Essentials: Entertainment Picks Dec. 12-18 

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THURSDAY DEC. 12

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company: Momentum
Deep into its 50th anniversary season, Ririe- Woodbury Dance Company was looking for a great way to get alumni involved with the festivities. Organizers had to look no further than an annual dance concert already being produced called Momentum. First started in 2007 when Juan Carlos Claudio and Jill Voorhees Edwards decided to create a show with fellow RWDC alumni John Allen, Momentum’s goal was to provide alumni with a creative outlet for their work. It was such a success in giving talented ex-RWDC dancers a fresh chance to both perform and present new choreographic ideas that the one-off show turned in to an annual affair. While Momentum has typically been produced during the summer—and outside of RWDC’s actual performing arts season—the company decided to join forces with their illustrious alums for its winter performance. So many past dancers were interested in contributing that the run had to be split into two distinct shows, alternating lineups over four performances. All three originals—Claudio, Edwards and Allen—will have work featured in the program, next to fellow past company members like Keith Johnson, Stevan Novakovich, Chia-Chi Chian, Aaron Draper, Emmy Thomson, Andy Vaca, Doris Trujillo and Prentice Whitlow—a group that numbers over a dozen and represents much of the company’s 50 years. And besides just curating an evening of existing choreography, RWDC also decided to commission brand-new pieces from a few past cast members, including Allen, Jillian Harris, Stephanie Nugent and Patrick Damon Rago. (Jacob Stringer)
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company: Momentum @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, Dec. 12-14, 7:30 p.m., Saturday matinee 3 p.m., $35. RirieWoodbury.com

Utah Artist Hands: A New Leaf
The depths of winter may be settling on Salt Lake City, but on Broadway, there emerges A New Leaf,bringing unique vitality and beauty to complete the eclectic boutique district of 300 South. Moving from 100 South to 300 South, Utah Artist Hands—with the show A New Leaf—is now seeing traffic well beyond any crowd gathering in its old location. The new location provides an excellent opportunity for Utah Artist Hands to showcase its potential as a great regional art gallery. A New Leaf includes something from every artist on the impressive gallery roster of Utah favorites (an untitled piece by Kevin Frazier is pictured). The metaphor in the title is evident: It’s a new era for Utah Artist Hands, as the gallery contributes unique representations of Utah regionalism, emphasizing color and design—with special touches of humor. (Ehren Clark)
A New Leaf @ Utah Artist Hands, 163 E. 300 South, 801-355-0206, through Jan. 13. UtaHands.com


FRIDAY DEC. 13

The Savage Poem Around Me: Alfred Lambourne’s Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake has captured more than a few hearts and innumerable imaginations, yet today we know hardly more about it and its mystery than did the early pioneer settlers of the valley. One of these pioneer settlers was English artist Alfred Lambourne (1850-1926). While the Utah Museum of Fine Arts is dedicating three exhibitions to the subject of the Great Salt Lake in the coming months, this first, focusing on Lambourne, is a one-of-a-kind historical documentation. It features paintings, sketches and writings about “the savage poem around me,” as Lambourne called this ethereal landmark—captivating and bewildering, with a romantic sensibility. After painting Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, Lambourne would return to the Great Salt Lake as an old friend who always offered a sense of renewal. Lambourne is considered a 19th-century Romantic Realist, ideal for paintings capturing the lake’s sublime depths. As a Romantic, Lambourne was sensitized by “scenes both grand and imposing,” he said. As a Realist, “Alternately one is captivated by the strange beauty which the place presents, or repelled by the ugliness that is seen along its shores,” he said. His sensitivity to the mysteries that attract so many can be seen in the painting titled “The Great Salt Lake”. There is an alien, unearthly quality to the composition: the tones of the water, the mountains shrouded in mist, a sky expansive yet delicately blue. It is the fishing boat and other derelict vessels that seem unnatural, out of place, detached from this enigmatic scene. (Ehren Clark)
The Savage Poem Around Me: Alfred Lambourne’s Great Salt Lake @ Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, University of Utah, 801-581-7332, Dec. 13-June 15, 2014, $5-$7. UMFA.Utah.edu

A Snow White Christmas
America has many Christmas traditions: The Nutcracker, stockings by the fireplace, trying to find a more personal present than a gift card for a family member. But England has some of its own very distinctive traditions—aside from a salutation of “happy Christmas” rather than “merry Christmas”—including the holiday tradition of the “panto,” a staged fairy-tale story full of choreography, broad humor, songs and audience participation. The touring production of A Snow White Christmas brings the holiday “panto” state-side, presented by the production company of reality competition show guru Nigel Lythgoe. The So You Think You Can Dancejudge also plays the pre-recorded part of the Magic Mirror in a story that casts The Voice contestant Amy Whitcomb as Snow White and David Osmond as the Prince. Throw in some contemporary pop hits, a live pony onstage, young local dance students as the dwarves and pre-show photo-ops with Santa Claus, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t celebrate Christmas British-style long ago. (Scott Renshaw)
A Snow White Christmas @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, Dec. 13-29, $25-$54. ArtTix.org


