THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR FEB 24 - MAR 2 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR FEB 24 - MAR 2 

Pioneer Theatre Company: Something Rotten!, Matt Flint @ Gallery MAR, Odyssey Dance: Shut Up and Dance, and more.

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PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY
  • Pioneer Theatre Company

Pioneer Theatre Company: Something Rotten!
Given the general subject matter of Something Rotten!—a theater company struggling to figure out what makes sense for their next production—it's more than slightly ironic that it has taken two years for it to finally make its Pioneer Theatre Company debut. The 2015 musical and multiple Tony Award nominee was first scheduled for spring 2020, but we all know what happened to things that were scheduled for spring 2020, and why. Then it was tentatively planned for 2021, but again COVID intervened. "I have been eager to bring this crowd-pleaser to our audience for a long time," says PTC artistic director Karen Azenberg, who also directs and choreographs this production, "but the pandemic kept getting in the way."

But it's finally all-systems-go for this charming tale set in Renaissance England, where a pair of brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, face that most particular of artistic challenges while running a theater company in Renaissance England: getting out from the shadow of William Shakespeare. As the Bard keeps churning out hit after hit, Nick and Nigel fume over their rival's popularity, until a relative of the celebrated soothsayer Nostradamus gives them a tip about how to change their fortunes. They should, Nostradamus suggests, get on board with a new theatrical form that will eventually be all the rage. It's called ... a "musical."

Something Rotten! runs Feb. 25 – March 12 at the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre (300 S. 1400 East), with tickets $48 - $72. Visit pioneertheatre.org for ticket information and current health & safety protocols. (Scott Renshaw)

ERIC CHRISTENSEN
  • Eric Christensen

Matt Flint @ Gallery MAR
The stunning landscapes and biodiversity of the American West have long been sources of inspiration for artists, who sought to capture that natural beauty through a wide range of media from painting to photography. Wyoming-based artist Matt Flint is part of that tradition, but his style is not one that favors a strictly naturalistic approach to capturing his subjects. "My paintings are of animals, plants and landscapes seen through a moment of shifting focus," Flint notes in his website's artist statement. "I paint the way I explore the rugged mountains where I live, always pushing to see what is over the next hill, searching for the unexpected."

That sense of exploration is certainly on display in the collection of new work offered locally by Park City's Gallery MAR. Fragments of Arcadia, a one-man show of Flint's work, presents oil-based and mixed media paintings with subjects including horses (a staple of Flint's oeuvre), owls, bears and wolves ("Entering Winter" is pictured). The colors blur and mix around the edges in these evocative studies, suggesting the invariably transitory nature of animals that are in constant motion, while the tactile quality in the images brings them fully into the real world.

Fragments of Arcadia opens at Gallery MAR (436 Main St., Park City) on Feb. 25, with an artist reception on that date from 6 – 9 p.m.; masks will be required for all attendees at the event. The exhibition runs through the month of March, with closing date as yet undetermined. Visit gallerymar.com for more details and additional event information. (SR)

MATT FLINT
  • Matt Flint

Odyssey Dance: Shut Up and Dance
Over its nearly-30-year history, Odyssey Dance Theatre has turned some of the staples of American popular culture into lively movement, from the Christmas magic of It's a Wonderful Life to the gleeful ghoulishness of the Halloween staple Thriller. The company's spring tradition has been a repertory program collectively dubbed Shut Up and Dance—and the 2022 installment will be the company's last, as company founder Derryl Yeager has announced his retirement and the closing of Odyssey Dance after this fall's Thriller production.

The 2022 Shut Up and Dance roster features four unique programs, each with its own unique slant. Sledgehammer (pictured) includes a suite inspired by the songs from Peter Gabriel's hit 1986 album So, along with three shorter works from the Odyssey repertoire. Let It Be takes some of the most beloved works from the Beatles catalog—including "Yesterday," "Come Together" and "Help!"—and sets them to dance. Chicago Nights evokes the spirit of Prohibition-era Chicago through a wide range of styles from tap to jazz, from ballroom to hip-hop. And Romeo & Juliet sets the classic Shakespeare story to choreography by former Odyssey principal dancer Eldon Johnson, with the Odyssey traditional twist of letting the audience vote on whether the young lovers live or die.

Take advantage of your final chance ever to catch these productions March 2-12 at the Midvalley Performing Arts Center (2525 Taylorsville Blvd., Taylorsville), with individual ticketing for each performance at $15 - $35. Visit odysseydance.com for more event info, and arttix.org for tickets and current health and safety protocols. (SR)

NIMA SOLIEMANPOUR
  • Nima Soliemanpour

Nassim @ Kingsbury Hall
Live theater is always a risk, but there's an added level of working without a net in the works of Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour (pictured). His 2010 work White Rabbit, Red Rabbit introduced the idea of staging a play without a director, without rehearsals and without a set, as the actors discover the script along with the audience. As Soleimanpour told Broadway World in 2019, "I think it's mainly to live it together for the first time. ... It becomes, of course, an experiment in form, but [also] a shared experience for all of us in the room."

Soliemanpour continues that experiment with Nassim which he describes cryptically—so as not to tip off either the audience members or the upcoming cast members—as "about language, about making friends, about the concept of home." Each of the production's six performances will feature a different solo actor, representing a wide range of the local community, including X96 Radio from Hell co-host Gina Barberi, Fox13 reporter Ben Winslow, former Salt Lake County Council member Shireen Ghorbani, and University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center director Erika George. With Soliemanpour on stage, each cast member takes the script from a sealed box for the first time, and the experiment begins anew.

Nassim plays Kingsbury Hall (1395 E. Presidents Circle) March 1-5, including a matinee performance on Saturday, March 5. Tickets are $5 - $25; face coverings are requested but not required of all audience members. Visit utahpresents.org to buy tickets and for additional event information. (SR)

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