Essentials: Entertainment Picks Sept. 25-Oct. 1 

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Nikolai Borisovich Terpsikhorov
The great works of Russian artist Nikolai Borisovich Terpsikhorov are monumental in size, proportion and subject—and so is their place in history. Thus it's kind of amazing that we can see these 20th-century Soviet masterworks at Evolutionary Healthcare—no need to travel to a European museum. According to the works' original curators at the Springville Museum of Art, Terpsikhorov is a master of a fundamental element of landscape painting: mood. And he's also a master of the emotion found in portraiture. "Woman With A Towel" (pictured) represents socialist idealism through a woman of the people. She wears the costume of her country; she works and does her part. Her eyes are the eyes of any woman, bearing no personal ambition or identity, simply resolute in serving Mother Russia. This is history revealed through painting. (Ehren Clark) Nikolai Borisovich Terpsikhorov @ Evolutionary Healthcare, 461 E. 200 South, 801-519-2461, through Oct. 13,



Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company: Fall Season
After celebrating its 50th anniversary this past season, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company could simply rest on the laurels of that history and repertory to build its upcoming season. But instead, the first performance of RWDC's 51st season, Fall Season, features one brand-new commission, another commission that first premiered in 2013 and a work by its own artistic director, Daniel Charon, making its Salt Lake City premiere. Charon says his piece Storm is a kinetic work that explores the fast pace of modern-day society. "It is inspired by the individual energy inherent in each of us that, when put together, make a community's life force so unique," he says. It should pair nicely with the company's revival of Johannes Wieland's One Hundred Thousand, a tour de force that explores the contemporary cult of celebrity worship. It's a high-energy, physical romp, and includes multiple stage props, lip-synching, a bit of spoken word and some downright insanity as the performers work to the point of exhaustion. The commission making its world premiere is the unique multimedia piece Fragments by choreographer Jonah Bokaer. Since he started choreographing in 2002, Bokaer has created a new language of dance through the use of visual arts and design. Fragments will have two distinct installation elements: a set of hanging, mirrored panels, and fluorescent lights patterning the floor. "The idea is to highlight the dancers, and the space, with fragmentary reflections & refractions of light, and space," Bokaer says. (Jacob Stringer) Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company: Fall Season @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-297-4241, Sept. 25-27, 7:30 p.m., $35.



salt 10: Conrad Bakker
The latest iteration of the salt series at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts explores something very personal to the late Robert Smithson: his own library. The wooden books created by Illinois artist Conrad Bakker cannot be opened but nevertheless have much to say about the man who collected them. A personal collection of books, "even without being read, says something about their owners," says UMFA curator Whitney Tassie. Bakker replicated a selection of Smithson's library through incredibly deft, detailed woodcarving and painting. The volumes provide a candid glimpse of Smithson, who plays a significant part in Utah's art world, yet who sometimes seems abstracted. Here, we can catch hold of who he was—his personal motivations, his goals, the ideas he wished to pursue and what he looked at to provide source material for his art. The exhibit is also a chance to get to know the art of Bakker, who's exhibited work internationally and has replicated photographs, chairs and even motorcycles out of wood. (Ehren Clark) salt 10: Conrad Bakker @ Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, University of Utah, 801-581-7332, through Feb. 8, $7-$9, UMFA members free.



Jason Manley: Paved Forest, Tyler Beard: Amid Sand & Sun
CUAC's director and curator, Adam Bateman, has been experimenting with different uses of the gallery space in recent exhibits, and the progressive local gallery has become prime territory for probing the nature of conceptual art. The two artists currently featured in the space look at different ways nature and the manufactured world intersect. The sculptures in Jason Manley's Paved Forest are formulated from linguistic phrases, and their materials relate both to complex fabrication processes and natural materials. A phrase like "Out of sight, out of mind" has multiple meanings when it's turned into an imposing sculptural form (pictured), suggestive of skyscrapers or the High Sierras. The assertive presence of these objectsc also invokes their negative; in a strange way, they are the artistic descendents of Magritte's "This Is Not a Pipe" painting. Tyler Beard's Amid Sand & Sun presents photographs mounted on metal sculptures, with shapes evoking those in nature as well as in architecture, like shaped aluminum steps. His works seem to suggest that natural forms aspire to the geometrical precision of the manufactured. Manley holds an MFA from the University of Arizona, has exhibited widely, and is on the faculty at Weber State University. Beard, a Fulbright finalist, completed an MFA at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Both artists demonstrate that the most challenging current conceptual art takes as its subject matter the nature of the physical world. (Brian Staker) Jason Manley: Paved Forest/Tyler Beard: Amid Sand and Sun @ CUAC, 175 E. 200 South, 385-214-6768, through Oct. 10, free.


