless with the show's technical crew. For patrons, the show offers two viewing options in the theater's parking lot at 451 W. 1200 South in Provo. You can choose a "drive-in" experience, with space available for up to 14 vehicles ($20-$60), or socially-distanced seating for masked patrons ($12-$15), both available online only at anothertheater.org. (Scott Renshaw)
- Eric Christensen
Odyssey Dance: Thriller
In a year filled with terrifying things—a sociopathic leader of the free world, an incurable contagious disease, a sociopathic leader of the free world with an incurable contagious disease—people are still looking to be frightened voluntarily during the Halloween season. The annual Utah tour of Odyssey Dance's Thriller production might have been cut a bit short due to the pandemic, but its Salt Lake City stop still offers a chance to get a safer dose of seasonal spookiness.
Now in its 24th season, Thriller mixes the company's lively modern dance with some of popular culture's most familiar scary characters. Familiar numbers from years past riff on The Mummy, skeletons, Friday the 13th's hockey-masked Jason (multiple versions of him), Riverdance (here dubbed the River-of-Blood Dance) and The Lost Boys. And of course, there's also the Michael Jackson groovin' zombies classic that gives the show its name. Every new season also brings new surprises, so expect a mix of classic and unfamiliar, providing a dose of laughter along with the scares.
Thriller runs Oct. 20-24 at the Capitol Theatre (50 W. 200 South, arttix.artsaltlake.org), with socially-distanced limited seating and masks required for all attendees. Due to limited seating availability, in person-tickets are sold out at press time. However, for those who are less comfortable with in-person performances, Odyssey Dance will also be offering a recorded version of the performance, available online Oct. 26 for $40 per household; visit odysseydance.com/new/shows/thriller for details. (SR)
- Shadow Mountain Press
Pioneering the Vote @ King's English
In this centennial year of the 19th Amedment, which granted women the right to vote, it's kind of depressing that one of the most contentious issues of our time remains insuring the rights of all American citizens to cast their ballots. As a reminder of the fights that American history has always included to have all voices heard and counted, Utah writer Neylan McBaine—co-founder and CEO of Better Days Utah—offers a unique perspective on the little-known intersection between the women's suffrage movement and the activist women of the Mountain West.
Pioneering the Vote: The Untold Story of Suffragists in Utah and the West centers characters like Emmeline B. Wells, writer and eventually publisher of the late 19th-century/early 19th century Mormon women's publication Women's Exponent. Among the first women to vote when women were enfranchised in Utah in 1870, Wells subsequently welcomed nationally-known suffrage movement figures including Susan B. Anthony and Rev. Anna Howard Shaw to the Rocky Mountain Suffrage Convention in 1895. Pioneering the Vote explores that event and the friendships between these women through fictionalized narrative, as well as providing historical context about how women's rights in the states and territories of the expanding West set the stage for later triumphs at the Federal level.
The virtual author event, sponsored by The King's English, will take place via Crowdcast on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 6 p.m. Registration is free, but required to receive event information. Order a copy of Pioneering the Vote through kingsenglish.com to receive a signed copy while supplies last. (SR)
- Urban Arts Gallery
Urban Arts Gallery: LOUD!
As tumultuous as 2020 has been in so many ways, it has also been an opportunity. In the case of the protests that spread across the country in the wake of police violence against people of color, it has particularly been an opportunity to understand fully how many voices remain unheard in America, resulting in an incomplete story of who we are as a people and what experiences matter. And we've also learned that for some, the only way for their voices to be heard is to refuse not to be heard, and get loud.
This month, Urban Arts Gallery presents LOUD!, a showcase of works by local BIPOC artists, guest curated by Essie Shaw and Melli Rino Alvarez. Participating artists include Alli Arocho, Pedro Hueramo Rico, Alyana Desouza, IZ (Isabella Morillo), Emilio Martinez, Melissa Kamba, Xolani G. Radebe, Uwana Eshiet, Alicia Cicalese, Ashley Odiilia, Alethia Lunares, Will Knight, Luis Novoa, Jessica Villeneuve, Quinci Hambrick (Indigo Sketches), Andrea Hardeman, and Amelec Diaz. It's a chance to see art not just as a creative endeavor, but as a refusal to allow a conversation to go on without voices of all kinds getting loud.
LOUD! is currently running through Nov. 1, with a Gallery Stroll reception this Friday, Oct. 16, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., with music by Marina Marqueza, Mana Eini and Shea Freedom. While the exhibit and Gallery Stroll are live, in-person events—with social distance protocols in place—Urban Arts Gallery will also be creating a pre-recorded video featuring selected artists and musicians, for those who are taking extra precautions. Visit urbanartsgallery.org for additional details. (SR)