Essentials: A&E Picks Oct. 17-23 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

Essentials: A&E Picks Oct. 17-23 

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V. Kim Martinez: 7 Steps Forward 7 Steps Back

A ritual in some North American indigenous peoples’ cultures called “7 Steps Forward 7 Steps Back” pays homage to the deceased.  Artist V. Kim Martinez chose this as the title for her new show of video and acrylic paintings that are her artistic view of the harsh realities experienced along the roads of the border between Mexico and the United States. The video is graphic and ugly but animatedly so. The figures are not human; most are skeletons, and the views are not vistas and valleys but apocryphal scenes telling of gruesome cruelties inflicted by some, and suffered by many others. The show is an accumulation of acrylic paintings in black & white and a video that tells not only of illegal immigration, but the many hazards along these roads, including drug smuggling and arms dealing.  According to the artist, the animated narrative strategy “grew organically.” For example,“Where goest thou, To what remote land is thy light?” depicts a mass of skeletons on stilts walking clumsily through spikes of a border; an impulsive development from the previous imagery. The paintings and video, including a series that uses bold graphic color, such as in “7 Steps Forward 7 Steps Back: Salitter”, reveal the spontaneity of this absurd reality. A graffiti-like painting of words—with the large word “Migration” at the core interplayed with the words “Structural” and “Autonomy” and leading out to “Territory” and “Multiplicity”—might be the core meaning of Martinez’s unique approach. (Ehren Clark)
Finch Lane Gallery, Art Barn, 54 Finch Lane, 801-596-5000, through Nov. 15, free.

Nicole Hardy: Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin
Nicole Hardy never wanted to get married. She never wanted to be a homemaker. She never wanted to have kids. Instead, she wanted to travel, meet people and become a writer. Trouble is, in the LDS Church, that didn’t make her much of a catch. And so, Hardy—raised a member of the faith—remained single through her 20s and into her 30s, with the closest thing to sex she experienced being her hot salsa moves on the dance floor. Hardy’s memoir, Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin, started as an essay for the New York Times column “Modern Love.” She immediately drew the attention of readers and agents who begged for a full story. It’s not a Mormon version of Sex & the City, but Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin chronicles Hardy’s struggle between faith, desire and personal fulfillment. Written with candor and humor, it’s a work that even non-Mormons will find an engrossing read. (Katherine Pioli)
The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, Oct. 17, 7 p.m., free.


The Hive Theatre Company: Steadman & Walker (Zombie LLC)
Sexy vampires are losing their monopoly on the prominence of the living dead in pop culture; zombies are back in a big way, this week in The Hive Theatre Company’s original workplace comedy Steadman & Walker (Zombie LLC) by Jared Greathouse. In the tradition of zombie stories, Steadman & Walker uses zombies not just for terror, but as metaphors for blind fixation in our larger society. Whereas Dawn of the Dead used zombies to satirize crass commercialism and mindless consumerism, Steadman & Walker turns the trope around onto heartless corporate greed and the pressures for individuals to conform to its dominant economic mold. And it’s funny, too. There are plenty of good in-jokes for the zombie fan faithful, but not too many to alienate those new to the world of the undead. There’s also a solid balance between high-minded social commentary and jokes about brains and poop. The show’s unconventional structure treats the three acts as distinct vignettes, to the point that they each have their own director. But the script maintains enough running gags and touchstones to keep the show cohesive despite its episodic presentation. And the zombie makeup, a large part of the success of the endeavor, is spectacular. With five makeup artists credited, it seems neither expense nor detail were spared to bring the cast of zombies to “life.” So, as the leaves begin to fall like decaying flesh and the weather turns as cold as stagnant blood, get out to see Steadman & Walker. ’Tis the season. (Rob Tennant)
Steadman & Walker (Zombie LLC) @ Sugar Space Studio for the Arts, 616 Wilmington Ave. (2190 South), 801-573-4080, Oct. 18-19, 8 p.m., $12.

Utah Opera: Salome
Richard Strauss’ opera Salome, a wild retelling of King Herod’s capture and beheading of the prophet John the Baptist, is ripped from the pages of the ancient scripture. Although it has also been performed in French, Utah Opera’s version of Strauss’ 1905 work—based on a play by Oscar Wilde—will stick to the more popular German. Also, due to the renovation currently underway at the Capitol Theatre, the opera will feature limited sets with full costume, as the performers share the stage with the orchestra at Abravanel Hall. Due to this semi-staging, the production aesthetics will actually feel far more contemporary and minimal, in many ways providing a unique opportunity for Utah audiences used to experiencing more traditional interpretations of classic operas. The work itself can be quite challenging for both musicians and vocalists to perform, adding a palpable edge to an already tragic narrative that follows Princess Salome’s lusting after—and betrayal of—a prophet dedicated to spreading word of the coming Messiah. But because of Strauss’ heavy reliance on leitmotifs—where characters have their own signature melodies that recur throughout the one act—the music is surprisingly easy to follow. That’s helpful when you find yourself enraptured by the bloody tale of excess, set entirely in the court of a biblical king, and featuring an erotic “Dance of the Seven Veils” as a centerpiece. And things become even more disastrously sordid as the opera climaxes with the scorned princess passionately kissing her beheaded beloved. (Jacob Stringer)
Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 801-355-2787, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 20, 2 p.m., $38-$103.,

Anime Banzai
In the late 1960s and 1970s, Japanese popular culture—in live-action like Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, and in a wave of cartoons like Battle of the Planets—began creeping its way into the consciousness of American kids. Forty years later, it’s hard to overstate the influence of such works on generations that have grown up on Pokémon, Sailor Moon, Hayao Miyazaki movies and their various huge-eyed kin. The fourth-annual Anime Banzai convention at Layton’s Davis Conference Center provides a gathering point for more than 4,000 Utahns who want to share their love of anime (Japanese-style animation), manga (illustrated comic-book-type stories), video games and other pop art created in that distinctive style. Join other enthusiasts for three days of panel discussions on topics like voice acting, screenings of movies and television episodes, cosplay fun, gaming and more in a family-friendly setting. (Scott Renshaw)
Davis Conference Center, 1651 N. 700 West, Layton, 801-416-8888, Oct. 18-20, $15-$30 daily or $40 full weekend pass.

Val Holley: 25th Street Confidential
In the late 1930s, as Las Vegas boomed and casinos bloomed, local leaders were looking for guidance on how to manage the crime that tended to follow a vice-based economy. So, they turned to a knowledgeable source: five-term Ogden mayor Harman Peery, who had ample experience managing the wild world of 25th Street. That’s just one of the juicy anecdotes that fill 25th Street Confidential: Drama, Decadence and Dissipation Along Ogden’s Rowdiest Road. The colorful history by Weber County native Val Holley chronicles the thoroughfare from its origins, after the transcontinental railroad in 1869 turned the sleepy Utah town into a crossroads of the Wild West. Tracking the street’s heyday from the 19th century through Prohibition and World War II, Holley tells fascinating stories of the taverns, gambling establishments, hotels and “houses of ill fame” that gave the city such a unique flavor. He even introduces plenty of colorful characters, from the aforementioned pragmatic Mayor Peery to madams like Belle London who held their own behind-the-scenes power. Yet the book also proves fascinating as a look at how this one street became a microcosm for battles between the state’s conservative Mormon majority and those who would loosen the reins on morality-based laws, with changes in administrations bringing changes in the way vice was managed on 25th Street. Like so much of the best history, it’s as much about how we are as it is about how we were. Join the author for one of several readings this week. (Scott Renshaw)
Ben Lomond Suites, 2510 Washington Blvd., Ogden, Oct. 18, 7 p.m., free.; Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square, 801-328-2586, Oct. 19, 7 p.m., free.


Rail Yard Community Art Garden
Nonprofits Utah Arts Alliance and Artists for Local Agriculture have joined forces to create a space that melds the worlds of art and “ag.” The Rail Yard Community Art Garden—situated in a formerly vacant lot at the east end of the UAA’s SLC Arts Hub complex—is designed as an area where native plants can be grown and nurtured, and artists can create plant sculptures. There will also be an outdoor gallery that will host art exhibits, as well as a gathering area for the community to hold workshops and music events. The opening-night event will feature refreshments, art displays and live music from more than a half-dozen local performers, as well as a dance performance by the group Porridge for Goldilocks. Also on hand will be local farmers sharing their goodies and their knowledge. Look for information while you’re there about how to get involved. (Brian Staker)
SLC Arts Hub, 625 W. 100 South, 801-651-3937, Oct. 19, 6-10 p.m., free, suggested donation $7.

Gabriel Iglesias
Gabriel Iglesias has been selling out comedy clubs coast to coast, and his talents have landed him several television appearances and a role in the hit movie Magic Mike. Now, the self-proclaimed “fluffy guy” will grace the Maverik Center stage with his Comedy Central-sponsored stand-up comedy tour, Stand-Up Revolution. From his ability to do voice effects and impressions to his fan-favorite storytelling of his dream about former President Bill Clinton, Iglesias is a true crowd-pleaser. His Comedy Central specials earned him Favorite Comic of the Year awards in back-to-back years, and he has made guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and VH1’s I Love the 80s. He headlines in a tour that will feature guest appearances by other Comedy Central
comedians. (Aimee Cook O’Brien)
Maverik Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m., $32-$57.

Tom Angleberger: The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett
If there were anything as challenging as training to be a Jedi Knight, it might be simply surviving middle school. Hence, the Origami Yoda books by Tom Angleberger. Origami Yoda himself first appeared at McQuarrie Middle School (a reference to Ralph McQuarrie, the conceptual artist behind the look of the original Star Wars) as an extension of Dwight, an awkward sixth-grade “loser.” This little paper incarnation of the great Jedi Master proceeded to dispense wisdom, teach lessons and inspire the ire of the dark forces of the early adolescent universe. It’s good, clean fun for the kids, what with the lessons and wisdom and all. Angleberger will be reading from the most recent installment of the series, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett, at The King’s English Bookshop this week; space at the reading will be reserved for individuals purchasing a copy of one of Angleberger’s books from the shop. (Rob Tennant)
The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, Oct. 19, 7 p.m., free.

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