By Dallas Robbins
Contrary to popular perception, silent films are not actually silent. I mean, you don’t get to hear the characters talk, of course, but you do get music and all that visual energy that started this whole crazy business we call show. And to unsuspecting audiences, silent films are fun—especially when the music is performed live. You heard right: live music during a film. Fact is, that’s how it used to be done back in the day, and there continues to be a few old-school purists who still practice the art of playing silent-film music. Fortunately for us film lovers in Salt Lake City, we don’t have to travel to L.A. or New York City to take part in this uncommon entertainment. The Organ Loft is currently in the thick of its Winter 2008 Silent Film Series, with one of the original action stars of the film industry, Douglas Fairbanks, starring in the quintessential adventure THE MARK OF ZORRO. Blaine Gale, the resident musician, will play on the Wurlitzer pipe organ, with pipes and special-effect instruments along the walls and from above. It’s a real surround-sound experience. So, if you are suffering from a little Sundance fatigue from last month, take a step back to a time that will deliver some good humor and pure film entertainment. The Mark of Zorro @ The Organ Loft Winter 2008 Silent Film Series, 3331 S. Edison St., Feb. 21-22, 7:30. Tickets $5. OrganLoftSLC.com.
By Jamie Gadette
Trip down memory lane with SLUG Magazine, the local publication devoted to both current musical trends and blasts from the past. Case in point: MAKING A SCENE, a new 30-minute documentary on the reunification of four once-prominent, now-legendary punk/hardcore bands—Clear, The Stench, The Corleones and Iceburn—from their late ’80s heyday to February 2007, when SLUG celebrated 18 years on the block with two grand-slam reunion shows. The brief film squeezes in commentary by local musicians, concert promoters, members of the media and other figures who supported and continue to rave about these bands and their much-needed impact on our sleepy little town. Why should you care? Well, many of the featured artists are still “making a scene” in new projects including Vile Blue Shades, Eagle Twin, Form of Rocket, New Transit Direction and other groups that make The Beehive State a more colorful place in which to live and rage. If you’re too young to remember what Raunch Records was and somehow consider yourself an expert on local music, this is one history lesson you can’t afford to miss. Making a Scene @ Brewvies Cinema Pub, 677 S. 200 West, Friday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m. & 9 p.m., 21+; also @ Red Light Books, 179 E. 300 South, Saturday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com
By Jenny Poplar
Dear reader: I implore you to avoid the temptation to say “Ballet West’s production of CINDERELLA? Been there, done that.” As a seasoned ballet fan, I can tell you that even if you’ve seen every previous Cinderella production, 2008’s rendition offers plenty of fresh vitality and ornamentation. Guest scenery and costume designer David Walker created stunning trompe l’oeil sets and elegant, eye-catching costumes which accentuate the dancers’ movements in every scene. Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s devastating score—expertly performed by the Utah Chamber Orchestra—is reason enough to attend Cinderella. The melody—recently catapulted into the mainstream thanks to its inclusion in The Addams Family movie—will haunt you for days afterwards. In the best possible way, of course. And the dancing? Magnificent, naturally. Newly instated artistic director Adam Sklute has energized Ballet West’s corps. The ugly stepsisters—portrayed by male dancers Jason Linsley and Christopher Rudd on the evening this reporter saw the production—were appropriately over the top, and fairy godmother Peggy Dolkas illuminated the stage.The standard by which I judge all dance performances—regardless of genre—is whether or not the performers deliver that spark that makes me yearn to spend hours tucked away in a studio straining my muscles and perfecting my own technique. Ballet West’s Cinderella succeeded in making me daydream about the sore toes and blistered feet that look like seamless elegance to the unschooled onlooker. Ballet West’s Cinderella @ Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 355-ARTS, Through Feb. 23.
Here & Now: Other New Happenings This Week
CHRIS BOHJALIAN The novelist signs and reads from his novel The Double Bind, about a woman whose interaction with a homeless man leads her into an 80-year-old mystery. The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 484-9100, Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m., KingsEnglish.Booksense.com
PEER GYNT The Utah Symphony performs Edvard Grieg’s composition—a companion to the Ibsen drama of Norse folklore and allegory. Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 533-NOTE, Feb. 22-23, 8 p.m., UtahSymphony.org
HARLEM GOSPEL CHOIR The world-renowned company makes a Black History Month visit to perform “Amazing Grace,” “Amen” and more. Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, 581-7100, Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m., KingsburyHall.org
CABARET Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome to the classic Kander & Ebb musical about decadence in pre-Nazi Germany, Park City-style. Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., Park City, 435-649-9371, Feb. 22–Apr. 5., EgyptianTheatreCompany.org
PACO PEÑA FLAMENCO DANCE COMPANY The guitarist and composer leads an evening of passionate music and dance. Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-626-8500, Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.
SALTY CRICKET COMPOSERS COLLECTIVE Debut performance of an ensemble dedicated to new music by local composers. The Pickle Company, 741 S. 400 West, Saturday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m., SaltyCricket.org
WELCOME TO NOLLYWOOD Executive producer Henry Rosenthal attends a screening of this documentary about the Nigerian film industry. City Library Auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, 746-7000, Monday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.
LEMONY SNICKET’S THE COMPOSER IS DEAD A mystery investigation into classical music … for kids! Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 533-NOTE, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m., UtahSymphony.org