THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR SEP 28 - OCT 4 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly


SLAC: Can I Say Yes to That Dress?, Afro Utah Festival, Lewis Black, and more

Pin It
  • Laura Chapman

SLAC: Can I Say Yes to That Dress?
Sarah Shippobotham has worn many hats in the theater world: actor, University of Utah drama department faculty member, dialect coach. But for Can I Say Yes to That Dress?, she puts on a different a different hat—that of playwright—while also putting on a wedding dress in a one-woman show that explores unique societal pressures related to age and gender.

"Although the play focuses on a woman about to get married," Shippobotham says via email, "it's also about what it's like to be a woman of a certain age growing up with certain expectations, and how those expectations are so strongly built into the fabric of being that person, that even if things have moved on, there's still a sense that she is conditioned by her history. ... Marriage really is the starting point for a conversation or opening to think about other things that impact women and non-male people."

The play has taken a journey of more than 10 years to get to this world premiere, born originally out of an assignment for a workshop in clowning Shippobotham took in 2012. As a result, she believes it incorporates a distinctive performance dynamic. "For me, the piece is a mix of storytelling and stand up," she says. "There is an element of me bringing my clownish sensibilities to the stage."

Can I Say Yes to That Dress? runs Sept. 27 – Oct. 29 at Salt Lake Acting Company (168 W. 500 North). Tickets are $44 for general admission seating, with doors open a half-hour before performance times. Visit for tickets, performance dates & times and additional event information. (Scott Renshaw)

  • Courtesy Photo

Afro Utah Festival
Cultural festivals are a fun time, to be sure, but they're also an opportunity to realize that our ideas of cultures outside of our own can need some expanding. Afro Utah Festival was created to celebrate the diversity of a Black community in Utah that encompasses African-American, West Indian, Afro-Latinx, recent Black immigrants and more, with plenty of music, food and other great experiences.

The week of the Afro Utah Festival kicks off on Sept. 28 with the Afro Utah Awards at Zions Technology Center in Midvale, created as a way to honor individuals who are changing the way Black people and those of Afro descent are perceived in the community while making significant contributions to the state. Friday, Sept. 29 brings the Afro Utah Fashion Show at the downtown SLC Hyatt Regency, showcasing Afrocentric fashions and designers. The centerpiece event is Saturday's Afro Utah Festival at the Gallivan Center (239 S. Main St.), 1 p.m. – 9 p.m., featuring food vendors and other merchants, plus vibrant performances of music and dance from traditions including jazz, hip hop, calypso, afrobeat, merengue, bachata and more. It all wraps up with a special afterparty performance with Ghanan rapper/songwriter Sarkodie, 10 p.m. at the Commonwealth Room (195 W. 200 South).

Awards show tickets are $60 general admission, and Fashion Show tickets are $80 general admission, but tickets for the Afro Utah Festival are free to the public. Tickets for Sarkodie start at $55 general admission, 21+ only. Visit to get tickets and for other event information. (SR)

  • Courtesy Photo

Lewis Black
Lewis Black is a professional curmudgeon. Where most people wouldn't dare spew their venom and make their true feelings known, Black has built a successful career by doing exactly the opposite.

He defies those who take offense to his bitter barbs, and he never hesitates to share derision and disgust. He was once barred from filming an HBO special at the Kennedy Center, in fact, because someone had previously tallied the number of F-bombs he spouted on a previous special—and when confronted, he refused to temper his comments accordingly. During a benefit performance at his high school alma mater, he used the opportunity to curse a former teacher for giving him a lower grade than he felt he deserved. Then too, there was the time when he was arrested for participating in the "Naked Teen Voyeur Bus" trek around Manhattan, which just happened to follow the same route President Bill Clinton was taking that same day.

Naughtiness aside, Black has been consistently voted one of the best stand-up comedians of his generation, and his highly-rated comedy specials and ongoing credits in various media—including voicing Anger in Disney/Pixar's hit Inside Out and releasing best-selling books—affirm his appeal. He also deserves credit for his work with the ACLU and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as well as his tours overseas to entertain our troops. Hey, we're fans—and we certainly don't want to risk his wrath.

Lewis Black brings his "Off the Rails" tour to Eccles Center's Delta Hall (131 S. Main St.) on Friday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $45 - $65; visit (Lee Zimmerman)

Pin It

More by City Weekly Staff

Latest in Entertainment Picks

© 2023 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation