Essentials: Entertainment Picks Oct. 16-22 

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THURSDAY OCT. 16

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Alexander Hraefn Morris: Traveler
Abstract art often is given explicit meanings by its creators, who tell stories through painterly symbols. For viewers, that same art might resonate in a different way with their own dreams, hopes, desires and personal histories. Alexander Hraefn Morris, telling his symbolic story in a series of works at the Gallery at Library Square called Traveler, hopes that his works' meaning will be transporting for the viewer, allowing for personal voyages of experience, even as the show expresses a lifetime of symbolic meaning to the artist, conveyed in color, gesture and expressive use of abstract form. Morris tells the story of universal symbiotic relationships. The figure of the raven is central in Morris' narrative ("Black Birds on a Wire #2" is pictured). Ecologists call ravens "wolf-birds"; wild wolves will observe ravens circling in the sky and will go to that position. Ravens will then follow wolf packs to eat what they kill, creating a symbiosis. "By using these languages, I tell a story about such a journey as seen through the eyes of an empathetic guardian as it watches over me, or guides me from within, through this desert life," Morris says. With such a heightened consciousness, Morris has lived a life of great awareness that he now expresses through his art. (Ehren Clark) Alexander Hraefn Morris: Traveler @ Gallery at Library Square, 210 E. 400 South, 801-524-8200, through Oct. 24, free. SLCPL.org

THURSDAY OCT. 16

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Tony Feher: They arrived yesterday, dusty and weary from the journey, but in good spirits
What to do with the monumental G. W. Anderson Family Great Hall in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts might have been daunting for Whitney Tassie, UMFA'S curator of contemporary art, had she not an established relationship with sculptor Tony Feher. Feher's aesthetic of turning "unconsidered, often-discarded materials into poetic sculptures and installations" was exactly the recipe for the installation space of the great hall, Tassie says, and takes advantage of the height, volume and natural light. Feher's site-specific work was inspired by the concept of place, and—by using DIY fluorescent pink flagging tape for the ceiling, and blue painter's tape for the paneling—fills nearly all vertical space in the great hall. "His simple materials and inventive manipulation of the great hall will create a new, transformative experience for museum-goers," Tassie says. "Repeat visitors will experience the space of the museum like never before." (Ehren Clark) Tony Feher: They arrived yesterday, dusty and weary from the journey, but in good spirits @ Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, University of Utah, 801-581-7332, ongoing, $7-$9. UMFA.Utah.edu

FRIDAY OCT. 17

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Deep Love: A Ghostly Folk Opera
"What is the price of love?" That was the question that inspired Garrett Sherwood and Ryan Hayes, a couple of friends from Idaho, to create Deep Love. According to Sherwood, when he and Hayes first got together to create something musically, they immediately gravitated toward the idea of a rock opera exploring the many facets of love, good and bad. For the duo, setting the narrative in a way that directly involved the dead—in this case, having ghosts among the characters—was simply a unique way for them to pose their eternal question. They tapped American Idol finalist Jon Peter Lewis both to help produce and to star in the production. Hayes and Lewis then launched a folk duo called Midas Whale, which was featured on the hit television series The Voice—where the pair met another contestant, Amy Whitcomb, who also now stars in the annual star-studded fall production. The basic narrative follows the trials of Constance (Melanie Stone), a young maiden jealously guarded by the undying affection of her deceased lover, Old Bones (Lewis). When she begins to fall for a decidedly living firebrand named Friedrich (Sherwood), the new lovers are haunted by Bones from beyond the grave—not to mention Friedrich's woefully spurned ex-lover Florence (Whitcomb). The success of Deep Love is surely due to its unique blend of music styles—from Western and folk to haunting blues. But it's also due to an engaging story and a captivating, immersive production, including encouraging audiences to embrace the macabre mood by attending in funeral attire. (Jacob Stringer) Deep Love: A Ghostly Folk Opera @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, Oct. 17, 8 p.m., $20. ArtTix.org, DeepLoveOpera.com

