Essentials: A&E Picks July 25-31 

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THURSDAY JULY 25

Ha: Breath of Life
Presented by the Polynesian Cultural Center, Ha: Breath of Life is a production featuring original choreography and musical compositions from Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga. This traveling version of the production tells the life story of Mana, a young man of the ancient South Pacific whose life begins as his parents are washed onto a Tongan shore after their canoe capsizes. Mana’s journey from childhood to adolescence and into manhood takes him from Tonga to Hawaii and New Zealand, then Samoa to Tahiti and Fiji. Experiencing life, love and loss, Mana embraces the pain and beauty of the circle of life through birth, death and birth again in this visually stimulating production. The performance showcases traditional costumes, live drummers and a fireknife performance by David Galeai, world fireknife champion. Ha: Breath of Life has been running for four years, and this tour celebrates the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 50th anniversary. (Kate Ayer)
Ha: Breath of Life @ Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, 801-965-5100, July 25-26, 8 p.m., $10, WVC-UT.gov


FRIDAY JULY 26

SRAM pART Project/Park City
Park City has long been renowned as one of the top skiing destinations of the world, but during the warm season it’s also a hotspot for cyclists. To celebrate that link, international bicycle-component manufacturer SRAM is working in tandem with the Kimball Art Center in Park City to present SRAM pART Project/Park City, with art created from the company’s products. Twenty-five artists all received identical sets of 100 SRAM bike components, and each used 25 of those pieces to create unique works of art. Jim Hoffmeister created a dinosaur (pictured); Jim Castator’s piece uses the handlebars as the horns on the head of a bull; and Deveren Farley aligns handlebars and springs to form a mohawk atop the head of his statuette. Park City joins Chicago, New York City and Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, as the fourth site to host a pART Project exhibit. The show is one of the first occasions to combine two of Park City’s passions—cycling and art—and it seems like a natural fit. For those who find that these works really turn their gears, and want to own one of them, they’ll be auctioned on eBay from Aug. 6 to 12. Part of the proceeds will go to SRAM’s nonprofit organization—World Bicycle Relief, which provides people in underdeveloped countries with access to bicycles—as well as the Kimball Art Center and the artists. (Brian Staker)
SRAM pART Project/Park City @ Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8882, July 26-Aug. 25, free. KimballArtCenter.org

Rocky Mountain Raceways events
Feel the need for speed? Maybe the smell of gasoline and burning rubber? Rocky Mountain Raceways is Utah’s place to find the thrills of NASCAR, NHRA and motocross all rolled into one. Whether you’re a drag fan or an oval fan, every weekend is packed with events to get your adrenaline flowing. Who doesn’t like watching the Quarter Midgets race around the track, or the Street Legal Series smoke their tires on the drag track? Motor enthusiasts can attend the Test N Tune events before race time as well, a sure way to get a handle on whom to root for. Even if speed and engines aren’t your thing, you can’t help but be entertained by the Figure-8 Trains. Three cars chained together with a driver in front, an empty middle car and the only brakes in the back car is a hoot to watch, as these trains try to avoid a collision with other trains as they move through a figure-eight on the track. For motorcross enthusiasts, the Nitro Circus Ultimate Moto Challenge will take place in October. During this hair-rising event, ATVs, motorcross bikes and side x sides race through mud and over rocks and log mountains. Events at the raceway run from May to October. (Aimee Cook O’Brien)
Rocky Mountain Raceways events, 6555 W. 2100 South, West Valley City, 801-252-9557, July 26, Street Legal Series, Midnight Drags; July 27, Quarter Midget Race, Maverick Modifies, Mini Cups, Winged Sprint Cars, Hornets and Figure-8 Trains, times and prices vary. RMRRacing.com

SLC Photo Collective Two-Year Anniversary
In its short time sitting on the west end of downtown, the SLC Photo Collective has become a major influence in the art community, photo-journalism, charity work and even modeling—all that in addition to, of course, building the careers of photographers on the rise in Utah. The studio space has allowed those without the right equipment, space and software to shoot in a professional studio and work in an environment built for the art form. So, it’s time to celebrate the SLC Photo Collective’s two-year anniversary in style with a gallery celebration. The evening will feature 25 large-scale prints from 25 of Utah’s leading fine-art and commercial photographers, showcasing their talents in a single shot. The list includes collective founder Dave Brewer, Chad Kirkland, Teresa Flowers, Heidi Gress, Dave Newkirk, Jake Vivori, Jeff Yeats, Gilbert Garcia, Bob Plumb, Jozef Ezra, Weston Hall, Maomi Blackburn and several more. The evening will include live music (bands and DJs yet to be named) and a photo booth, and prints of all photos on display will be available for purchase. The SLC Photo Collective will also be re-creating with modern subjects a historical portrait of about 50 immigrants standing in front of the studio building. The new and old photos will be hung side by side in the studio as a permanent installation. And as always, the SLC Photo Collective will be accepting donations to continue its efforts to make it available to the community as an open resource for up-and-coming photographers looking for a place to shoot and refine their skills. (Gavin Sheehan)
SLC Photo Collective Two-Year Anniversary @ 561 W. 200 South, 801-364-0104, July 26, 7-11 p.m., free. SLCPhotoCollective.org