SLC Comedy Carnivale
The first year of any event is always a bit of an experiment to see what will work. The second year, though, gives you a shot to become a tradition. And thus the SLC Comedy Carnivale is ready to make its mark as an annual celebration of comedy. One thing it did well right out of the gate and is returning to again this year is using multiple venues—12 total this year—including many not even comedy oriented, like 5 Monkeys in Murray, the Sugar Space Studio for the Arts in both Sugar House and on 800 West, and even the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. This year, the event has expanded to 18 shows over four days, featuring more than 70 comedians from all over the country, without a single clown in sight. And it's not limited to stand-up; there's improv/sketch comedy, a celebration of the best of the fest at Keys on Main titled It's Always Funny In Salt Lake City, the Weird & Awesome show with Emmett Montgomery, and a sketch screening at Brewvies. (Jacob Stringer) SLC Comedy Carnivale @ various downtown Salt Lake City locations, Sept. 25-28, prices and times vary, $7-$25. Visit for the full schedule


Moab Pride Festival
The Moab Pride Festival is what would happen "if Burning Man and Utah Pride Festival had a baby," says the event's executive director, Sallie Hodges (see Five Spot, p. 8). The high-desert festival is a roaring celebration of love, honoring the unique authenticity of all individuals no matter how outside-the-box they are; it's a party for all shades of gay. Friday's festival kick-off Orange Party might be the most anticipated thing about Moab Pride, because, Hodges says, "Orange is the new black." But it's also quite an experience to walk—or ride whatever wheels suit your fancy—through the town as part of the Saturday-morning Visibility March along with the Fiery Furnace Marching Band and a liberated artsy bunch of locals. The post-parade festivities have moved this year from the outskirts of town to Swanny City Park in the heart of Moab, with a beer garden, live music (featuring Salt Lake City's Talia Keys) and vendors. (Deann Armes) Moab Pride Festival @ various Moab locations, Sept. 25-27, free.


Utah Renaissance Faire
Hear ye, hear ye: Your chance to live like a king is upon you. Thanksgiving Point is hosting the Utah Renaissance Faire for all to enjoy. Medieval times were days of feasting, jousting and archery. In keeping with those times, there will be a royal five-course meal for $35 per person, complete with authentic live music. After your belly is full, stroll down the medieval village marketplace where you will find authentic period clothes and handicrafts like handmade pottery, gypsy skirts and pirate hats. No Renaissance faire would be complete without bringing the entertainment of the times to life. Patrons can enjoy watching the traditional jousting, along with shield and sword combat. Medieval dances will be performed throughout the day, as well as plays by the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, and even puppet shows for the little ones. (Aimee Cook O'Brien) Utah Renaissance Faire @ Thanksgiving Point, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, 801-768-2300, Sept. 26-27, $4-$12.



The Sting & Honey Company: The Private Ear
As true as it is that theater is a playwright's medium, it is also the case that much can be done with a merely ordinary script to make good theater out of it. Peter Shaffer's The Private Ear is not only rather slight as a text, it's also incomplete; in its initial run, and nearly every one since, it's been paired with the (generally more lauded) companion piece The Public Eye—but not in The Sting & Honey Company's production, which lets The Private Ear stand on its own. The premise is thin and predictable: An awkward music lover has a date with a woman who reminds him of Botticelli's Venus, and asks a more assured friend to coach him through the date, with inevitable disaster looming. But the actors are excellent—their imperfect English accents, product of the early-'60s England setting, are only a minor problem—and the visuals that director Javen Tanner and lighting designer Jaron Hermansen create are exquisite, coloring in what are mere outlines in the script. This production of The Private Ear, opening at a period in time where there are so many public scandals centering around men dehumanizing and objectifying women cuts deep. Its two male characters see its one woman as, respectively, a goddess and a potential one-night stand, neither sees her as a human being. That such an ordinary play can resonate so strongly is a testament to the deeper truth about theater: It may need playwrights to write plays, but it is a collaborative enterprise that is so much more than words on paper. (Danny Bowes) The Sting & Honey Company: The Private Ear @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, through Oct. 4, Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. Saturday matinees, $20.


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Benjamin Alire Saenz: Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
The 17th annual Utah Humanities Book Arts Festival—running through the end of October—hosts free literary events statewide, including keynote day at the Salt Lake City Main Library, with authors, book signings, panels, an art exhibit and a poetry slam. Benjamin Alire Saenz (pictured) is one of this year's featured authors, and will discuss his latest books, notably Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe—a 2013 Printz honor book. The novel is a wonderful addition to the growing genre of "coming-out" literature, following two isolated boys whose chance meeting sparks a unique friendship-turned-romance that helps them discover their authentic selves. The acclaimed work explores LGBT themes and issues faced by young adults, but appeals to all ages and sexual orientations and seems destined to become a coming-of-age classic. (Deann Armes) Benjamin Alire Saenz: Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe @ Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 801-359-9670, Sept. 27, 3 p.m., free.

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