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


10th Anniversary Miss City Weekly Pride Pageant

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click to enlarge STEVE CONLIN
  • Steve Conlin

10th Anniversary Miss City Weekly Pride Pageant

Sashaying in Utah's Pride weekend with glitz and glamour, a group of the state's most talented drag personalities compete in the momentous 10th annual Miss City Weekly Pride Pageant. Celebrating Utah's increasing diversity within an outrageous party atmosphere, this memorable affair finds contestants vying for the coveted crown with everything they've got. The 2019 winner will be judged on performances showcasing personality, creativity, talent, evening gown and a Q&A.

Hosted by famed drag personality Jackie Beat (see p. 29) and Gorgeous Jared, this year's winner will walk the runway not only with a blinding tiara, but more than $1,000 in cash and prizes. "Bring your A-game! Costumes, creativity, confidence, stage presence and passion," judge Jason CoZmo says. "The best advice I can give is to be the best you. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Don't show us what you think we want to see; show us what you do best!"

No one knows better than last year's winner E Cooper Jr., pictured above, who participated two years in a row but only came away a winner when he dropped preconceived perceptions and became "authentically me." "Doing it my way, for me, elevated my drag," Cooper says. "And I was fully realized as Cooper: the artist, the performer and queen."

Believing Miss City Weekly is one of the most defining pageants in the drag world, Cooper worked hard for the title, singing "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman live with an epic costume reveal during the final notes. This year's participants have a fabulous act to follow. (Colette A. Finney)
Miss City Weekly Pageant @ The Depot, 13 N. 400 West, May 30, doors 7 p.m; show 8 p.m., $12-$20, 21+,

  • The Criterion Collection

The Greatest: Life-Changing Documentaries

In the age of reality TV and Netflix, when people often immerse themselves in non-fiction narratives, it's curious that documentary feature films still carry a rarified "art house" air. Some of the most compelling stories in film history have been created by filmmakers who just happen to be telling true stories—sometimes relating pivotal historical moments, sometimes revealing the lives of fascinating characters, sometimes finding unexpected drama in turning a camera on people and seeing what happens.

Beginning this weekend and throughout the summer of 2019, the Salt Lake Film Society explores the rich history of non-fiction filmmaking with more than 25 features in The Greatest: Life-Changing Documentaries series. Fittingly for Pride Weekend, the first week includes two films highlighting pivotal moments in the history of LGBTQ people in America. Rob Epstein's 1984 Academy Award winner The Times of Harvey profiles the pioneering San Francisco city supervisor who became the first openly-gay elected official in America; David France's 2012 How to Survive a Plague explores the role of activist organizations like ACT UP and TAG in combating the AIDS crisis.

The opening weekend's other features include the landmark 1994 epic Hoop Dreams, 2017's Faces Places by the recently-deceased French filmmaking legend Agnes Varda and 1970's Gimme Shelter, which captured the infamous Rolling Stones concert at Altamont. Other highlights include An Inconvenient Truth, Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine and the devastating Holocaust study Shoah. Watch the schedule for local documentaries including Sons of Perdition, Vessel, Quiet Heroes and One Revolution at the Tower Theatre, dates and times TBD. (Scott Renshaw)
The Greatest: Life-Changing Documentaries @ Broadway Centre Cinemas, 111 E. 300 South and Tower Theatre, 876 E. 900 South, May 31-July 2, dates and times vary, full schedule at

  • William Morris Endeavor

Cristela Alonzo

Women's empowerment is an important cause, but for minority women, it's more urgent than ever. So credit Cristela Alonzo for furthering awareness through her many significant accomplishments. They include becoming the first Latina to create, write and star in a network TV sitcom, fittingly titled Cristela. Notably too, she was the first Latina to star in a Disney Pixar movie, thanks to her role as Cruz Ramirez in the animated smash Cars 3.

While things look bright, she occasionally shows concern. "Nothing scares the hell out of you like having white people worry about your future," she once joked. An actress and comedian by profession—she was named as one of "10 L.A. Comedy Acts to Watch in 2014" by L.A. Weekly—the L.A.-based entertainer is also involved in advocacy, primarily on issues dealing with immigration, health care and lower income communities. She supports multiple charitable organizations, and for good reason: Raised in poverty, she's well acquainted with the challenges life hands those who are far less fortunate.

No wonder then that this L.A.-based entertainer is a popular guest host on The View, as well as a regular on late night TV. "I'm so excited to be here today," she told one audience. "It means I haven't been deported yet."

Likewise, her one-hour Netflix special Lower Classy shows her self-effacing side through observations about the clash between cultures and the difficulties that accompany everyday dilemmas. A book, scheduled for later this year, will likely further illuminate that same unique ability to balance entertainment and enlightenment. (Lee Zimmerman)
Cristela Alonzo @ Wiseguys West Jordan, 3763 W. Center Park Drive, West Jordan, May 31-June 1, 7 & 9:30 p.m., $20,

click to enlarge SKYSCAPE PRESS
  • Skyscape Press

Emily R. King: Before the Broken Star

Young-adult fiction has a long history of centering on female protagonists, including genre stories. But Utah author Emily R. King—creator of The Hundredth Queen series, and her new novel Before the Broken Star—has a very specific notion of what it means to create what has been known in contemporary parlance as a "strong female character."

"We tend to label any nuanced, complex female character as 'strong' to distinguish between her and the cardboard cutouts often depicted in stories," King says. "Strong female characters aren't necessarily women who wield a sword. They are clever and thoughtful and driven and brave. They exhibit strength in every capacity of their lives."

That's certainly true of Before the Broken Star's Everley Donovan, a 17-year-old in a mysterious kingdom who survived the murder of the rest of her family thanks to a clock replacing her wounded heart, and who is driven to bring her personal retribution to the man responsible. Yet beyond the vengeance quest of this one young woman, and her gradual ability to trust one man, the story is driven by rich world-building that includes not just fantastical creatures and the legend of a world trapped in time, but multiple belief systems, including a religious minority persecuted by the kingdom's official religion.

"I built the world upon truths. Unfortunately, it was realistic to create opposing sects of faith, and for the sect of faith in power to condemn the minority," King says. "Ideally, we would all be more tolerant of each other's beliefs. When we aren't, prejudice leads to shameful atrocities." (SR)
Emily R. King: Before the Broken Star @ Provo Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo, June 5, 7 p.m., free,

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