Essentials: Entertainment Picks March 13-19 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

Essentials: Entertainment Picks March 13-19 

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Pygmalion Theatre Company: The Women of Lockerbie
Dramatically speaking, grief is hard. A play can strand actors between catatonia and crazed wailing, leaving little room to struggle with the wide emotional ground in the middle. Deborah Brevoort’s The Women of Lockerbie gets off to a rough start with a pile of on-the-nose exposition, setting the scene of an American couple Maddie and Bill Livingston (Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin and Kent Hadfield) visiting Lockerbie, Scotland, on the seventh anniversary of the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 terrorist bombing that killed their son. At the same time, a group of local residents are trying to get the warehoused clothing of the victims—thousands of pieces preserved as evidence—released so they can wash and return it to the families, though the plans are to incinerate the “contaminated” clothing. But after that clunky opening, Lockerbie settles into an effective, emotional story about different ways to approach the concept of “closure.” Left with no remains of her son, Maddie is still adrift, and Darby-Duffin does great work conveying her rage and unshakeable sense of responsibility. But Stacey Rae Allen is just as impressive as part of the chorus of local women who were just as irreversibly changed by the events of that December day. As the characters wrestle with finding a way to turn hate into love, director Fran Pruyn makes lovely use of the play’s setting during the winter solstice to turn the mission of these people into an almost holy act of welcoming light back into their lives. (Scott Renshaw)
Pygmalion Theater Company: Women of Lockerbie @ Rose Wager Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, through March 22, Thursdays 7:30 p.m., Fridays & Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m., $20, $25 day-of, $15 students.

Big Sky Conference Tournament
With Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament set for March 16, Weber State has a home-court track into the Big Dance. As host and No. 1 seed in the Big Sky Tournament, all the Wildcats need to do is win two games at home in the Dee Events Center on Friday and Saturday to claim the conference title and an automatic entry into the field of 68. Seeds 2 through 7 in the Big Sky roll into Ogden on Thursday night to play three games. The two highest-seeded winners from Thursday will play Friday at 4:30, while the lowest-seeded winner will take on Weber at 7 p.m. The winners of those two games play for the title on Saturday at 6 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast on ESPNU. If the ’Cats can win out this weekend, they’ll get a chance to continue a WSU legacy in the tourney that includes upset wins over perennial powers such as Michigan State in 1995 and North Carolina in 1999. (Geoff Griffin)
Big Sky Basketball Tournament @ Dee Events Center, 4400 Harrison Blvd., Weber State University, Ogden, 801-626-8500, March 13-15, all-tournament pass $30-$45.

David Maestes
Reactions to art are primarily “felt,” but that doesn’t mean that the work can’t also include a complex intellectual component. The art of David Maestas, currently showing at Utah Artist Hands, is one such body of work. His creations are brightly articulated abstractions that function on an emotional level, but successfully striking that chord requires a sharp mind and careful compositional structuring. In Maestas’ “Winter Diptych,” the structure is a polarity of midnight blue and frost white. Caught between the two, the viewer can feel the drama of winter as the colors gradate from darker blue to the chill of ice blue to white. The colors are not static but forceful in their gradations, as energies collide and cause a response similar to the emotions elicited by winter. “Dreamscape” is almost a manifestation of its subject—completely abstract and fantastically colored. The eye travels horizontally throughout the painting, evoking the almost cinematic quality of a dream. (Ehren Clark)
David Maestas @ Utah Artist Hands, 163 E. 300 South, 801-355-0206, through March 21.


Dave Attell
Perhaps best known as the host of the Comedy Central show Insomniac With Dave Attell—in which he experienced all that the underground of a city had to offer long after the comedy clubs shut down—comedian Dave Attell always downplayed his day job as just trying to sell a few drinks while making a few people laugh. The genuinely weird people Attell would encounter during the wee hours of the night always felt like kindred spirits, primarily because no one could out-crazy or out-drink him. Salt Lake City even got its turn in the spotlight, with Burt’s Tiki Lounge and Club 90 among the local haunts highlighted on the show. Then-Mayor Rocky Anderson even sat down for a beer with Attell at the now-defunct Port O’Call. Now, Attell—when not incessantly touring the country, staying in cheap motels and making the best of the stand-up comedy circuit—hosts another innovative show that only he has the specific skill set to pull off. It’s called Dave’s Old Porn, a show in which he gathers fellow comedians and porn starlets alike to comb through the old VHS tapes that have kept Attell warm during cold nights on the road. But this shouldn’t paint too pathetic a picture, even if it does seem to fit his caustic wit. He has legions of adoring fans (other comics heavily represented among them) who love his uniquely dark and dirty sense of humor. (Jacob Stringer)
Dave Attell @ Wiseguys West Valley, 2194 W. 3500 South, 801-463-2909, March 14 & 15, 7:30 & 10 p.m., $25.

