By Scott Renshaw
Make no mistake, RYAN HAMILTON knows he’s got a distinctive look going on. With a flash of his broad grin, he announces that he’s like “a white Chris Rock.” Or he’ll tip his hat to the scary Seinfeld resemblance with an observation that he’s “the illegitimate son of Jerry and Elaine.”But, once you settle in, you’ll realize this Idaho-born Salt Lake City transplant has more in common with Chris and Jerry than facial features—like pure observational comedy talent, for example, as he riffs on speed-dating (“like emotional Whack-a-Mole”) or bargain Lasik surgery deals (“I’m not going to clip coupons for anything that involves a laser and my eyeball”). But he’s also not afraid to get surreal, like walking onstage with a massive, unremarked-on trophy and starting his act before noting how he’s trying out some self-improvement affirmations (“Ryan … you are a winner”). His clean, smart brand of humor landed him on the 2007 edition of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, in the finals of the Boston Comedy Festival and on Comedy Central’s Live From Gotham—not to mention shout-outs in our own Artys awards. When he headlines in Ogden this weekend, you can join the fun as he counts off seconds between jokes and laughter—“to see how far away my sense of humor is … one of us needs to move.” Ryan Hamilton @ Wiseguys Comedy Café, 269 25th St., Ogden, 801-622-5588, March 7-8, 8 & 10 p.m. WiseguysComedy.com
By Jacob Stringer
There really isn’t quite anything like being able to take a peek inside the artistic creative process. Imagine witnessing the chisel of Michelangelo firsthand as he carved David. Or perhaps the madman Mozart as he frantically penned another opera, mass or requiem. Such is the opportunity provide by Repertory Dance Theatre’s CHARETTE. Set up as an improvisational competition, Charette brings together four choreographers (the University of Utah’s Kaye Richards, SugarSpace’s Brittany Reese, Amanda Sowerby from Weber State University and Salt Lake Acting Company’s Cynthia Fleming) and one defending champion (Stephen Koester). With a secret thematic ingredient provided to each participant, all five contestants have just one hour to unleash their artistic brilliance on a bevy of local professional and amateur dancers. It is during that allotted time that the attending audience is served refreshments and encouraged to wander from studio to studio to get a rare glimpse into the internal workings of creating modern dance. Judged by a panel including Carol Mikita, Brandon Griggs, Stephen Brown and Janet Gray, these choreographers expose every last detail of their creative processes in hopes of being crowned this year’s “Iron Choreographer.” And, although the spontaneity and limits of Charette curtail the masterpiece potential of the end results, being able to witness those periodic sparks of artistic genius that occur is plenty reward enough. RDT’s Charette: The Search for Utah’s Iron Choreographer @ Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-ARTS, Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m. Tickets $50, ArtTix.org
By Jamie Gadette
GAM Foundation’s local concert series Jazz at the Sheraton is largely committed to exposing younger audiences to a genre that doesn’t get much play on MTV, VH1 or mainstream radio stations. Typically held in an intimate environment, the performances offer attendees not just a history lesson on but also the opportunity to meet jazz greats, including this month’s featured act JON FADDIS, an insanely talented artist whose own career hinged on a chance encounter with Dizzy Gillespie at the ripe age of 12. Gillespie took Faddis under his wing and helped shape him as a protégé, into a leader with his own signature style. Faddis has since established a star-studded résumé that includes work with artists as diverse as Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Quincy Jones and Duke Ellington, as well as gigs directing the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. This week, Faddis comes to town with his quartet performing a blend of Gillespie-style numbers and original tunes showcasing his ever-evolving sound. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll be inspired to toot your own horn. Jon Faddis Quartet @ Sheraton City Centre, 150 W. 500 South, Monday, March 10, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 278-0411
Here & Now: Other New Happenings This Week
GENE A. STARK RETROSPECTIVE Utah Arts Alliance presents the first half of a look at the 40-year career of the visual and commercial artist. Utah Arts Alliance Gallery, 127 S. Main, 651-3937, Part One: March 4-29. Reception: Friday, March 7, 6-9 p.m. UtahArts.org
DMITRI RATSER The Gina Bachauer Foundation presents the Russian pianists’ renderings of Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Liszt and his own compositions. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-ARTS, Friday, March 7, 7:30 p.m.
ROB DOUGLAS: GROUNDED IN SILENCE New acrylic on panel paintings for Park City’s Gallery Stroll. Julie Nester Gallery, 1755B Bonanza Dr., Park City, 435-649-7855, March 7–April 2. Reception: March 7, 5:30–8 p.m. JulieNesterGallery.com
MAGIC WITH A FLAIR Magician Christopher Fair brings his kid-friendly act to Repertory Dance Theatre’s “Ring Around the Rose” series. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-ARTS, Saturday, March 8, 11 a.m. RDTUtah.org
CINDERELLA You’ve seen Ballet West’s version of the story; now see what Utah Opera has in store for Rossini’s interpretation. Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 355-ARTS, March 8-16, UtahSymphonyOpera.org
BILL MCKIBBEN The author of The End of Nature—a pioneering book about climate change 20 years ago—addresses “Writing as an Environmental Act.” City Library Auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, 524-8200, Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m. SLCPL.org
PACÍFICO DANCE COMPANY A colorful celebration of traditional Mexican ballet folklórico with a contemporary twist. Eccles Center, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 435-655-3114, Saturday, March 8, 7:30 p.m. EcclesCenter.org
URSULA COLEMAN The local author discusses her memoir Searchlights, about life growing up in Soviet Bloc-era East Germany. The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 484-9100, Tuesday, March 11, 7 p.m. KingsEnglish.Booksense.com
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO Director Daniel Karslake provides a post-screening Q&A about his documentary addressing Scripture-based objections to homosexuality. Westminster College Gore Auditorium, 1840 S. 1300 East, 746-7000, Wednesday, March 12, 7 p.m.