Essentials: A&E Picks July 11-17 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

Essentials: A&E Picks July 11-17 

Damn These Heels, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Rocky Mountain Laugh Off & more

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An Evening With Sean Means: 127 Hours
We movie critics like to take shots at one another’s tastes, but there’s one thing we can generally agree on: The past two decades haven’t been easy on the profession of daily-newspaper film criticism. While many colleagues have been forced by a shifting media landscape to leave their jobs, The Salt Lake Tribune’s Sean Means has remained standing, celebrating his 20th anniversary as the paper’s chief film critic this month. As recognition of his tenure, the Utah Film Center handed over programming duties to Means for a night, allowing him to pick a screening representative of his time on the job. He selected Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, described by Means as “easily the best movie made in Utah in my 20 years.” Also fittingly, it’s about a guy who manages to survive in one place for a surprisingly long time. After the screening, Means will lead a discussion and Q&A session. (Scott Renshaw)
Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, July 11, 7 p.m., free.


Damn These Heels! Film Festival
With the recent ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, it’s an exciting time for American LGBT people and their allies. What better way to celebrate LGBT culture than with a whole weekend of LGBT films? This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Damn These Heels! Film Festival, an annual event that promotes equality and connects diverse populations by bringing LGBT stories to the big screen. Damn These Heels! is the Intermountain West’s only such film festival. In celebration of the anniversary, this year, Damn These Heels! will screen 21 films from nine different countries; more than twice as many films as 2012’s festival. This year, the audience can vote for their favorite feature film, which will then be screened at Brewvies Cinema Pub on July 18 as part of the year-round Damn These Heels! screening series. The opening-night film, G.B.F (an acronym I’m guessing means “gay best friend”), tells the story of Tanner, a high school student who plays the role of gay best friend to three queen bees after he is outed. The closing-night film, I Am Divine, is the story of Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine, filmmaker John Waters’ muse. Other titles include Xavier Dolan’s drama Laurence Anyways, about a male-to-female transgender person’s coming out. Screenings will happen in both the Black Box and the Jeanne Wagner theaters. (Nicole McDonald)
Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, July 12-14, see website for times, $6 per movie, or $30 for a 10-film pass.,

Paul Rodriguez
If you’re in dire need of a zippy riff on Mexican-American culture, just go see comedian Paul Rodriguez. He’s all the spice you want, and none of the siesta. Rodriguez was born in Mexico, but raised in California. This blend of Mexican-American life has given him two worlds to poke fun at. In his stand-up comedy, he mocks whites, Latinos and everything in between. His most famous joke rings true of this dual heritage: “Latinos are black, white, brown, beige. What does that say about our ancestors? We’ll sleep with anybody!”Rodriguez has also appeared in more than 45 movies, including Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Rat Race, as well as the comedy concert film The Original Latin Kings of Comedy, with George Lopez and Cheech Marin. Rodriguez has been making audiences laugh for almost three decades, and he’s not about to stop now. So, hold on to your sombreros and get ready for a riotous night of fiery comedy. (Courtney Tanner)
Wiseguys Comedy Café, 2194 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801-463-2909, July 12-13, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., $25.

Utah Symphony: Bravo Broadway: Wicked Divas
Inspired by the Tony-award-winning musical Wicked, the Wicked Divas at Deer Valley will combine opera, Broadway and popular music from the musical in a one-stop-shopping performance. The night will also include songs from other Broadway hits like Ragtime, My Fair Lady and Chicago. Led by Maestro Jerry Steichen, principal pops conductor of the Utah Symphony, the music is sure to transport you into the space you can only reach while great divas entertain you onstage with their unique talents. Nicole Parker is best known for playing the role of the green witch Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, and Emily Rozek was most recently seen starring as Galinda. Both ladies bring estimable experience and talent to the stage. The Deer Valley Musical Festival is celebrating 10 years of providing music in the mountains of Park City, and is a great way to beat the heat while getting some culture at the same time. (Aimee Cook O’Brien)
Deer Valley Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, 2250 Deer Valley Drive South, Park City, 801-533-6683, July 12, 7:30 p.m., general admission lawn $42, reserved $80.,


The modern history of soccer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup began in 1991, when the Americas’ top biennial competition re-jiggered itself into a more inclusive format, featuring nations from North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. Since the renewed tournament began, Mexico has taken home the Gold Cup six times, one more than the U.S., with Canada having claimed it once. Everyone else—including proud soccer nations like Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and El Salvador—has always been left out in the cold, with the likes of Trinidad & Tobago, Martinique and Haiti just happy to be playing on a big stage. The fact that this year’s competition takes place smack-dab in the middle of 2014 World Cup qualifiers shouldn’t prevent most of the participating teams from fielding the best players available, especially since the majority of the teams have already been knocked out of next year’s competition in Brazil. But for the U.S. men’s national team, which finds itself still in the thick of qualifying, the Gold Cup roster will be heavily stocked with MLS players—including Real Salt Lake’s own Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran and dreadlocked captain Kyle Beckerman—as opposed to the World Cup roster, which features more international players. This will also be the first time that RSL’s home, Rio Tinto Stadium, will host part of cup play, with a Saturday-afternoon double header of USA’s contest against Cuba, and Costa Rica’s attempt to move up the ladder versus Belize. (Jacob Stringer)
Rio Tinto Stadium, 9256 S. State, 801-727-2700, July 13, USA vs. Cuba, 1:30 p.m.; Costa Rica vs. Belize, 4 p.m., tickets starting at $35.,