Marcus
There’s something about entertainers from Utah; you just can’t help but be proud of them and their accomplishments. Marcus is no exception. Well-known from his stint on Last Comic Standing, Marcus has since produced Under the Influence, a musical impression sketch piece, where he mixes popular songs with his spot-on impressions. He also produced The Last Laugh, a comedy CD on which he focuses more on pop-culture jokes rather than his classic impressions. Most recently, Marcus has begun working on a new project, involving a subject that some consider the opposite of funny: the YouTube series Ghost Hopping, which focuses on—you guessed it—ghost hunting. In the first episode, Marcus says of himself, “I’m not just a ghost hunter, I’m also a comedian. I spend my time flying around the country, going from city to city, making people laugh, but in order to keep myself entertained, I spend my nights finding places to ghost hunt.” In the show, Marcus tries to emphasize the fun, light-hearted aspect of ghost hunting. The episodes can be little bit suspenseful sometimes, but Marcus seasons it with his comedy, taking the edge off of what some might think of as a tense situation. He’s taking a break from touring around the country filming Ghost Hopping to perform at Wiseguys, for those who aren’t so into ghosts and prefer laughing in a safe, nonscary environment. It’s also an opportunity to see his material at the club where he got his start. (Katherine Pioli)
Marcus @ Wiseguys Comedy Café, 505 S. 600 East, Trolley Square, 801-532-5233, July 26-27, 7:30 & 9:30, $15. WiseguysComedy.com


SUNDAY JULY 28

Geek Show Movie Night
On the final Sunday of the month, the Geek Show Podcast will invade Brewvies Cinema Pub for another evening of Geek Show Movie Night. The majority of the show’s panel will be on hand to host a double feature, and allow the audience to attack the film with their own array of jokes and barbs, much in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000, without the puppets. As usual, the evening comes complete with a theme to fit the season; this month’s theme is “Summer Nationals ... These Cars Kill!” A twin bill features Stephen King’s best and worst works, kicking off the evening with the 1983 classic horror film Christine, followed by the heavily panned failure Maximum Overdrive. These films are completely free to watch, but you’ll still need to pay for your booze and food—and remember to tip your wait staff well. (Gavin Sheehan)
Geek Show Movie Night @ Brewvies Cinema Pub, 677 S. 200 West, July 28, 5-9 p.m., free. GeekShowPodcast.com, Brewvies.com


MONDAY JULY 29

Salt City Slam
Get ready to ruuummmbbble! Utah’s oldest poetry slam, Salt City Slam, is heading for the big leagues. Come out and support the dynamic team in their big send-off at Sam Weller Book Works before they make their way to the National Poetry Slam in Cambridge, Mass. This eclectic team is made up of two-time Individual World Poetry Slam runner-up Jesse Parent, Ben Barker, Willy Palomo, RJ Walker and Dave Alberti. Josh McGillis is back at the helm, coaching these talented guys in hopes of improving on the performance that led them to place eighth out of 72 teams in the past two semifinal appearances at the National Poetry Slam. Be prepared for a unique experience, because when this team made up of poets, writers, comedians and a bicyclist starts to rhyme (or not), poetry takes on a whole new meaning. Salt City Slam hosts shows every last Monday of the month. (Aimee Cook O’Brien)
Salt City Slam Team Sendoff @ Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square, 801-328-2586, July 29, 8 p.m., free. WellerBookWorks.com


WEDNESDAY JULY 31

Mozart’s Prague Symphony
Near the end of Mozart’s life, when his popularity seemed to be on the decline, the composer found the people of Prague were still delighted by his music. To honor his most ardent fans, Mozart premiered his Symphony No. 38 in D major—now popularly called his Prague Symphony, and the centerpiece of the Deer Valley Music Festival’s latest event—there in 1787. Beginning with an adagio that is uncharacteristically slow for his work, the composition, written in three movements, shifts into a contrasting minor key in the second movement, and closes with the flute as the most prominent instrument. The first half of the concert also features a strong lineup of classical composers (Gustav Mahler and Samuel Barber), and a little dash of diversity with “In Memory,” a piece by Joan Tower, the night’s only contemporary female composer. Commissioned by the Tokyo String Quartet in 2001, “In Memory” is a powerful work full of pain, love and anger commemorating those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (Katherine Pioli)
Deer Valley Music Festival: Mozart’s Prague Symphony @ St. Mary’s Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road, Park City, 801-533-6683, July 31, 8 p.m., $10-$25. DeerValleyMusicFestival.org

Kevin Fedarko: The Emerald Mile
1983 was a particularly strong El Niño year, with a series of heavy rainstorms battering the Western United States. That spring also saw a high-speed melting of the snow covering the Wasatch Mountains. The result: a raging Colorado River and the opportunity of a lifetime for a trio of daredevil river rats.
Kevin Fedarko’s The Emerald Mile chronicles an illegal nighttime boat launch that marked the beginning of a record-setting float of the engorged river. Rushed downstream by the floodwaters through the Grand Canyon, a wooden dory made the trip in an astonishing number of hours, opposed to the weeks it normally takes. For all the stupidity/bravery that such a monumental gesture takes, Fedarko writes with awe, beauty and grace about “a gesture of poetry and defiance quite unlike anything the canyon had ever seen. A quest that was inspired and driven by the obsessions of the fanatical boatman who was now gunning his dory toward the maelstrom that awaited them downstream.” (Jacob Stringer)
Kevin Fedarko: The Emerald Mile @ The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, July 31, 7 p.m., free. KingsEnglish.com

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