Essentials: Entertainment Picks June 18-24 

The Comedy of Errors, Chalk Art Festival, Sinbad and more

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THURSDAY JUNE 18

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Pinnacle Acting Company: The Comedy of Errors
Those who feel intimidated by Shakespeare often struggle with the idea that even the plays described as "comedies" sometimes feel inaccessible and hard to follow. But director Javen Tanner turns Pinnacle Acting Company's production of The Comedy of Errors into a clinic in how to take a game cast and play broad humor to delightful effect. Like so many of Shakespeare's comedies, this one involves mistaken and disguised identities—in this case, the arrival in the city of Ephesus of Antipholus (Roger Dunbar) and his servant Dromio (Melanie Nelson), who don't realize that their respective separated-at-birth twins (Jared Larkin and Holly Fowers) also live there. Much confusion ensues as residents repeatedly encounter an Antipholus or Dromio who have no idea what they're talking about. Tanner never shies away from the absurdity of the play's setup, using a minimalist set that consists almost entirely of a single doorway, serving to keep the focus on the performers. And they do uniformly wonderful work at selling some of the more overtly theatrical staging conceits, like a Greek chorus of sound-effects artists who come on stage to accompany Antipholus' slapstick punishments of Dromio, or those same characters entering a spotlight to turn their rat-a-tat wordplay into something out of a vaudeville routine. The result is a show filled with a playful energy that embraces the Shakespeare who loved fart jokes and sex puns—the one nobody could mistake as too highfalutin for regular folks to enjoy. (Scott Renshaw) Pinnacle Acting Company: The Comedy of Errors @ Westminster College Dumke Student Theater, 1840 S. 1300 East, June 11-27, 7:30 p.m.; matinee June 27, 2 p.m., $13-$18. PinnacleActingCompany.org

FRIDAY JUNE 19

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Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival
The Gateway's sidewalks will be a lot more colorful and exciting this Father's Day weekend. For 13 years, artists of all ages and skill levels have gathered downtown to create chalk masterpieces and support Utah Foster Care, which recruits and trains around 450 people a year to become successful foster parents to the 2,700 Utah children in need. The group also helps raise awareness about why these kids end up in foster care, which is usually due to abuse or neglect. The theme of this year's Utah Foster Care's Chalk Art Festival is "Families foster ... ," and participants are meant to fill in the blank. An estimated 120 artists will participate. Awards for Best in Show, Best in Theme and People's Choice will be presented at 6 p.m. Saturday. This year's featured artist, Julie Kirk Purcell (pictured), is known for creating dynamic, 3-D art at festivals around the globe. She participated in the 2014 Guinness World Records event for Largest 3-D Pavement Art. In addition to the art, there will be shopping, food trucks, entertainment on the main stage and vendor booths. Salt Lake Comic Con will have a booth full of familiar characters on Saturday, and a Kids Korner will allow children to create masterpieces of their own. Uber will be offering free rides to and from the festival; to get the special code for this offer, check Utah Foster Care's Facebook page before June 19. All murals will remain in place through Sunday, June 21, for viewing. (Shawna Meyer) Utah Foster Care's Chalk Art Festival @ The Gateway, 400 W. Rio Grande St., June 19, 2-9 p.m.; June 20, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. ChalkArtFestival.org

FRIDAY JUNE 19

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Namon Bills: Elements
Provo artist Namon Bills is an expert at assemblage—whether assembling local artists at various exhibits he has curated over the years or creating his own mixed-media works. His newest installation, Elements (detail left), explores the myriad ways collage, painting and installation artworks relate, framed by the context of the four classical elements: earth, fire, water and wind. Many of his works resemble mental maps, with segments taken from sheet music, atlases, scientific graph paper inscribed with equations, textbooks and newspapers in foreign languages. Through the works in the show, viewers can trace Bills' background, from the influence of studying painting at Brigham Young University as an undergraduate to receiving an MFA at Utah State University in a program emphasizing design elements in artworks. An artist like Bills isn't simply the product of an education, and his work shows a highly personal progression as well as an examination of commonalities between knowledge and information theory. On one level, Elements holds a mirror up to the world to ask us what it means to exist in and among nature. But it also takes up questions of how we have shaped the world and how these ponderings have shaped who we are. The exhibit will hold an opening reception Friday, June 19, and also during July Gallery Stroll on July 17. (Brian Staker) Namon Bills: Elements @ Finch Lane Gallery, 1340 E. 100 South, 801-596-5000, June 12-July 31; artist reception, June 19, 6-9 p.m. SaltLakeArts.org

SATURDAY JUNE 20

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Sinbad
It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since a former Air Force boom operator named David Adkins took the stage name Sinbad and became an overnight star after winning the comedy competition on the syndicated talent show Star Search. But long after the Ed McMahon-hosted showcase has become a TV history footnote, Sinbad continues to entertain audiences with his engaging, self-deprecating and family-friendly persona. That self-deprecation includes his willingness—as he did in his 2010 Comedy Central special Where U Been?—to address matters like his tax problems and his re-marriage to his ex-wife ("Everybody's crazy, but I know your crazy, and I can deal with your crazy"). And while his forte may be the kind of humor about relationships and contemporary life that can seem old-fashioned, there's still something wonderful about a performer with the energy and stage presence to make any joke feel like something he's saying just to you. (Scott Renshaw) Sinbad @ Sandy Amphitheater, 1245 E. 9400 South, 801-568-6068, June 20, 8 p.m., $19-$34. SandyArts.com

MONDAY JUNE 22

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Utah Symphony
What could be better than watching the Utah Symphony perform outdoors in a scenic downtown setting on a summer evening? Just add four letters: F-R-E-E. There is no admission fee or ticket needed when the Utah Symphony performs June 22 in the open air at the Gallivan Center downtown. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and outside food is welcome for those who want to enjoy a picnic before the music starts; low chairs and blankets are also permitted. With an 8 p.m. start time and the program expected to run about two hours and 20 minutes, the concert will begin in twilight and end under the stars. Performing under the baton of Vladimir Kulenovic, the symphony will present a program highlighted by Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. The ensemble will also perform well-known pieces such as Gioachino Rossini's overture to The Barber of Seville, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's overture to The Marriage of Figaro and Richard Wagner's prelude to Act III of Tristan und Isolde. The symphony is also scheduled to play a free outdoor concert on June 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Taylorsville Dayzz, held at Taylorsville Regional Park (5100 S. 2700 West). As with the downtown concert, gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and outside food and pre-show picnics are welcome. The Taylorsville concert will be highlighted by a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. (Geoff Griffin) Utah Symphony @ Gallivan Center, 239 Main, June 22, 8 p.m., free, gates open 5:30 p.m. UtahSymphony.org

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