THURSDAY JUNE 27
Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival
Did you think that Mozart was the world’s last young musical prodigy? Think again. Every June for more than 30 years, thousands of young musical geniuses from around the world have come to Salt Lake City to compete in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition.
This year’s four-day Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival features winners from the 2012 competition. Last year’s two gold medalists—Ryota Yamazaki, winner in the junior artist category, and Leonardo Colafelice, winner in the young artist category—will share the stage June 27. Yamazaki, 15, who took his first piano lesson in 2006 and started winning gold medals in competitions only two years later, will play Beethoven and Chopin. Italian pianist Colafelice—already on the verge of becoming an international sensation—will follow with Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky; music critics from Sweden to Italy speak of Colafelice’s playing as stretches of poetry incorporating technical brilliance. (Katherine Pioli)
Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, June 27-29, 7:30 p.m., $8 students, $20 general, $60 full festival package. Bachauer.com
Victor Navasky: The Art of Controversy
In 1830, a cartoon depicting King Louis Philippe of France eating up all his country’s resources landed the cartoonist, Honoré Daumier, in jail. Images of social and political criticism such as Daumier’s, and the stories of their censure, are the subject of Victor Navasky’s new book, The Art of Controversy.
Currently publisher emeritus of The Nation and board member on the Committee to Protect Journalists, Navasky has also served as editor at The New York Times Magazine and taught at numerous colleges and universities. Such experience allows Navasky a highly personal window into his inquiry of the history and nature of political cartoons.
The book is composed of more than 80 illustrations covering more than 30 political cartoonists and publications, but it reads with a nonfiction slant full of personal anecdotes, meetings with the cartoonists and plenty of stories to make it an entertaining read. The event coincides with this week’s Association of American Editorial Cartoonists annual convention, held this year in Salt Lake City. (Katherine Pioli)
Victor Navasky: The Art of Controversy @ King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, June 27, 7 p.m., free. KingsEnglish.com
Mormon Sexologist Melissa Jones
Melissa Jones likes to introduce herself as a mom, a wife, a doctor of sexology and a Mormon in good standing. To her, all these various titles need not be as contradictory as they initially seem.
Yes, she used to be a stake Young Women president in the LDS Church. But at some point, her curiosity and earnest desire to help people with their sexual issues got the better of her. What she came to believe is that some couples need a sexologist who is intimately familiar with the complex intersection between the Mormon faith and a healthy sexuality.
In a past interview with City Weekly, Jones said, “We need to take sex back from Satan. And realize sex is good, sex is great, it’s beautiful, it’s wonderful, and it’s there for our pleasure. And to bond us as couples. That’s how I see my job as a sexologist: to help them bring that fun back into sex.”
So, besides a successful private practice and popular guest appearances on X96’s Radio From Hell show, Jones periodically teams up with the Blue Boutique in Salt Lake City to offer up a bit of sexual healing, with classes such as Creative Cunnilingus: The Art of Oral Sex on Women, Fabulous Fellatio and a seminar held on the finer points of BDSM & Kink. Jones’ most popular couples-only class is the one that really tackles the issues at the heart of what brought her to the precarious business in the first place: Amazing Orgasms for Him & Her. (Jacob Stringer)
Mormon Sexologist Melissa Jones @ Blue Boutique, 1383 E. 2100 South, 801-485-2072, June 27-29, $25. BlueBoutique.com, MJSexologist.com
Video Killed the Radio Star
“Video killed the radio star,” sang the band Buggles in the early 1980s, during the rise of the music video—back when music videos were still a thing. Yes, plenty of art forms have come and gone, but embroidery?
Local fiber artists Anna West and Rachel Hayes attempt to revive what might be a lost art with this show whose tongue-in-cheek title recalls another art form that seemed earth-shattering at the time, but now is relegated to fading pop-culture references.
Talk about traditional: Hayes’ pieces include “blackwork” embroidery, using only black and white except a touch of color she added in; this style had its heyday in the 15th and 16th centuries. Influenced in part by punk-rock London, West has embroidered icons of the 1980s, like Prince, Elton John, John Lennon and Robin Williams, which recall a childhood of growing up in a rural Utah town and escaping through TV. The static-y images of her television window to the world are replaced with the fuzzy outlines of embroidery floss.
There is a bit of ambivalence in the show’s embrace of the art of embroidery, both mourning its loss and attempting to save it somehow through the addition of modern themes, themselves ambiguous in their level of irony. But that is similar to West’s My Dead Friends show, in January/February 2012, on the theme of the domestic arts.
While the show opened June 11, featuring six pieces, it’s scheduled to add new pieces each month throughout the year. (Brian Staker)
Video Killed the Radio Star @ Urban Arts Gallery, 137 S. Rio Grande St., 801-651-3937, through Dec. 31, free. UtahArts.org
Aries Spears, like many standup comics, has a pretty unapologetic funny bone that he’s been honing for years out on the road. One way he commonly likes to use (and abuse) it is to expound on the amusing differences he observes between men and women (say, their respective self-pleasuring habits) and blacks and whites (say, partying abilities).