Tumbleweeds Film Festival
We tend to have a limited sense of “family movies” in America, defined primarily by whatever gets mass-marketed into multiplexes. But just as the cinematic menu for adults includes more than fast food if you’re willing to look for it, so is it true that kids can learn to expect something different from their entertainment than fart jokes and whiz-bang CGI. The fourth-annual Tumbleweeds Film Festival from the Utah Film Center programs with a genuine respect for the ability of young viewers to handle a wide variety of movie experiences—animation and live action, fiction and documentary, even films from other countries. It’s a lineup that broadens horizons simply by letting kids know that a whole world exists beyond Disney and DreamWorks. Following the Friday opening night, the full program on Saturday and Sunday is highlighted by Ernest & Celestine, the Oscar-nominated French animated feature about the friendship between a mouse and a bear in a world where they’re expected to be enemies. Other features come from Germany (The Little Ghost), Spain (Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang) and South Africa (Felix), plus short film programs, the documentary I Learn America about students at an international school in New York, and a special closing-night 75th-anniversary 35mm screening of The Wizard of Oz. For young non-readers or slower readers, films with subtitles will include the option of headphones with an audio reader. There’s no reason you can’t find something for every age outside of the usual kid-flick comfort zone. (Scott Renshaw)
Tumbleweeds Film Festival @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, and Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, March 14-18, $6 per screening or $40 for 10-film pass, see website for full schedule.

Egyptian Theatre: My Fair Lady
For years, Park City’s Egyptian Theatre Company was a mainstay of the Utah theater scene, providing energetic productions often out of the eye of Salt Lake Valley audiences. Financial struggles changed the business plan for the theater, which became a venue for touring productions, as well as an occasional home to productions by Dark Horse Company Theatre. But after last season’s production of Evita, home-grown Egyptian Theatre productions are on the rise again. This week, Lerner & Loewe’s magical My Fair Lady attempts to continue the tradition, telling the beloved George Bernard Shaw story of a Cockney flower girl and the tart-tongued scholar who bets that he can turn her into society lady. Ashley Carlson takes the role of Eliza Doolittle, with Joseph Paur as Henry Higgins, sharing great songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “The Rain in Spain.” With charming productions again gracing this landmark stage, you’ll want to grow accustomed to this place. (Scott Renshaw)
My Fair Lady @ Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main, Park City, 435-649-9371, March 14-30, Wednesdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 6 p.m., $25-$65.

Jeffrey Hale: Beyond Likeness: Essential Truths in Modern Portraiture
Jeff Hale finds subjects that are interesting to him and uses them as models. He is inspired by individual components in those subjects and, like Picasso, pieces them together with his own vision. The portraits are nothing less than exhilarating; each one offers an abstracted glance at femininity that is fresh and real. Hale connects with each of his portrait subjects, conveying their essence through posture, gesture, tilt of the head, facial expression and eyes—always the eyes. These portraits transcend physicality to the conscious level and are felt, not merely seen. Visitors to the gallery won’t be able to help feeling multiple presences beyond those of their fellow visitors. (Ehren Clark)
Jeffrey Hale: Beyond Likeness: Essential Truths in Modern Portraiture @ Finch Lane Gallery, 54 Finch Lane (1320 E. 100 South), 801-596-5000, March 14-May 2, free.


St. Patrick’s Day Events

Located amid the rolling green hills of Ireland’s County Tipperary is Salt Lake City’s sister city of Thurles. Located just outside of town, nestled in a small dip in the winding road, sits a small pub called Jim O’ The Mills. Known around the world for its sessions featuring local musicians playing traditional tunes, the small converted farmhouse is where you go for the sound of Ireland. The organizers of Salt Lake City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations figure that if you can’t actually be back home in Ireland, the next best thing is to bring Ireland to Utah. This year, seven young traditional musicians who learned to play at Jim O’ The Mills will share their talents at the day-long Siamsa (Irish for “pleasant musical diversion”) that begins immediately after the annual parade and will feature traditional food, drink and dance. Just remember that the color green is for the leprechauns and faeries—and tales are told that if you wear too much, you could fall under their mischievous ways. (Jacob Stringer)
St. Patrick’s Day @ The Gateway, 400 W. South Temple, March 15, parade at 10 a.m., Siamsa in the Grand Hall until 4 p.m., free.

Utah Opera: Turandot
The legend of Turandot turns on three riddles. The first: What is born each night and dies each dawn? The second: What flickers red and warm like a flame but is not fire? And the third: What is ice which gives you fire, and which your fire freezes still more? Asked by the vain Chinese Princess Turandot to her latest suitor, the three questions must be answered correctly to win her hand in marriage—or, at dawn, yet another beheading will take place. Giacomo Puccini could not resist turning this intriguing, tension-filled premise into his final operatic masterpiece. Although he died before he could complete the work, composer Franco Alfano stepped in to finish what would become the grandest of Puccinni’s operas—ultimately requiring 60 musicians, a chorus of 58 plus the nine principals, 30 children choristers, 12 non-singing men and six dancers. Still, the challenged prince answers the three questions: hope, blood and Turandot. Only when she begs to be let off the hook of marriage does the prince turn the tables by offering his own riddle. If she can figure out his name by dawn, he will acquiesce to the original death sentence. With Turandot being so resistant to even the idea of marriage, she quickly orders all of Peking to get to the bottom of the mysterious prince’s name. With the night ticking away and dawn quickly approaching, all of China is in an uproar, and a princely head is on the line, all because cold Princess Turandot refuses to believe in love. (Jacob Stringer)
Utah Opera: Turandot @ Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 801-355-2787, March 15, 17, 19 & 21, 7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. matinee March 23, $29-$93.

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