THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR MAY 30 - JUN 5 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR MAY 30 - JUN 5 

Hasan Minhaj, Home Is Never Dead, It Isn't Even Home @ Mestizo Arts, Mother Nature: Katherine Heigl & Josh Kelley @ Gallery MAR, and more.

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Hasan Minhaj
Comedy and controversy often go hand in glove; Lenny Bruce, Redd Foxx, George Carlin or Richard Pryor offer ample evidence of that precept. Yet rarely has a standup comedian faced the sort of scrutiny leveled at Hasan Minhaj. A 2023 profile of Minhaj in The New Yorker accused him of distorting certain biographical facts within his monologues, specifically regarding alleged racism he faced as an American Muslim. The piece was so damning that it allegedly cost him his candidacy to replace Trevor Noah as host of The Daily Show. Nevertheless, in an era where politicians consistently lie to serve their own purpose, it seems odd that a standup comedian would be targeted. After all, by its very nature, most storytelling is at least partly fictitious to begin with.

Likewise, Minhaj has clearly proven his proficiency as a credible creative artist. A Peabody Award-winner courtesy of his Netflix special Homecoming King, creator of the political satire series Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (which won him another Peabody Award and an Emmy), senior correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and headliner at the 2017 White House Correspondents Dinner, he's long since proven his prowess. So give the guy a break, and the rest of us as well. Don't let the pundits prevail.

Hasan Minhaj addresses his controversies head-on during his "Off With His Head" tour live at the Eccles Theater (131 S. Main St.) on Thursday, May 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $49.50 - $149.50 at my.arttix.org. Note: Use of phones, smart watches and accessories will not be permitted. (Lee Zimmerman)

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Home Is Never Dead, It Isn't Even Home @ Mestizo Arts
Homelessness among LGBTQ youth and lack of familial support is a continuing problem; thus, the idea of home and queerness has often been at odds, where "home" was often a place that reinforces heteronormativity. Pride Month events often center on pop culture and public political resistance, but this exhibit, titled Home Is Never Dead, It Isn't Even Home, focuses on how the home—a space of intimacy, tradition and family—can also be a space for subtle acts of resistance. As an exhibit that highlights the intimacy of domestic spaces, it also showcases a more humanized view of queerness and queer experiences.

Opening on the first day of Utah Pride, the Mestizo Arts Institute is bringing queer artists Julian Croft and HALO. The two are a lesbian couple, and their exhibit opens up a conversation about what homemaking looks like for queer folks, both unique from the "traditional" American conception and in the ways that it's similar. Croft and HALO invite viewers into "a multidimensional exploration of the sapphic home" and bring their separate angles and backgrounds to the space. "My work explores home and family as fragments of memory imprinting us with the unknown and impacting our actions and experiences," says Croft.

Home Is Never Dead, It Isn't Even Home begins with an opening reception including Croft and HALO on Saturday, June 1 at Mestizo Arts (95 S. Rio Grande Street) from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., and runs through July 6. This is a free event, open to the public. Visit Mestizo Arts Instagram page (@mestizoarts_slc) for additional event information. (Arica Roberts)

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Mother Nature: Katherine Heigl & Josh Kelley @ Gallery MAR
Park City is no stranger to hosting famous faces, as celebrities descend on the mountain hamlet every January for the Sundance Film Festival. It's a bit less common, though, to catch an actor in town during the warm-weather months—and certainly less common still to realize that their presence relates to promoting creative work that has nothing to do with movies or television. But that's just what's on tap when actor Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy, Knocked Up) demonstrates the range of her artistic abilities with a showcase of her visual art, in the joint exhibition Mother Nature with her husband, songwriter/musician Josh Kelley—their first-ever gallery show.

"I've always loved to draw and have gone through stints where I was sketching in charcoal daily and then put my pencils down and didn't pick them up again for years," Heigl said in an interview with My Modern Met earlier this year. "I started with charcoal drawings, and I'd say over the last five years, have dived into everything from watercolor to acrylic to oil to alcohol ink...Honestly, you name it, I've tried it." Heigl will bring a variety of works, including collage and painting, many of them featuring animals; Kelley presents leather work as his contribution to the exhibition. All proceeds from sales will support the Heigl family's Jason Debus Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to ending animal cruelty and abuse.

Mother Nature opens Friday, May 31 at Gallery MAR (436 Main St., Park City), with an opening exhibition featuring the artists from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Visit gallerymar.com for additional information. (Scott Renshaw)

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