FRIDAY OCT. 17

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Idaho Steelheads at Utah Grizzlies
The Utah Grizzlies open their 2014-15 season on Friday night when they host the Idaho Steelheads. But it's not just the start of a new hockey season; it's a 20th anniversary. Utah has been home to minor-league hockey since 1969, when the Salt Lake Golden Eagles set up shop in the former Salt Palace. That franchise lasted until 1994, when owner Larry Miller sold the team, and they became the Detroit Vipers. Salt Lake City had to get by without hockey in the winter of 1994-95. In the meantime, Denver had been awarded the Grizzlies as an expansion team in the International Hockey League. The team drew 12,000 fans a game, so the next year the National Hockey League's Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche, and the Grizzlies headed west to become the Utah Grizzlies for the 1995-96 season, and have been in business here ever since. During that time, the team has sent more than 200 players to the NHL, and has been affiliated with the NHL's Islanders, Kings, Stars, Canadians, Lightning, Coyotes, Flames and, now, the Anaheim Ducks while playing in the IHL, American Hockey League and now the ECHL (originally named the East Coast Hockey League but now just "ECHL" since it has teams in Alaska and California). The 21-team league plays a 72-game regular season, meaning the Grizzlies will host 36 home games through April 4. Whether you wear a Golden Eagles or Grizzlies jersey, show up and celebrate decades of hockey in Utah. (Geoff Griffin) Utah Grizzlies vs. Idaho Steelheads @ Maverik Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, 801-988-8800, Oct. 17, 7:05 p.m., $12-$35. MaverikCenter.com

FRIDAY OCT. 17

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William Lamson: Hydrologies
"Water is life," the truism goes, and that fact may become more painfully obvious as we experience shortages occur due to climate change. Brooklyn-based video and performance artist William Lamson explores the relationship between the land and water in his solo exhibition Hydrologies at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. Dual projects make use of the act of adding or removing water from the landscape as the basis of environmental works. In Hydrologies Atacama, Lamson—working with the assistance of a Chilean crew—distributed water across a section of the Atacama Desert, the world's oldest and driest continuous desert, in attempts to reactivate plant life there. Hydrologies Archaea took him to the Great Salt Lake, where he extracted several gallons of extremely saline water and poured it into glassware. Over the months, salt crystals developed in the containers, and the water evaporated, revealing thick salt deposits. The remains of hallophilic bacteria, now in fossil form, are of the domain Archaea, among the earliest known life forms. The two experiments seem to balance one other, but the results indicate a lack of environmental balance. Yet they also demonstrate the resilience of life on earth. Documentation includes videos, photographs and some of the jars of salt crystals. Other UMOCA openings Oct. 17 include Amy Jorgensen' Far From the Tree and Catherine Yass' Wall. (Brian Staker) William Lamson: Hydrologies @ Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple. 801-328-4201, Oct. 17-Jan. 10, artist talk Oct. 17, 6 p.m., gallery stroll reception 7-9 p.m., free, suggested $5 donation. UtahMOCA.org

FRIDAY OCT. 17

Anime Banzai
Now entering its ninth year, Anime Banzai has grown from a 600-person convention to hosting more than 5,000 people, bringing Japanese culture, anime and manga to the Davis Conference Center. The three-day event features panels about general Japanese culture and anime, gaming (card and video) rooms, art and cosplay contests, and dances. A viewing room is also available for family-friendly (PG-13 or tamer) anime. Local artists will be selling and displaying their work, while anime talent like voice actors Chuck Huber and Vic Mignogna and veteran animator Jan Scott-Frazie will also meet with fans. If you're attending for the first time, the options can seem overwhelming. Make sure to check out Anime Banzai's handy PDF of schedules, maps of the convention center and Davis County as a whole, and entry forms to the various contests. Anime Bonzai is an excellent starter convention for the first time pop-culture convention attendee, or a fun closing weekend for the seasoned convention-goer. (Rebecca Frost) Anime Banzai @ Davis Conference Center, 1651 N. 700 West, Layton, 801-416-8888, Oct. 17-19, Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 a.m., Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m., $25-$50, AnimeBanzai.org

SATURDAY OCT. 18

Utopia Early Music: My Bonny Lass She Smelleth
It's possible—perhaps even likely—that the layperson's perspective on "early music" is something stiff and formal. But as anybody who's ever read The Canterbury Tales can tell you, there was certainly also a naughty comedic side of the baroque, medieval and Renaissance eras, as Utopia Early Music demonstrates in this weekend's season-opening program. Talented local singers and musicians, using period-authentic instruments like recorder and harpsichord, present works by contemporary parody songwriter Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q. Bach) placed in a unique historical context. Utopia will juxtapose these modern tunes with actual pieces from the lineage of humorous song: ribald pieces from Elizabethan England, and 17th-century drinking songs. You might even learn about the more comical side of the original Bach. (Scott Renshaw) Utopia Early Music: My Bonny Lass She Smelleth @ Cathedral Church of St. Mark, 231 E. 100 South, Oct. 18, 8 p.m., Oct. 19, 5 p.m., pay as able (suggested donation: $15 general/$12 senior/$10 student). UtopiaEarlyMusic.org

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