THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR MAY 23 - 29 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR MAY 23 - 29 

Ziegfeld Theater: Company, Scandinavian Heritage Festival, The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes, and more.

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Ziegfeld Theater: Company
Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical Company holds a unique place in musical theater history for a variety of reasons. Part of it comes from the critical success of the show itself, as it earned a then-record 14 Tony Award nominations, with six wins including Best Musical. Part of it comes from its unique association with the D.A. Pennebaker documentary Original Cast Album: Company, shot during a marathon recording session and providing insight into a usually-behind-the-scenes component of the musical theater world. And part of it involves the way the show—focused on a bachelor named Robert and his circle of friends—was a product of its time, acknowledging the growing realities of divorce and other relationship complications as the 1960s turned into the 1970s.

But for my money, its real significance is including the greatest song ever written for the American musical theater: Robert's climactic anthem "Being Alive." It's a song about the risks we take and the world that opens up when we decide to share a life with someone. Relationships are messy, they cause us pain and they're never a sure thing—but "Being Alive" reminds us why they're still worth it.

Ogden's Ziegfeld Theater (3934 S. Washington Blvd.) offers a chance to experience that song—and plenty of other memorable numbers, including "The Ladies Who Lunch," "Getting Married Today" and more—with a production running May 24 – June 2, performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday – Saturday, plus an additional 7:30 p.m. show Sunday, June 2. Tickets begin at $24.95; visit zigarts.com to purchase tickets and for additional event info. (Scott Renshaw)

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Scandinavian Heritage Festival
With all the Jensens, Christensens, Hansens and the like who populate the state of Utah, it can sometimes feel like the Venn diagram of "23 & Me reports of Utahns with Scandinavian heritage" and "inhabitants of Scandinavia" is a single circle. It's certainly true that folks with roots in Sweden, Norway and Denmark are a big part of the state's makeup, and every year, the city of Ephraim brings a focus to that reality with its biggest-of-its-kind-in-the-American-West Scandinavian Heritage Festival.

This Memorial Day weekend is no different, with two days of entertainment, information and general merriment. Events include the annual Heritage Conference with history talks, art exhibitions, car show, chalk art and demonstrations of vintage trades like leather-making and blacksmithing. Live performances feature storytelling, traditional Scandinavian music from Madeline LeBaron, dances from the BYU International Folk Dancers, and music headliners like Glen Phillips (lead singer of '90s band Toad the Wet Sprocket). A Scandinavian Village offers plenty of crafts to peruse and purchase, while dozens of food vendors provide sustenance for visitors. If you're feeling particularly participatory, you can even sign up for the pickleball tournament, tennis tournament or—I am not making this up—a wife-carrying contest.

The 2024 Scandinavian Heritage Festival takes place in various venues—including Snow College campus (150 E. College Ave.) and Pioneer Park (42 N. 100 West)—on Friday, May 24 (approximately noon – 9 p.m.) and Saturday, May 25 (approximately noon – 6 p.m.). Events are free and open to the public. Visit scandinavianfestival.org for full schedule and additional event information. (SR)

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The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes
If you happened to see actor Cary Elwes during his appearance at the FanX convention a few years back, you might recall that he's a particularly wonderful storyteller about his experience filming director Rob Reiner's beloved 1987 adaptation of William Goldman's The Princess Bride, in which Elwes played the lead role of Westley/The Dread Pirate Roberts. He has enough such stories that he turned them into a full-fledged memoir, 2014's As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of "The Princess Bride." And many of those stories revolve around the larger-than-life—in physical presence and in personality—Andre the Giant, who played the lovable "Brute Squad" member Fezzik.

There's never a bad reason to watch (or re-watch) The Princess Bride and enjoy its humor, swashbuckling adventure, romance and big heart. You'll get a chance to watch the movie this weekend, while also getting a dose of those anecdotes from Elwes himself, who has been touring the country with The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes. This moderated conversation offers fresh insight into the making of a quotable classic, direct from the source.

The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes comes to the J.Q. Lawson Capitol Theatre (50 W. 200 South) on Saturday, May 25. While tickets are extremely limited at press time for the 7 p.m. presentation, there is greater availability for the 1 p.m. performance—so perhaps make it an inconceivable afternoon, instead. Tickets start at $29; visit arttix.org to purchase tickets and for additional event info. (SR)

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