The fact that Spears was so successful as one of the stars of MADtv for seven seasons is partly due to incorporating those observations into hilarious sketches, but he also has impressive impersonation skills. In fact, many of the characters he created for MADtv were exaggerations of laughable celebrity types. That doesn’t mean specific celebrities have escaped his brash brand of humor. His ability to do impressive impressions of pop stars like Michael Jackson and Jay-Z just as quickly as he can turn the screw on Bill Cosby, Shaquille O’Neal or even Al Pacino shows his amazing and all-encompassing range. (Jacob Stringer)
Aries Spears @ Wiseguys Comedy Café, 2194 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801-463-2909, June 28-29, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., $20. WiseguysComedy.com
Salt Lake Acting Company: Saturday’s Voyeur 2013
For more than 30 years, Salt Lake Acting Company has been skewering the Utah Mormon-ocracy in an annual theatrical musical revue. But never before in that time has the country itself come as close to having a Mormon in charge—and that’s precisely the launching point for writers Nancy Borgenicht and Allen Nevins.
The action begins on Election Day 2012, with the Church Office Building abuzz over the possibility of Mitt Romney’s election. What kind of values could be restored with a Mormon at the helm of this great nation? And what other state and national hot topics of the past year might swirl through that structure: Worries over the Mayan apocalypse? Gay Boy Scouts? Stalled gun control? Can we still laugh and sing our way through all the things that usually drive us crazy? Join veteran cast members like Justin Ivie and Alexis Baigue and several newer faces to throw a few sacred cows on the grill. (Scott Renshaw)
Saturday’s Voyeur 2013 @ Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W. 500 North, 801-363-7522, Wednesday-Sunday, through Sept. 1, see website for times, $45-$55. SaltLakeActingCompany.org
SATURDAY JUNE 29
Utah Symphony: 1812 Overture
America: land of the free, home of cannons … at least for one night of festivities. The Cannoneers of the Wasatch will begin this year’s Deer Valley Music Festival with celebratory cannon fire. Then, Utah Symphony associate conductor Vladimir Kulenovic will lead the symphony through a program of patriotic classical and contemporary symphonic music.
The evening’s highlight is Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, written in 1880 to commemorate Russia’s 1812 defense against Napoleon’s army. However, most people associate it with America’s independence, because it’s the go-to Fourth of July classical composition. The Utah Symphony has performed it at Deer Valley for 25 consecutive years, because the more-than-15-minute-long piece is epic—think cannons, and lots of ’em, especially in the final movement.
More patriotic/American songs on the program include “The Star Spangled Banner” (John Stafford Smith/Francis Scott Key), “Overture to West Side Story” (Leonard Bernstein), “American Salute” (Morton Gould), “Freedom Tower” (James Beckel) and an armed forces salute, among others. (Austen Diamond)
Utah Symphony: 1812 Overture @ Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheatre, 2250 Deer Valley Drive South, Park City, 801-533-6683, June 29, 7:30 p.m., $25-65. DeerValleyMusicFestival.org
MONDAY JULY 1
Gallivan Center Monday Night Movies: The Maltese Falcon
The term “film noir” was coined in the 1940s to identify a certain style of filmmaking built on stories about crime and unsteady moral foundations, often influenced by German expressionism in the stylized use of light and shadow. So, what better way to enjoy these dark stories than under the stars?
The Utah Film Center and the Gallivan Center have teamed up to present a month of film noir on Mondays in July, beginning with the movie that film historians often refer to as the first film noir: director John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon. The adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel casts Humphrey Bogart as private detective Sam Spade, hired by a mysterious woman to find her missing sister. But a pair of murders put Spade on the defensive, eventually sending him on a search for a valuable statue of a black bird. Many of the hallmarks of the genre swirl throughout the film: the “femme fatale,” tangled plotting in which characters’ motivations are often in question, and a hero whose own character may be less than completely pure.
The rest of July continues serving up classics. On July 8, Carol Reed’s 1949 The Third Man begins a two-week stretch featuring a sinister Orson Welles (including Welles’ own 1958 drama Touch of Evil on July 15). July 22 showcases Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo, and July 29 wraps up the month with a satirical take on the genre: Robert Zemeckis’ Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Bring a blanket, low chairs and snacks … and don’t be afraid of the dark. (Scott Renshaw)
Gallivan Center Monday Night Movies: The Maltese Falcon @ Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, Monday evenings in July, beginning at dusk (approximately 9 p.m.), free. TheGallivanCenter.com/events-monday-night-movies.htm
WEDNESDAY JULY 3
Ralph “Teach” Elrod: Kick Start
In peaceful, predominantly Mormon Utah, the societal upheaval of the late 1960s and early 1970s might have seemed very far away. But for those who were among the first members of local motorcycle clubs, the counter-cultural spirit was in full bloom—and resulting in plenty of colorful, often less-than-legal adventures.
In his new memoir, Kick Start: Memories of an Outlaw Biker, Ralph “Teach” Elrod tells the story of how he came to be a part of the Barons Motorcycle Club after relocating to Salt Lake City in 1969, graduating through the ranks to road captain and eventually president of the Barons through much of the 1970s. In a lively, colloquial voice, Teach shares anecdotes from the birth of a unique nomadic lifestyle: interactions with other motorcycle clubs around the country (some friendly, some not); inevitable clashes with suspicious law enforcement (sometimes justified, sometimes not); the building up of friendships and the challenges to romantic relationships; and even political action, as bikers fought the institution of mandatory helmet laws, including with a protest ride to Washington, D.C., in 1975.
Join “Teach” for a reading that’s sure to include a range of colorful stories setting the Barons’ record straight—some of which will confirm that the biker mythology has a lot of the facts right, and some of which that might make you see the culture in a whole new light. (Scott Renshaw)
Ralph “Teach” Elrod: Kick Start: Memories of an Outlaw Biker @ Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 East, 801-521-3819, July 3, 7 p.m., free. KenSandersRareBooks.com
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