THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR APRIL 4-10 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly


My Brother, My Brother and Me, Star Dust, Onegin, Silky Nutmeg Ganache

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click to enlarge PORTRAITS TO THE PEOPLE
  • Portraits to the People

My Brother, My Brother and Me
The relationship between siblings can be fraught with difficulty and emotional pitfalls. Resentment, competition and misunderstanding often get in the way of a closer connection.

But relationships are one area where the three McElroy Brothers—Justin, Travis and Griffin—excel. Their popular podcast, My Brother, My Brother and Me, is billed as an "advicecast," a kind of Dear Abby for the airwaves, though they insist that the advice they offer should never be taken too seriously. Travis McElroy has declared himself a "sexpert," but there's no evidence to support that claim. Still, their on-air free-for-all jockeying and spontaneous banter makes for a lot of laughs. Humor is the main ingredient, and their everyman attitude suggests that this is a medium where experience isn't required. Indeed, their amateurish, often inane, approach is charming in its own inimitable way, especially because it's so seemingly off-the-cuff—and mostly off-the-wall, as well.

Naturally, there are those of us who would love to channel our own family ties into a creative pursuit, one capable of reaping a wee bit of recognition. Even though the entire enterprise is spiked with silliness, it still managed to become the No. 1 downloaded series on iTunes within a year of its launch. Likewise, when one of their episodes was adapted as a graphic novel, it hit No. 1 on The New York Times' paperback best-seller list.

So here's our shoutout to any similarly inspired siblings of our own: Oh brother, where art thou? Time to plan our own podcast. (Lee Zimmerman)
My Brother, My Brother and Me @ Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 801-355-2787, April 4, 7 p.m., $38.50,

click to enlarge RACHEL NEVILLE
  • Rachel Neville

Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Star Dust

Complexions Contemporary Ballet "was inspired by a desire to see many different dancers in one place sharing in the commonality of dance," co-founder Desmond Richardson told AXS in a 2017 interview. "The name came out of a conversation with one of our dancer's parents who commented on the diverse group we had assembled and said 'the complexity of the people in this room is just astounding, so many different hues and textures.'"

The New York City-based dance group, founded in 1994, indeed boasts a cast drawn from many races, genders and backgrounds. In their upcoming performance at Kingsbury Hall, they ornament themselves with even more hues and textures—swipes of face paint and dustings of glitter, to be exact—for a dance tribute to David Bowie, the much-loved binary-breaking British rock icon.

Bowie died in 2016, but he is still being celebrated. In Star Dust, a rock opera choreographed by Complexions co-founder Dwight Roden, dancers twist and parade to classic Bowie numbers like "Space Oddity" and "Young Americans" in a vibrant performance that finds dancers en pointe and on foot, breaking with classical ballet traditions. Deborah Jowitt in DanceBeat called the dancers "glittering athletes" engaged in the art of "extreme ballet": "Look at the dancers: strong, confident, beautiful, they can do anything. When they swing their legs into the air, a tree could fall."

Other pieces performed in the past by the company are set to a mix of electronica and Bach, Handel and classic rock, awash in pools and flashes of strategic lighting. Expect a masterful, moving performance by artist-athletes adept in their craft. (Naomi Clegg)
Complexions Contemporary Ballet @ Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, 801-581-7100, April 5, 7:30 p.m., $5-$25,

click to enlarge BEAU PEARSON
  • Beau Pearson

Ballet West: Onegin

It has taken more than 50 years for John Cranko's 1965 ballet Onegin to make its way to a Utah premiere, a debut that Ballet West Artistic Drector Adam Sklute has been chasing for virtually the entirety of his tenure. Yet he's also honest enough to acknowledge that the company might not have been ready until now.

"It is one of the world's great ballets, and as all the ballets that come from the Cranko estate, a company has to be approved," Sklute says. "It has to do with the overall capabilities of the entire company. We're ready now. We have a company that's capable, an orchestra capable of performing this dense orchestral score, dancers that are capable of this amazing choreography."

Cranko's ballet adapts one of the great works of Russian literature, Alexander Pushkin's 18th-century verse novel Eugene Onegin, about a wealthy man's romantic dalliances and his tragic realization that he might have missed out on his true love. Sklute believes that this interpretation offers a unique quality that an English translation can't. "In dance, we can distill it down to its essence," Sklute says. "How many of us fell head over heels in love with someone when we were young, and say you wrote that person a love letter. And that person ignored it, or worse yet, mocked you for it. Then 25 years later, you go to your high school reunion, and that person says, you were the only person who understood me, and I missed that ... You don't have to know the story in advance to get it when you see it in dance." (Scott Renshaw)
Ballet West: Onegin @ Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, 801-355-2787, April 5-6 & 10-12, 7:30 p.m.; April 13, 2 & 7:30 p.m., $30-$87,

click to enlarge VH1
  • VH1

Silky Nutmeg Ganache

"Whatcha packin'" might be a common catchphrase on most seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race, but current Season 11 competitor Silky Nutmeg Ganache is packing a lot more than elaborate costumes, wigs and boxes of Sharpies in her quest for the title of America's Next Drag Superstar.

The 29-year-old Reginald Steele—who goes by the stage persona Silky Nutmeg Ganache—honed her drag skills for more than six years, slaying the stage in the clubs of Chicago before sending in an audition tape for the Emmy award-winning show and securing a spot as one of 15 competitors on the current season. "Never in a million years did I think that I would actually get on. That was my first time submitting a complete audition tape," she said in a recent Chicago Tribune interview.

Despite being assigned a smaller role in a recent Grease-inspired musical for a Drag Race challenge, she was the star of the show, winning top honors for the week. "I never thought in 40 seconds I could be that impactful," Steele said. Acing the challenges on Drag Race, Ganache's recent performance as Oprah in Trump: The Rusical even brought unexpected praise from Momma Ru for her "star quality."

Salt Lakers can view the fierce talents that are earning Silky Nutmeg Ganache challenge wins (and perhaps the title?) in person at the upcoming Metro Music Hall show. "I'm more than a drag queen, I'm an experience," Ganache wrote in a recent Facebook post. "I love to gag folks with my transformation. I'm perfect because I accept my flaws and all. And I do what I do for entertainment." (Colette A. Finney)
Silky Nutmeg Ganache @ Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, April 6, 9 p.m., $20,

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