The Big Apple NYC Showcase
If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere, as the song goes—and the New York City comedy scene is notoriously competitive. Andre McSween is the defending champion of the Joker vs. Joker comedy tournament, and brings two cohorts from that city, Rick Knight and Isaiah Wright. McSween, from a blue-collar family, presents his comedy in the style of storytelling, discussing his experiences with alcohol, a former period of drug abuse and family anecdotes. He often opens up about his own life, and interacts with audience members in a conversational way, which makes his performances especially memorable. He can go from discussing family life to the time he tried Ecstasy, and the transition isn’t jarring. Trained as an actor, McSween has performed off-Broadway, and has a way of making whatever he is conveying onstage immediately relatable. Local comics Brian Pope, Jordan Mazzioti and Marcus Whisler open, and Steve McInelly will emcee the event. (Brian Staker)
K-Town Comedy, 3849 W. 5400 South, Kearns, 801-964-8575, July 13, 7:30 p.m., $5

Live Poetry Bout: Jesse Parent vs. Rob Carney
The point of a Live Poetry Bout—in which Jesse Parent will face Rob Carney for a few rounds of verse brawling—is to associate a sense of energy and entertainment with a literary form most people might find a bit staid. “Since I have a lot of history in poetry slam, and many of us in the local slam community love Rob’s work, we wanted to go back to slam’s roots in creating excitement,” Parent says. “Rob suggested the ‘MMA vs. MFA’ tagline, because I used to do mixed martial arts, and I am assuming Rob probably has an MFA.”As for the subject matter, according to Carney, “We chose Round 1: Kids, Round 2: Mythology, Round 3: Assholes & Other Ridiculous Shit because we know each other’s work and … we both dig these subjects. We both have kids. We both re-interpret old, or invent new, myths and fables. We both think assholes and their bullshit should stand corrected as often as possible.” (Jacob Stringer)
Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square, 801-328-2586, July 13, 8 p.m., free.


Rocky Mountain Laugh Off
The annual Rocky Mountain Laugh Off held at Wiseguys Comedy Clubs differs from other such comedy competitions, like Last Comic Standing, in that it doesn’t eliminate the un-funniest on a nightly basis. Instead of paring down the field each round by knocking out the participant garnering the least laughs, RMLO has all the competing comics perform every night. With 20 comics from around the country—including Idaho, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, Washington and Utah—delivering their best jokes for a chance to win the $1,000 purse, that means the set time for each comic is a rather quick and tight six minutes. According to Keith Stubbs, owner of Wiseguys, such a time limit clearly and intentionally influences both the comics and the way they choose to sculpt their bits. “When you have a short set, you have to get right to the material. It is a way to tighten up your jokes,” Stubbs says. “For example, if a comic does a set on late-night TV such as Letterman or Conan, the sets are short (four to five minutes).” So, there’s no time for beating around the bush, losing the crowd to banter or, even worse, bathroom breaks. The whole design of the contest is to create a unique, high-pressure environment for people to get their laugh on while also providing comics with a great chance to network, hone their craft and ultimately gauge how their material measures up against other up-and-comers. (Jacob Stringer)
Wiseguys Comedy Café, 505 S. 600 East, Trolley Square, 801-532-5233, July 16 & 18, 7:30 p.m., $12; @ Wiseguys Comedy Café, 2194 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, July 19-20, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.


A Prairie Home Companion Radio Romance Tour
Nothing says heartland America like A Prairie Home Companion. Garrison Keillor has been hosting this two-hour radio variety show since 1974, and this summer, he and the rest of the crew from the Fitzgerald Theater are taking their show on the road on their nationwide Radio Romance Tour. Bringing their show from St. Paul, Minn., to Red Butte Garden, the cast of A Prairie Home Companion will treat audience members to their talents in voice acting, sound effects, music, storytelling and much, much more. In addition to the down-home stylings of The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, this tour features the talented Aoife O’Donovan. O’Donovan has collaborated with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile and Alison Krauss, and when you hear her voice, you’ll understand why. In addition to enjoying quality music, you can plan to get your fill of absurdity via improv, innovative sound effects and the talents of comedian Fred Newman. And, of course, Garrison Keillor will share some of his trademark tales about Guy Noir, the private eye who’s more skilled in metaphor than deduction, as well as his monologue “The News from Lake Wobegon,” about a town where every child is above average and each of life’s problems can be mended with rhubarb pie. Keillor’s good-natured stories and songs combine trenchant observational irony with a genuine affection for his subjects in such a way that “a quiet week in Lake Wobegon” guarantees more laughs than a week anywhere else. (Julia Shumway)
Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, 801-585-0556, July 17, 7:30 p.m.; $57 general admission, $42 children.

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