SATURDAY DEC. .14

Christmas Art Adoption
How many times does a seasonal event need to be repeated to become a tradition? Three years in, the Christmas Art Adoption is starting to feel like a regular part of the holidays. The Art Adoption is modeled after pet adoptions, where you can take home a work of art and give it a place in your house, but instead you’ll be selecting from “orphan” artworks that haven’t been sold at artists’ previous shows. With more than 40 artists on display, it’s one of the largest exhibits of local artists during the year, and 100 percent of sales go to the artists. The adoption will feature Trevor Dopp and Emlie Dziuk of Copper Palate Press; Steven Larson, who was featured in the art magazine New American Painting; and Brad Barker, who, in addition to painting, sings for the punk band Victims Willing. Organizer Josh Scheuerman saw success in the Spring Art Adoption, where he presented photographs and paintings from his Four Corners project, which raised awareness of litter in the state and the work to clean it up. Year’s end is a wonderful time to take in a group exhibit of local artists as a kind of summary of local art for the year. You can also donate clothes to the Homeless Youth Resource Center, non-perishable food for Utah’s Food Bank, and make donations to benefit Scheuerman’s “Warm Buddies” project to provide coats for the underprivileged. (Brian Staker)
Christmas Art Adoption @ Signed & Numbered, 2320 S. West Temple, 801-596- 2093, Dec. 14, 7-11 p.m., free. Facebook.com/SLCArtAdoption

George Lopez
Take a look at George Lopez, and it might be hard to wrap your head around the idea that 2013 marks his 30th anniversary as a performer. The boyish grin on his face and the enthusiasm with which he takes the stage make it seem like he’s just starting out. But then you take a look at his résumé, and realize that Lopez has packed a 50-year career into the past 30. From his early days performing stand-up in Southern California, he hosted a morning radio show in Los Angeles, then made his way to his self-titled ABC sitcom from 2002-07, which has only gained popularity since it moved to the Nick at Nite lineup. From 2009-11, he hosted the late-night Lopez Tonighttalk show on TBS. And in case there were any danger of him not finding an audience of kids with all that work, he brought his distinctive voice to three Beverly Hills Chihuahua movies, two Smurfs movies and the animated adventure Rio (also with a sequel on the horizon). Yet, Lopez is still a stand-up comedian at heart, and his current cross-country tour brings him back in front of live audiences to share stories and observations built around his cultural heritage—though those stories are now seasoned with details of his now celebrity life. The show’s opener offers an additional incentive for local comedy fans: Bryan Kellen, who won Salt Lake City’s own Rocky Mountain Laff-Off stand-up comedy competition just two years after he first took the stage. (Scott Renshaw)
George Lopez @ Maverik Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, 801-988-8800, Dec. 14, 8 p.m., $38-$53. MaverikCenter.com

Marissa’s Books Local Author Showcase
Even in an age of e-books and “virtual” everything, another local brick & mortar bookstore has emerged, proving that folks still love the written word in the palm of their hands. In celebration, and ‘tis the season and all, Marissa’s Books & Gifts will be hosting a holiday book signing featuring five local authors. Romance novelists Lisa Deon, author of the Carriage Trade; Doree DePew, author of Skye’s the Limit,the second book in her “Christmas Rings” series; Stanalei Fletcher, author of Lightning Only Strikes Twice; Mary Martinez, author of Charmed and Beguiled; and Anna Sugg, author of Secret Past, will all be on deck to sign copies, answer questions or just quip. Although all their novels are deemed romance, each has a unique perspective, from suspense to scientific facts. Visit Marissa’s Books for the special guests and stay to grab some new, used and vintage books for gifts. (Aimee Cook O’Brien)
Local Author Book Signing @ Marrissa’s Books & Gifts, 5664 S. 900 East, Suite 8, 801-262-2873, Dec. 14, 12-3 p.m., free. Facebook.com/MarissasBooks

Ring Around the Rose: Hatch Academy of Magic & Music
Magician Richard Hatch of the Hatch Academy of Magic & Music in Logan has baffled and entertained presidents and the Hollywood elite, engineers and travel agents from Budapest to Houston. It’s no small surprise that children love him, too, which is why Hatch will be returning to perform at the Ring Around the Rose series, a wiggle-friendly performance designed especially for energetic youngsters and their families. Hatch will be joined onstage by his wife, Rosemary, on violin and son Jonathan on piano. The family trio will perform a number of songs and acts, but the show stopper will undoubtedly be the family’s performance of “Taro-san the Fisherman and the Weeping Willow Tree,” based on the children’s book written by Hatch, published in 2012. Hatch, accompanied by his wife on violin, will tell the story of the struggles and triumph of a young Japanese fisherman while magically turning bamboo sticks into boats, hoops and rainbows. (Katherine Pioli)
Ring Around the Rose: Hatch Academy of Magic & Music @ Rose Wager Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, Dec 14, 11 a.m., $5. ArtTix.org

Utah Symphony: Here Comes Santa Claus!
Opportunities are abound this time of year for getting your kids on a red-velveted knee to deliver their long-winded wish list. But perhaps the least obnoxious—and without an insanely long queue— is Utah Symphony’s annual holiday concert, Here Comes Santa Claus! A part of Utah Symphony’s Lollipop Series, the ode to the jolly old elf is geared toward children 5-12, and takes place on Saturday at child-friendly hours. Conducted by Vladimir Kulenovic and featuring Mezzo Soprano Gretchen Windt and Utah Opera’s Tenor, Tyson Miller, the two separate concerts will be filled with holiday classics from around the world, like “Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer,” “O Holy Night” and “Winter Wonderland,” plus the “Waltz of the Flowers” from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite. And if you or your kids are still wondering what side of the naughty/nice list you’ve ended up on, Santa will be on hand before each show to let you know. (Jacob Stringer)
Utah Symphony: Here Comes Santa Claus! @ Abravanel Hall, 123 W South Temple, 801-355-2787, Dec. 14, 11 a.m. & 12:30 p.m., $6-$18. ArtTix.org

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