Essentials: A&E Picks Aug. 29-Sept. 4 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Essentials: A&E Picks Aug. 29-Sept. 4 

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Utah State at Utah football season opener
All five of the state’s Division I football programs kick off the 2013 season this week, headlined by Utah State coming to Salt Lake City on Thursday night. In the second game of the 2012 season, the Aggies beat Utah 27-20 in Logan—their first win over the Utes in 15 years. The two teams were set on different trajectories: Utah State ended up with all sorts of “best ever” designations in the history of the school, including 11 wins and claiming the “Beehive Boot” as Utah’s best football team; Utah posted a 5-7 record and ended up breaking a nine-year streak of going to a bowl game.

In the offseason, USU coach Gary Andersen—less than three weeks after stating, “Logan is where I need to be”—left Logan for the money and prestige of the Big 10’s Wisconsin. Now, Matt Wells will try to keep the Aggies rolling. Meanwhile, Utah kept pace in the Pac-12 by opening the $32 million Spence & Cleone Eccles Football Center. However, at the opening, Spence Eccles himself couldn’t help but note he experienced, “a long drive back from Logan” last fall. After ponying up $32 million, he’s entitled to be a critic.

BYU, meanwhile, travels cross-country to play at Virginia on Saturday, and will return to Provo to face Texas in their home opener next weekend. BYU and Utah play in Provo on Sept. 21, in the last match-up of the rivals until 2016. Weber State opens at home this weekend, and will be at Utah next Saturday. (Geoff Griffin)
Utah State at Utah football season opener @ Rice-Eccles Stadium, University of Utah, Aug. 29, 6 p.m., sold out, watch on Fox Sports 1, visit for game info; BYU at Virginia, Aug. 31, 1:30 p.m., watch on ESPNU, visit for game info

Rod Heiss: Let Paint Be Paint

The discourse of “art for art’s sake” is old news. Art created for the purpose of defining or redefining what it is, or what it’s supposed to be, has long since been just another kind of art-making.
In the show called Let Paint Be Paint at the Gallery at Library Square, Rod Heiss’ paintings can be looked at and enjoyed for rich, vigorous, and sensual painterly qualities, each unique and characteristically nuanced, as a fine work of art for its own sake. Each painting works on its own level, and may be read for the special singular qualities permitted by glazed contours of thick acrylic heaped on masonite in waves of lucid color.

In the painting “On Safari,” Heiss has spread the acrylic in sheets that have an angular formality, lending a more rigorous surface. In this, the majority of the color is a rich sea blue—a cold hue, thus adding ruggedness to the already sturdy qualities. The blues bleed and infuse with other cold colors like lime green and vivid violet, as well as warm colors in unpredictable areas for contrast.

“Number 8” (pictured) is on a different end of the color spectrum, and includes hot crimson reds, bold tangerine orange and glowing fiery yellows. Featuring paint applied in squared patches of acrylic cubicles, this is a raging-hot coal fire. Though these all may be canvases that are in some way “about” paint, each takes on a life of its own. (Ehren Clark)
Rod Heiss: Let Paint Be Paint @ Gallery at Library Square, 210 E. 400 South, 801-524-8200, through Sept. 20, free.

This Is the Place
Utah has been “the place” over and over, for different peoples, in a number of different ways. This diversity has made the This Is the Place exhibit, organized by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, a show full of diverse artistic genres and styles that’s different each time it’s presented. This year’s exhibition follows on the heels on the selection earlier this year of Lynnette Hiskey as new director of the division.

The day after the exhibit’s Aug. 16 opening, the gallery celebrated National Can-it-Forward Day at the nearby Downtown Farmers Market, with displays and demonstrations of the canning and preserving practice, which is a deep part of local culture. The exhibition also coincides with the Utah State History Conference on Sept. 5-8, some sessions of which are held at the Rio Grande Depot, free to the public.

The invited artists for the show include Vicki Acoba, Paul Adams, Fidalis Buhler, Jim Jacobs, Amy Jorgensen, Jessica Li, Joe Ostraff, Linda Reynolds, Will Varner and Clay Wagstaff (whose “Sevier River Study” is pictured). Of particular interest is the work of Jorgensen, who is concurrently showing in the Brigham Young University Museum of Art group show Work To Do, which features provocative art centered around the idea of “women’s work” and gender roles. Ostraff’s installation Potluck, meanwhile, features 50 panels by 50 other artists, and expands the range and community sensibility of the show. (Brian Staker)
This Is the Place @ Rio Gallery, 455 W. 300 South, 801-254-7020, through Sept. 13, free.,

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho has a résumé that most comics would die for. But few credits are as unique as her Emmy-nominated, gender-bending turn as North Korea’s Kim Jong-il on 30 Rock. For her—born of Korean immigrants—it was a dream acting gig; she relished the opportunity to turn a personal family hardship into comedy gold.

In fact, it has always been her style to deliberately leave no subject off the table—and few prudes unscathed—as she uses her raw wit to expose all the oddities of how people deal with race, religion and sex. Over the years, she has become a sort of unofficial spokesperson for the outsider, especially the LGBT community, taking it upon herself to include everyone, no matter how fringe they might find themselves. With new award-winning specials released regularly and television gigs too numerous to count, it’s amazing that Cho still finds time to tour, let alone record a comedy album, Cho Dependent. (Jacob Stringer)
Margaret Cho @ Wiseguys Comedy Café, 2194 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801-463-2909, Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 30-31, 7 & 9 p.m.; Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m., $25.

