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Home / Articles / · Archive / Arts & Entertainment /  The Essentials | City Weekly's Entertainment Picks Nov. 27-Dec. 3
Arts & Entertainment

The Essentials | City Weekly's Entertainment Picks Nov. 27-Dec. 3

Posted // November 26,2008 -
nVISUAL ART
nBy Ehren Clark
nEvery 71 seconds, an American develops Alzheimer’s disease. Physicists, teachers, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters—all are susceptible. Small in scale yet monumental in meaning is the dynamic exhibit THE LATER WORKS OF WILLIAM UTERMOHLEN, 1995-2000. It chronicles the final years of a great artist slowly suffocating from the degeneration of Alzheimer’s.
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In a moving and provocative manner, the exhibition leads viewers through the final years of the artist’s creative prowess. The first self-portrait “Broken Figure 1996” depicts a decidedly dramatic break from the oeuvre of the artist whose work was on par with any of his contemporaries. We see the figure of a man, broken up like a cubist analysis. We see him lost, his grip on reality tenuous, the self losing control.

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Via a series of paintings and sketches (detail of “Self-Portrait With Saw” pictured below), we view the disintegration of a great man ravaged by illness that took his capacity to function as it took his capacity to create. Sadly, the last piece in the exhibition is entitled “Erased Head, 2000,” a haunting yet moving statement of the mentality of this great artist.

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The power of these portraits speaks more powerfully about Alzheimer’s than any textbook, manual, report or article. From Utermohlen’s rudimentary free flow of emotional and physical faculties, we see his natural uninhibited impulse to create until he could no longer do so. It is difficult, after looking closely, to not leave with a heavy heart, for Utermohlen and for all those afflicted with this disease.

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The Later Works of William Utermohlen, 1995-2000 @ Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Dr., 581-7332, through Jan. 11, 2009. UMFA.Utah.edu

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/EVENT
nBy Geoff Griffin
nThe outdoor Christmas market has been a holiday tradition in the cities and towns of Europe going back to the 1300s. Much to Donald Rumsfeld’s chagrin, Salt Lake City will import this “old Europe” tradition to create a new downtown tradition: the inaugural OLD WORLD CHRISTMAS MARKET at the Gallivan Center.

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Based on the description on the Downtown Alliance Website, the Christmas market will be somewhat akin to the Downtown Farmers Market, only with less produce—you can’t really give potatoes and squash as holiday gifts anyway—but plenty of hot drinks, snacks, arts and crafts items for stuffing stockings and little wooden chalets where the shopping takes place.

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While the Christmas market starts in the morning, Friday afternoon and evening also marks the LIGHTS ON! celebration at various downtown venues. While the Christmas lights at Temple Square are known around the world, there are other good places in the downtown area to enjoy the view on a winter’s eve. Festivities at Gallivan Plaza begin at 4:30 p.m., with Kurt Bestor providing music, a reading by author Richard Paul Evans and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker wielding his executive power to flip the switch and light up the night. Meanwhile, over at the Gateway at 6:30 p.m., pianist Jon Schmidt will perform, the holiday tree will be lit and a fat guy in a red suit is expected to make an appearance.

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Old World Christmas Market @ Gallivan Plaza, 239 S. Main, Nov. 28-Dec. 5 (except Sunday), 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

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Lights On! @ various downtown locations including Gallivan Plaza, Temple Square, The Gateway, Broadway Boulevard, Friday, Nov. 28, 4:30-8 p.m. DowntownSLC.org

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/DANCE
nBy Jacob Stringer
nOdyssey Dance Theatre would like you to take a refreshingly deep breath during this busy time of holiday cheer and remember what George Bailey found to be true—that really, when you think about it, it truly is a wonderful life, economy be damned.

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“It’s always been one of my favorite movies,” says Derryl Yeager who conceived, directed and choreographed ODT’s latest seasonal offering, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. “[It] makes me cry every time and fills me with hope—it also celebrates the common man and his uncommon effect on everyone in his life.”

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As you may recall, the story follows Bailey as he personally witnesses what life would be like in his small town of Bedford Falls if he never existed. ODT’s telling of the classic yuletide narrative makes use of numerous varieties of dance—including hip-hop!—to remind us that no man is a failure who has friends. Since it was one of Odyssey Dance’s first full-length offerings, Yeager’s biggest hurdle when creating the work was to figure out how to choreograph numbers that are “not only interesting choreographically, but also serve the story.”

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“It was my intent to create something that was not The Nutcracker, but would also become a ‘Wonderful’ alternative to it,” explains Yeager. “It’s A Wonderful Life is not just a fantasy dance piece; it is a story that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.”

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Odyssey Dance Theatre’s It’s A Wonderful Life! @ Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, 581-7100, through Dec. 6. OdysseyDance.com

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here&now Other New Happenings This Week

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HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Desert Star Theatre presents an old-fashioned musical-comedy holiday revue, complete with a home-cooked meal. Desert Star Dinner Theatre, 4861 S. State, 266-2600, Nov. 28–Dec. 27. DesertStar.biz

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SING-IT-YOURSELF MESSIAH The Utah Symphony’s annual holiday tradition allows audience members to join with the Utah Symphony Chorus in singing a yuletide “Hallelujah.” Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 325-2787, Nov. 29-30. UtahSymphony.org

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GALLERY INTERPRETER: ROSALIE WINARD The photographer guides visitors through the current exhibit of her work, Wild Birds of the American Wetlands. Utah Museum of Natural History, 1390 E. Presidents Circle, 581-6927, Dec. 2, 11 a.m., & Dec. 3, 2:30 p.m. UMNH.Utah.edu

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ENTER ACHILLES Dance Theatre Coalition presents a fund-raiser screening of DV8 Physical Theater’s acclaimed short film about the nature of masculinity. Tower Theatre, 876 E. 900 South, 321-0310, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. DanceTheatreCoalition.org

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MOLLY MOUSE’S SUGARPLUM DEBUT A young rodent dreams of dancing in The Nutcracker in this Children’s Ballet Theatre holiday production. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-2787, Dec. 2-5, ArtTix.org

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TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS & CHLOE HEDDEN Author Williams and artist Hedden introduce their new alphabet-book collaboration The Illuminated Desert. The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 484-9100, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. KingsEnglish.Booksense.com

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THE SYRINGA TREE Utah Contemporary Theatre presents Sarah Shippobotham’s one-woman show about the relationship between a black family and a white family in apartheid-era South Africa. Rose Wagner Center Studio Theatre, 138 W. 300 South, 355-2787, Dec. 3-20, ArtTix.org

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FESTIVAL OF TREES The annual fund-raiser for Primary Children’s Hospital presents a forest of decorated trees and other holiday goodies. South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State, 565-4400, Dec. 3-6, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. daily. SouthTowneExpo.com tttt

 
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