THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR MAY 16-22 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR MAY 16-22 

Cold: Susan Powell Case Files Podcast Live

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click to enlarge KSL
  • KSL

THURSDAY 5/16

Cold: Susan Powell Case Files Podcast Live
It was nearly 10 years ago when Susan Powell went missing from her West Valley City home; police immediately suspected her husband Josh. Susan's body was never found. Josh was never charged. He took his own life and the couple's two boys in 2012. WVC police declared the case cold in 2013.

KSL Channel 5 investigative reporter Dave Cawley spent years looking into the case, and in November 2018, he started putting out a weekly podcast titled Cold: Susan Powell Case Files: The Untold Story. The 18 episodes have garnered more than 10 million downloads.

While true crime has proved to be a popular genre in podcasting, what stands out about Cold is that it strives to be more than a "whodunit." Cawley focuses on understanding how Susan was not able to get out of an abusive marriage, and hopes to help other women in future situations.

Cawley goes beyond the podcast episodes for this special live presentation. "In a live event, Cold ditches the script," he says. "We'll share more of our personal experiences investigating the case. You'll hear the story behind the story. We'll discuss the important themes and issues raised by Susan's disappearance, and share how to turn those discussions into positive action in our own individual lives."

Cawley also conducts a live interview with retired detective Ellis Maxwell, who was the lead investigator on the case. A portion of every ticket sold benefits the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition. (Geoff Griffin)

Cold: Susan Powell Case Files Podcast Live @ Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, May 16, 4 & 8 p.m., $24.50-$44.50, artsaltlake.org

click to enlarge DEVIN ROSS RICHEY
  • Devin Ross Richey

FRIDAY 5/17

Living Traditions Festival
These days, it doesn't seem like diverse traditions are valued like they once were. The nation's political and cultural divide seems to negate the need to celebrate the ancestry, individuality and heritage that make us who we are.

That makes the Living Traditions Festival, sponsored by the Salt Lake City Arts Council, an essential event. The free three-day celebration reminds us of the need to respect and value the many cultures that make up our area's rich tapestry. Music, crafts, flavors and festivities are presented by more than 70 groups and organizations taking part in this popular annual kickoff of the summer festival season.

"The Living Traditions program fosters the preservation and inclusion of Utah's diverse cultural landscape and artistic traditions," Salt Lake City Arts Council director Felicia Baca writes via email. "It also aids conversations around social justice, equity and diversity by presenting folk art—art that reflects both the unique qualities of various cultures and the similarities of human experience—in a festive and safe environment."

Baca also notes that for the first time, the event includes a series of free workshops (visit the festival website or Facebook page for details). It's also adding an expanded children's art yard, featuring a number of new participants from various organizations and art groups.

"Community engagement is important to the mission of the Salt Lake City Arts Council," Baca adds. "We're interested in adding new elements that introduce participants to exciting new opportunities and experiences that they may not otherwise encounter." (Lee Zimmerman)

Living Traditions Festival @ Library Square, 400 S. 200 East, May 17, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; May 18, noon-10 p.m.; May 19, noon-7 p.m., free, livingtraditionsfestival.com

click to enlarge ALEX GALLIVAN
  • Alex Gallivan

FRIDAY 5/17

Pride Spectacular
Before the big parade and the parties can begin, Utah Pride Days needs to kick off by celebrating and commemorating members of the state's LGBTQ community.

The grand festivities get underway at the fourth Pride Spectacular, a dinner and fundraiser hosted by the Utah Pride Center. Liz Pitts, director of community engagement, says the night marks a fun and energetic way to start the month-long celebration of LGBTQ history, culture, resistance and joy and is a way for the center to reflect on the year's achievements—a fitting sentiment, given this year's "Exist. Resist. Persist." theme.

And, given 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots—an event that jump-started the modern LGBTQ rights movement—this year's Spectacular takes a longer look of progress and equity. "It's a great celebration and commemoration of what we've done in the last 50 years, and we're looking forward to the next 50 years," Pitt says.

This attitude is reflected in the night's main event: the awarding of the Kristen Ries Community Service Award and The Utah Pride Lifetime Achievement Award. This year's recipients are Sue Robins and Pepper Prespentt, and the lifetime achievement award goes to Ben Williams and Connell O'Donovan, co-chairs of a local queer history group.

Tickets for the main event are sold out, but there are plenty of tickets left for the Pride Spectacular after-party. This late-night celebration features a DJ, plenty of food, drinks and dancing. (Kylee Ehmann)

Pride Spectacular @ The Union Event Center, 235 N. 500 West, May 17, 6-9:30 p.m.; after-party 9:30-11:30 p.m., $20-$150, utahpridecenter.org

click to enlarge KEVIN DAY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Kevin Day Photography

FRIDAY 5/17

Celeste Ng: Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng is working on two new novels. "I won't say too much about plot because it could change; I could tell you the plot and two years from now it could come out and be a dinosaur space romance," she says, "but I think they're going to deal with similar themes to my first book, which had to do with being an outsider versus belonging, about identity and family and relationships between parents and children from generation to generation."

That first book to which she refers is Everything I Never Told You, Ng's 2014 debut novel. Her second novel, released in 2017, was the much-lauded bestseller Little Fires Everywhere, currently in production as a Hulu mini-series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

Ng comes to Salt Lake City—her first time in Utah—supporting the paperback release of Little Fires Everywhere, in a conversation with Utah poet laureate Paisley Rekdal. "It's very much about motherhood and all the complicated facets of it—how we experience it and what we're told it should be like," Ng says of the book. "But I think it's also about power and control, because that's part of the mother-child relationship, too."

The book plays with the question, what happens when our secrets are dislodged? "In the novel, Shaker Heights is almost a character in and of itself," Ng says of the suburban setting, "and it's a little complacent, in some ways, and it takes something really big to kind of get people's attention. I think that's true for communities as well as people." (Naomi Clegg)

Celeste Ng: Little Fires Everywhere @ Wasatch Presbyterian Church, 1626 S. 1700 East, May 17, 7 p.m., $20, paperback copy included; limited free student tickets available, kingsenglish.com

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