Essentials: City Weekly's Entertainment Picks May 28-June 3 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

Essentials: City Weekly's Entertainment Picks May 28-June 3 

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Several years ago, a visiting painter at the Utah Arts Festival was cutting up his paintings and selling 1-inch-square sections. The result was an intriguing commentary on the way the part relates to the whole, and the mechanics of artistic composition. It also recalled artist and musician Brian Eno's theory that the more a creative effort is limited by material resources, the more creative energy an artist is forced to muster. The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art provided more than 50 artists with 12-inch-by-12-inch panels to create works that will be auctioned online and as part of its fundraiser, Vicious, which is being held at The Complex on June 6. The exhibit and bidding opened at UMOCA May 22 in its Projects Gallery, with pieces spanning various mediums, including found objects, mixed media, painting, pencil, photograph, resin, sculpture and wax. Subject matter included Connie Borup's landscapes, new works by printmakers Sandy Brunvand and Stephanie Dykes, the use of mythos in the works of long-time local painters Trevor Southey and Bonnie Sucec, minimalist sketches by Mary Toscano and the jewelry of Kali Mellus. The most surprising thing about this exhibition isn't the amount of details or images artists might have managed to cram inside the frame, but the use of negative space, the delicate balance achieved in skilled hands. In addition to supporting the work of the gallery, 12x12 also makes it evident through this collective snapshot of local work that the Utah art scene has never been more vital and vibrant. (Brian Staker) 12x12 @ Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, through June 6, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.


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Jon Reep
Perhaps best known for his famous line "That thing got a Hemi?" in a Dodge Ram commercial, Jon Reep is taking his Southern twang and hillbilly jokes on the road again. The "Hemi-Guy" can deliver an insult with folksy charm and get audience members rolling in their seats. Being such a talented stand-up comic, he can make people bust up by his facial expressions alone. Originally from Hickory, N.C., Reep is the quintessential good ol' boy with a redneck sense of humor. After graduating with a degree in theater from North Carolina State University, Reep took his act on the road and was invited to perform at the prominent Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, Québec. From there, he went on to win the fifth season of Last Comic Standing. Reep's versatility of being both funny and a trained actor bring an element to his stand-up comedy that is like watching a perfectly choreographed production. (Aimee L. Cook) Jon Reep @ Wiseguys, 269 E. 25th St., Ogden, 801-622-5588, May 28-30, 7:30 p.m., $15.


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Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation Festival
More than 40 years ago, Craig "Spike" Decker and Mike Gribble were would-be promoters of independent bands who thought their shows might get a little kick out of the inclusion of vintage retro cartoons, like Betty Boop and Superman. Eventually, it became clear that audiences were coming to see the animation rather than to hear the bands—and Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation was born, eventually becoming a touring showcase for new talent that has premiered the work of filmmakers like Tim Burton, John Lasseter, Nick Park and Bill Plympton. In 1990, the established Festival of Animation spun off the Sick & Twisted Animation Festival, a place specifically for material that might be inappropriate for general audiences. And so it came to pass that a venue was created that would give rise to the likes of Beavis and Butt-head (Spike & Mike produced the original pre-MTV shorts featuring the characters) and South Park (showing Trey Parker and Matt Stone's legendary/infamous original short "The Spirit of Christmas"). If it has made a splash anywhere in the world of animation over the past generation, chances are good a Spike & Mike slot is part of the pedigree. This week, Brewvies hosts a series of weekend screenings of the latest installment of the Sick & Twisted Animation Festival, featuring more than 25 uncensored animated shorts. Enjoy Kevin Kaliher's demented spin on 1950s domestic sitcoms in Home Honey, I'm High (pictured), or a cute little bird tripping on hallucinogenic mushrooms in Chirpy. Leave the kids at home. (Scott Renshaw) Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation Festival @ Brewvies Cinema Pub, 677 S. 200 West, 801-355-5500, May 29-31, 10 p.m.


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Compass Performing Dance Co.: A Piece for Autism
Katie Love founded Salt Lake City's Compass Performing Dance Co. (CPDC) in 2010, but it's likely you haven't heard of them yet. For the 14 members of this non-professional company, dancing is a passion, not a job. Between their working lives, raising families and going to school, they come together to share movement, teach, create and occasionally perform. But, the company does stand out in one important way: They use their art to benefit the community. This weekend, at Sugar Space, Compass is hosting A Piece for Autism, a fundraiser for the Utah Autism Academy. It's not the first time the company has presented a dance-concert fundraiser—in 2014, it participated in Dance Your Hair Off, a performance to raise funds for alopecia research—but this performance, for Love, is much more personal: "My nephew has autism, and I wanted to be able to use what we are doing to help him and others," she says. According to 2010 data, rates of autism in Utah are still above the national average, with one in 54 children—2 percent of the state's population—falling along the autism spectrum. At the Utah Autism Academy, children can work one-on-one with therapists and staff, targeting acquisition of social appropriateness and vocal training, with tailored learning in a variety of settings. In addition to the performance by Compass, the free evening of entertainment—donations are accepted—will include performances by Arts of Chaos, Dance Arts Theater of Utah, Wasatch Arts Academy and University of Utah modern dance students. Food trucks and other vendors will be on hand and there will be special activities for kids. (Katherine Pioli) Compass Performing Dance Company: A Piece for Autism @ Sugar Space, 616 E. Wilmington Ave. (2190 South), 888-300-7898, May 30, 5-9 p.m., free.



Everything Is Terrible!: Legends Live
In the era of Internet mash-up culture, you may think you've seen it all, as creatively demented minds take pre-existing content and repackage it for our enjoyment. But chances are good that you've never seen anything quite as jaw-dropping as "The Well Undressed Woman," a video advertisement for a pubic-hair dyeing service in which the pubic stylist is shown applying dye with a brush that includes—this is not a joke—"the bristle of the silky North American beaver." Welcome to the world of Everything Is Terrible!, a video collective which has spent seven years combing thrift stores and other sources for vintage weird-but-true VHS ephemera, featuring self-help info, public-service announcements and entertainment clips. The results are sometimes ironically hilarious (a yoga show for kids set on a farm, featuring a guy in a costume as a Rastafarian rooster), sometimes hard to believe (like a yellow dinosaur who helps kids identify and avoid pedophiles), sometimes stand-alone snippets and sometimes near-hallucinogenic combinations of footage. And that's just online. The Everything is Terrible!: Legends Live tour brings the merchants of videotape lunacy to venues like Brewvies, showing a "best-of" package of its most infamous clips combined with audience-participation segments that are a sort of "choose your own adventure." Props, puppets, costumes and occasionally even stacks of VHS tapes brought by audience members help add to a one-of-a-kind experience of the madness people saw fit to preserve for posterity 30 years ago. Dyed pubic hair is optional. (Scott Renshaw) Everything is Terrible!: Legends Live @ Brewvies Cinema Pub, 677 S. 200 West, 801-355-5500, June 2, 7 p.m.

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