Paintings of the West

“Plein air” art means the opposite of its phonetic sound. The originally French method of painting outside allows artists to capture the full, robust nuances of the landscape. This involves skies with various hues and tonalities, mountains with deepened differentiated shadow, and flora with color brought out depending on season and light. The Slusser Gallery specializes in plein air art, which transcends the mere illusion of azure sky and alpine meadow, revealing the living substance and essences of the land.

Ned Mueller, Jeff Sewell and Bryan Mark Taylor are all masters of plein air. Taylor’s “Vermillion & Gold” is one of the best examples in Paintings of the West, which features all three artists. Taylor’s skies are infused with pinks and violets of a late summer afternoon. The red of the land gives way to deep shadows of hazy blue cast by low mountain peaks, while brush and a rugged valley yield a cornucopia of color made more intense by the season and time of day. (Ehren Clark)
Paintings of the West @ Slusser Gallery, 447 E. 100 South, 801-532-1956, through Sept. 13, free.


Soldier Hollow Classic: Sheepdog Championship & Festival
Several world-class events call Utah home, but one renowned affair regularly flies under the radar: The Soldier Hollow Classic, one of the top-tier sheepdog-herding championships and festivals in the world.
Sheepdog herding is a sport that pits cunning canine athletes and their handlers against the unruly nature of Utah’s woolly range sheep. Although it doesn’t particularly sound like a spectator sport, in 2012, thousands of people sat in awed suspense as they watched dogs bolt up a hill and then masterfully herd a ewe group back down, splitting, cornering and corralling them through several gates and into a small pen.

Add to all that excitement a festival that includes Canine Acrobats, the Wild Wonders Animal Show and the Splash Dogs Championship, as well as Dutch-oven cooking and traditional Scottish music, and it’s no wonder that the annual Soldier Hollow Classic has become the type of event dogs (and their people) fly in from all over the globe for. (Jacob Stringer)
Soldier Hollow Classic @ Soldier Hollow, 2002 Olympic Drive, Midway, 435-654-2002, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, Friday-Sunday, $8-$13; Monday Grand Championship, $8.50-$16.50.

Ryan Rapier: The Reluctant Blogger

In an era when it seems like no personal detail—no lunch plate, no frolicking kitten—is too mundane for someone to want to chronicle it and send it out to the world, the idea of a “reluctant blogger” sounds almost quaint. But in Arizona-based author Ryan Rapier’s debut novel, the title comes from a man sharing personal details that are perhaps a little too personal.

His protagonist, Todd Landry, is recently widowed, and unable to open up to a therapist about how he’s handling his wife’s death. So instead, he turns to the online world, writing about his grief and his new life as a single parent, at times with wry humor—perhaps echoing Rapier’s own clever blog entries about more mundane matters, like being bald but still having a bad hair day. (Scott Renshaw)
Ryan Rapier: The Reluctant Blogger @ King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, Aug. 30, 7 p.m.; Barnes & Noble, 1104 E. 2100 South, 801-463-2610, Aug. 31, noon; Weller Book Works, Trolley Square, 602 E. 600 South, 801-328-2586, Sept. 2, 7 p.m., free.

The Rose Exposed

Most people are familiar with the big summer arts festivals, but a newer kid on the block is The Rose Exposed, a two-day affair gathering together The Rose Wagner Center’s six resident performing-arts organizations: Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Plan-B Theatre Company, Pygmalion Theatre Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and SB Dance.

This year’s second-annual event begins outside on Friday evening with a block party including food trucks and live music. Then the soiree moves indoors for a variety show—hosted by X96’s Radio From Hell personality Bill Allred—including a performance by a 2012 Gina Bachauer award-winner; a comic monologue; excerpts and highlights from RDT, RWDC and SB Dance works; and, apparently, a couple of tunes sung by actors who wouldn’t normally be cast to sing in front of a live audience.

Saturday consists of a series of free workshops, classes and exhibitions. Stephen Brown of SB Dance will be conducting a sport yoga session, and there will be several movement classes taught by RWDC and RDT. You can also learn tricks of the trade of theatrical makeup, attend forums discussing what it’s like to be a young professional pianist and enjoy staged dramatic readings. Rounding out the weekend will be a performance of the classic Peter & the Wolf, staged by Plan-B and Gina Bachauer (featuring Jesse Peery, pictured), and Cultural Confidential, an artist talk with playwrights Matthew Ivan Bennett, Eric Samuelsen and Debora Threedy in which they’ll discuss art videos that have shaped their work. (Jacob Stringer)
The Rose Exposed @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787; block party, Aug. 30, 6-10 p.m., free; variety show, Aug. 30, 7 p.m., $15; open activities, Aug. 31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free but tickets required.

Transfusion Hype Dance Company: Last Summer Night
In an interview in June 2013 with City Weekly blogger Gavin Sheehan, Transfusion Hype Dance Company director Ashlee Vilos described the origin of the company—and even its name—as an attempt to “bridge the gap between commercialism and artistry. … I was, like, thinking that I really wish that I could take the hype out of everything and just replace it with real, raw, legitimate talent and it would be a hype transfusion, so then I just flipped it and it felt real to me.”

Vilos and her fellow company members—including Temria Airmet and Jamie Airmet—bring that sensibility to Last Summer Night, an evening showcasing Vilos’ choreography from the past year. Leading into the start of the fall arts season, enjoy a program built on the concept of change, and not just the changing of the seasons. (Scott Renshaw)
Transfusion Hype Dance Company: Last Summer Night @ One Mind Studio, 216 W. Paxton Ave. (1170 South), Aug. 30, 8 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

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