Essentials: Entertainment Picks July 23-29 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

Essentials: Entertainment Picks July 23-29 

Wasatch Wildflower Fest, Rich Vos and more

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You Are Here: Svavar Jonatansson and Jared Steffensen
Long known as an anchor for the art-gallery scene in Park City, Kimball Art Center is preparing to relocate to a new facility in September—a temporary space in Bonanza Park—while its permanent home is under construction. You Are Here, which will be the last exhibit ever to be hosted at the location that has served as Kimball's home space for almost 40 years, pairs local artist Jared Steffensen with Icelandic photographer Svavar Jonatansson. Jonatansson's Inland/Outland: Utah is a multidisciplinary project with local composers Matthew Durant and Devin Maxwell, comprising four short video pieces shot in time-lapse that take a stunning, if idealized, vantage point on the magnificence of Utah landscapes. Three massive panoramic photos of the Colorado Plateau dominate another wall, and Jonatansson has also mounted a series of smaller, photographic stills taken at scenic viewpoints in the state, with reference points indicated on a map. Seeing Home as Somewhere Else, Steffensen's contribution to the exhibit, looks at his home state through the eyes of cinematic works that used the state as a backdrop. Placed adjacent to Jonatansson's video installation—with its sprawling scenery and booming soundtrack—these abrupt segments with their disjointed soundtrack act as a commentary on it. What is lacking in both of these visions of the state is a sense of the experience of living here, but they examine the idea of place as a work of art itself, in the eyes of the perceiver. (Brian Staker) You Are Here: Svavar Jonatansson and Jared Steffensen @ Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8882, Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, noon-7 p.m.; through Aug. 23, free.



Utah Repertory Theater Co.: Ordinary Days
You're running a huge risk if you decide to stop your lighthearted musical in its tracks to invoke a major tragedy. And it goes to show how wonderful the rest of the lighthearted musical is that such an invocation somehow feels emotionally resonant, rather than exploitative. Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days begins with the kind of bustling, life-in-the-big-city setup that could easily feel more like a parody of off-Broadway theater than actual off-Broadway theater. The through-sung plot follows the mostly parallel plots involving two pairs of characters in Manhattan: Jason (Matthew Wade), who has just moved in with his girlfriend, Claire (Mandi Barrus), with immediately tension-generating results; and anxious grad-student Deb (Brighton Hertford), who meets bubbly aspiring artist Warren (Thomas Kay) when he finds her lost thesis notes. Gwon's charming songs provide a strong foundation for the four leads to explore these stories of quarter-life dissatisfaction, with Hertford standing out in a terrific, often hilarious performance as the high-strung Deb. Director Chase Ramsey makes effective use of Amanda Ruth Wilson's minimalist set of colorful movable blocks, keeping the scene changes brisk to maintain an appropriately upbeat tempo. It all builds to Barrus' performance of the anthemic "I'll Be Here," which packs a no-dry-eye-in-the-house punch as it pulls that aforementioned tragedy into Ordinary Days' exploration of moving on to life's next chapter. That risky move pays off, serving as an exclamation point on a tuneful, funny and sad tale of yearning. (Scott Renshaw) Utah Repertory Theater Co.: Ordinary Days @ Sugar Space, 616 Wilmington Ave., July 25, 7:30 p.m.; July 26, 3 p.m., $16-$18.



Wasatch Wildflower Festival
The prickly pear and sego lily are in bloom! Blink and you'll miss them. If you don't know the fun facts about these two Utah native wildflowers—that one can be used to make a delicious magenta-hued margarita, and the other is the state flower—it's time to head up to the Wasatch Wildflower Festival and get acquainted with local botanical beauties. And if you don't have vacation plans in the near future, landing yourself up in Cottonwood canyons this weekend is a great alternative. The towering peaks of Albion Basin at Alta, dotted with varieties of Indian paintbrush and bluebells this time of year, is as dreamy a vision as one may hope to find in the French Alps. The Cottonwood Canyons Foundation and its generous partners offer this free, community-oriented event at the end of July each year to celebrate the diversity of wildflower life in Utah. The packed schedule at all four ski areas—Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude—has something for everyone. Guided hiking tours and "kid walks" are run by trained volunteers ready to share their knowledge and inspire a sense of stewardship in the community to help protect our treasured landscape. Plus, who doesn't want to find flowers with awesome names like witches' thimble, monkey flower and elephanthead lousewort? Check out the Silver Lake boardwalk, Albion Meadows trail and the Sunrise ski lift to Solitude Lake, where Alpine shooting stars and rosy pussytoes are waiting to be discovered. Flower identification geeks, hikers, photo opportunitsts and simple nature-lovers will be more than pleased. (Deann Armes) Wasatch Wildflower Festival @ Brighton, Solitude, Alta & Snowbird ski resorts, Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, 801-947-8263, July 24-26, free-$5.



Native American Celebration in the Park Powwow
Twenty-one years ago, Cal Nez started the Native American Celebration in the Park Powwow (NACPP). Once a small gathering of local tribe members, the event now coincides with Utah's Pioneer Day, and attracts audience members and performers from all around the West. Though there are many kinds of powwows, the NACPP is a competitive powwow, traditionally called a "special." For years, this annual gathering has attracted the best dancers from across many states and tribes. This year, competitors in the categories of men's traditional, women's fancy-shawl and men's grass dancers will perform to the drum beats of the Sage Point Singers from Fort Hall, Idaho. For those new to powwows, Nez suggests paying close attention to the tempo of the drummer's songs, and how well the dancers match the rhythm. Powwow judges are looking for dancers who best follow the tempo. "There is an ebb and flow to powwows," says Nez. "Every drum group brings their own style and sets the mood of the whole event." In addition to dancing, the powwow features a drum contest, food booths, arts and crafts, commercial booths and fireworks. A traditional teepee encampment erected temporarily for the festival will culminate with a best-in-show award chosen by powwow attendees. But the one event that Nez says everyone should see is the Grand Entry, held at noon and 5 p.m. This ceremony is awash in color and movement, as all the dancers congregate in a procession honoring and welcoming the indigenous nations. (Katherine Pioli) Native American Celebration in the Park Powwow @ Liberty Park, 600 E. 900 South, July 24 & 25, noon-11 p.m., $10.


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Rich Vos
Now closing in on his 60th year, tattooed, Jewish New Jersey native Rich Vos knows a thing or two about stereotypes. At one time a regular on satellite radio's Opie and Anthony show, Vos became the first white comic ever to appear on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam, and his deadpan humor made him a mainstay on the New York black comedy circuit. A Season 1 finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing—to which he returned for Season 3—Vos finds humor in such standard comedic topics as parenting and relationships—but also golf and his recovery from addiction. Despite having once sworn they would never produce a husband-and-wife podcast, Vos and wife Bonnie McFarland's weekly podcast, My Wife Hates Me, is available at (Brandon Burt) Rich Vos @ Club 50 West, 50 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-961-1033, July 24-25, 7 & 9:30 p.m., $15,

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