THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR JUL 1 - 7 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly


Aïsha Lehmann and Meggan Waltman @ Modern West Fine Art, Parsons Dance @ Eccles Center, George Lopez @ Wiseguys Gateway, and more.

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  • Aisha Lehmann

Aïsha Lehmann and Meggan Waltman @ Modern West Fine Art
It's always exciting to watch visual artists emerge from our own state, and this month finds Modern West Fine Art (412 S. 700 West) supporting the work of two of its artists-in-residence—Aïsha Lehmann and Meggan Waltman—with solo exhibitions.

Born and raised in Provo, Lehmann is currently a student in Brigham Young University's Studio Arts BFA program, while also pursuing minors in Sociology and Africana Studies. Those varied interests are represented in pieces that explore Lehmann's own multi-ethnic and biracial identity, as her work confronts issues of race, ethnicity, identity and gender. Her prints often explore uncomfortable questions from American history, presenting detailed studies rich with both the depth of her research and the integrity of her artistic process ("Would you swim in an integrated pool?" is pictured).

Lehmann's more representational pieces find an interesting counterpoint in the abstractions by Salt Lake City artist Waltman, a self-taught artist inspired by the likes of Helen Frankenthaler and Frank Stella. Waltman's creative interests run to color and color theory, as evidenced by her choice to create her own oil paints in pursuit of specific tones. The resulting oil on canvas works then find the artist demonstrating control of saturation and dissipation in both hard lines and sweeping curves.

The exhibitions by Lehmann and Waltman run in conjunction with the Main Gallery group exhibition Variant—featuring the work of Al Denyer, Paul Reynolds and Jorge Rojas—through Aug. 7. Visit for additional information, including gallery hours. (Scott Renshaw)

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Parsons Dance @ Eccles Center
At the age of 9, a lively Kansas City native named David Parsons was enrolled by his mother in a summer dance academy affiliated with local events presenter Missouri Dance Theater. Through that organization, Parsons met Paul Taylor Dance Company member Christopher Gillis, and received the encouragement he needed to move to New York City as a 17-year-old early high-school graduate and try his hand at professional dancing.

You could say that the decision paid off, as Parsons made his way through the ranks to eventually become a member of Paul Taylor Dance Company himself, and move on to high-profile work like a guest-artist stint with New York City Ballet, and choreographing the dance elements for the Millennium-heralding activities in Times Square on New Year's Eve 2000. But before that, he had already launched Parsons Dance in 1985 in collaboration with Tony Award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley, and the company has gone on to perform in more than 400 cities around the world. Parsons Dance visits Park City's Eccles Center (1750 Kearns Blvd.) to showcase its repertoire of more than 75 works created by Parsons, as well as other original choreography commissions. The company prides itself on a dedication to inclusion and diversity in both its company and its programs, including sensory-friendly workshops and performances considering the needs of those on the autism spectrum.

Parsons Dance performs Saturday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m., bringing a program scheduled to include Parsons' signature 1982 work Caught. Tickets begin at $39, available at or by phone at 435-655-3114. (SR)

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George Lopez @ Wiseguys Gateway
At an age when a lot of folks are starting to think about retirement age, it's possible that George Lopez is busier than he's ever been. The veteran entertainer turned 60 this year, and celebrated the occasion by launching George Lopez Tacos in multiple states (though not Utah yet). Additionally, a family sitcom concept featuring Lopez and his daughter Mayan got a pilot commitment from NBC, and his Once Upon a Time in Aztlan Amazon Prime dramatic series is on the agenda for 2022. And that's on top of his ubiquitous presence in TikTok videos and his OMG HI podcast available at

But comedy was what built Lopez's career, and after 30 years that also featured successes like his George Lopez TV series and Lopez Tonight talk show, he's still getting up on live stages to show he hasn't forgotten his show-biz roots, or his cultural roots. In his most recent stand-up comedy special, Netflix's 2020 We'll Do It for Half, Lopez shares with a San Francisco audience his perspective on a country that still doesn't have respect for Chicano and Latino Americans, as well as the peculiarities of growing up in a Latino family. And he has plenty of fun with the white-people-est things he can imagine in our contemporary culture, like gender-reveal parties and photographing your food.

Lopez comes to Utah for four performances at The Gateway Wiseguys location (194 S. 400 West) on July 2-3. Tickets are $45, available at; visit the website for additional event information. (SR)

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Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre
If you want to talk about what it means to give back to your community, you can't find many better examples than Michael Ballam (pictured). The operatic tenor has performed with some of the greatest individual singers and companies in the world, but his legacy is likely to be giving his hometown of Logan its own annual showcase of great theatrical showcases for singing. So after a 2020 hiatus, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre returns to the downtown Logan home it has served for nearly 30 years, with a month of great productions.

The season kicks of Wednesday, July 7 with the first of its four main stage productions, Stephen Temperley's Souvenir. It tells the humorous, stranger-than-fiction true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the New York socialite who fancied herself a great opera singer despite having a more-than-slightly difficult time staying on pitch, as told from the point of view of her friend and piano accompanist, Cosmé McMoon. Thursday, July 8 sees the premiere of 33 Variations, exploring musicologist Katherine Brandt's studies of Beethoven's "Diabelli Variations," from playwright Moisés Kaufman, the award-winning creator of The Laramie Project. July 9 brings The Fantasticks, the longest-running show in musical theater history. July 10 launches the poignant tale of a 60-year marriage in I Do! I Do! Learn more about each show by arriving early for pre-show "informances."

Tickets are available at for all shows. Visit for full schedule and additional show information, as well as health and safety protocols. (SR)

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