THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR NOV 4 - 10 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
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THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR NOV 4 - 10 

Utah Shakespeare: Gold Mountain, SALT Contemporary Dance Fall Concert, An Evening with Ira Glass: 7 Things I've Learned, and more.

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COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo

Utah Shakespeare: Gold Mountain
For 50 years, Utah Shakespeare Festival has brought Tony Award-winning excellence to its productions in Southern Utah of both Shakespeare classics and great contemporary theater. But for those who don't venture much farther south than Utah County, there has never been an opportunity to experience a full Utah Shakespeare production in the Wasatch Front. That changes this week, as Utah Shakespeare offers the new musical Gold Mountain in West Valley City.

In 2019, Gold Mountain playwright Jason Ma (pictured) spoke to City Weekly about the work then in development, which involves a romance between a Chinese immigrant railroad worker and a brothel worker during the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1866. Regarding the need for representation of the Asian and Asian-American experience in the musical theater canon, Ma said, "our representation is very limited. But one of the things that has started to happen is that people are writing their own stories. Instead of depending on Rodgers and Hammerstein orMiss Saigonto tell our stories for us, there's been this wave of Asian-American writers who have decided it's time to take back our own narratives, and maybe fill in some of the gaps in stories we've been telling over and over again."

Utah Shakespeare's Gold Mountain plays Nov. 4-20 at the West Valley Performing Arts Center (3333 S. Decker Lake Dr., West Valley City). General admission tickets are $59, and face coverings will be required throughout the performance. Visit bard.org for tickets and additional information. (Scott Renshaw)

MYLES WOOLSTENHULME
  • Myles Woolstenhulme

SALT Contemporary Dance Fall Concert
Like many performing arts companies, SALT Contemporary Dance has dealt with a long layoff before being able to get back to the stage in front of live audiences. For the company's artistic director, Joni McDonald, it was inevitable that the artists would reflect that experience, even if the work isn't specifically about the pandemic. "[The performance is] definitelyis more of an escapefrom this time," McDonald shares via email, "but the dancers bring their growth from the past year to the stage."

SALT's Fall Concert showcases three pieces: Salt Lake City native Garrett Smith's 2015 work If We Linger, a depiction of overcoming trial and hardship; Ihsan Rustem's 2014 creation Long Story Short; and After Discussing, created by McDonald herself. She describes the piece as something that was born out of a year-long sabbatical, unrelated to the pandemic. "Taking the time off to focus on family was important for perspective," she says. "I think it is important to distance yourself from your work to take a critical look at yourcreations. So the time off gave me a lot of clarity on how I wanted to approach creating dance again. I felt excited to explore in new ways and create more limitations for myself."

The concert takes place at the Midvalley Performing Arts Center (2525 Taylorsville Blvd., Taylorsville) on Nov. 5-6 at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $25; masks are recommended but not required, and seating may be at capacity. Visit arttix.org to purchase tickets, and saltdance.com for additional event information. (SR)

SANDY HONIG
  • Sandy Honig

An Evening with Ira Glass: 7 Things I've Learned
As his celebrated NPR program This American Life celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021, which itself is only part of a 40-year career in radio, you'd think that host Ira Glass might have learned more than seven things. After all his, he has featured great storytellers like Michael Chabon, Sarah Vowell and Tobias Wolff, and has even expanded into feature films like Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me.

Still, Glass chooses to narrow things down with 7 Things I've Learned, a live multimedia presentation that he brings to Utah this week. He discusses his ideas about narrative theory, and what makes something a great story. He addresses realizations particular to the enterprise of radio journalism, like how to sound "normal" on the radio, and how to interview children. There's also information about how to "fail productively," and how to take multiple hours of interview tapes and whittle them down into an efficient story. And he does it all in the conversational style that millions of regular listeners have come to love. "You will be fierce," Glass says of his professional mantra. "You will be fearless. And you will make work you know in your heart is not as good as you want it to be."

Glass visits BYU's de Jong Concert Hall (800 E. Campus Dr., Provo) Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-$47; masks are required for all attendees, as well as proof of vaccination or negative test within 72 hours of the event. Visit arts.byu.edu for tickets and additional event information. (SR)

essentials_211104-nurse_blake_credit_tk.png

Nurse Blake
The phrase "social media star" can feel like a pejorative, as though the person in question really hasn't done anything more to warrant their celebrity than make YouTube videos. But don't apply that dismissive notion to Blake Lynch, the popular YouTuber know familiarly to his fans as "Nurse Blake." Long before he was garnering 12 million monthly views for his perspectives on the experiences of being a nurse, Lynch and his husband founded Banned4Life, a movement to rescind the federal government's policy of not accepting blood donations from gay men, which succeeded in getting the policy changed in 2015. And beyond that, he founded a free social media platform, NurseCon, for nurses to support one another around the world and take continuing education courses.

When it comes to his live appearances, however, Nurse Blake brings things to a much more conventionally entertaining level. The "PTO Comedy Tour" finds him looking for both the humor and the emotion in the frequently chaotic world of being a professional nurse—and, especially relevant under the current circumstances, celebrating the amazing work that those nurses do every day.

Nurse Blake hits the Eccles Center (131 S. Main St.) on Wednesday, Nov. 10 for two shows; the 6:30 p.m. show is sold out at press time, but tickets still remain available at $35-$55 for the 9:30 p.m. show, and for the pre-show VIP opportunity. Proof of vaccination or recent (72 hour) negative COVID test is required for this event; visit arttix.org for tickets and additional information. (SR)

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