THE MILK CARTON KIDS, THE STATE ROOM, Monday, May 6, 8 p.m., $15
A couple months back, watching a documentary on television ignited the Simon & Garfunkel fan that had been buried inside me for a lifetime. The appeal of the songcraft and vocal harmonies of that folk duo eluded me more years, but I’m on board now. I only mention that because the first time I listened to The Milk Carton Kids’ debut album, The Ash & Clay, there was no denying the appeal–my newly discovered inner folkie was instantly attracted to the twin acoustic guitars and intertwined voices of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan. The duo came through town not long ago, opening for Punch Brothers, but this is their first visit to SLC since their album came out March 26. Do yourself a favor and start you week with some witty wordplay and songs that grab hold in the best possible way. The Barefoot Movement opens the show.
PLAN-B THEATRE COMPANY’S 10th ANNIVERSARY SLAM, ROSE WAGNER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, Saturday, May 4, 8 p.m., $25/$10 for students
Every year, Plan-B Theatre Company’s SLAM event has offered one of the more creative, and frantic, nights of live theater in Salt Lake City–particularly for the actors, directors and playwrights involved.
Local playwrights would gather on a Friday night, be randomly assigned a cast of actors along with a play title, then sent off to create an original play to be performed a mere 24 hours later. The directors and actors would get the just-penned script on Saturday morning, and the plays would all be produced on Saturday night. The resulting plays have always had the ability to surprise and delight in how strong they were, given the time constraints all involved were dealing with.
This year, for SLAM’s 10th anniversary, Plan-B’s Producing Director Jerry Rapier decided to pull a surprise of his own and change things up a bit. First, he had the directors and actors join the playwrights on Friday night. Then he dropped a bit of a bomb on the group, totally changing the SLAM rules for this year–rather than create new, original plays, they would recreate five of the plays done for SLAM in the past. Actors who played roles in the original versions will get to play them again, and directors will also get to revisit past SLAM plays they were involved in, and reimagine them for 2013.
The five plays that will be performed on Saturday night:
- Tobin Atkinson’s Totally Fucked (2004), a political satire which was also the very first play at the very first SLAM
BEER, BLUES & BRATS, CROSSROADS URBAN CENTER, Sunday, May 5, 2-6 p.m., $45
Now this is the kind of fundraiser I can get behind; not only can you support a great cause in the grassroots, nonprofit Crossroads Urban Center, but you can have a legitimately great time doing so. The Beer, Blues & Brats throwdown on Sunday afternoon will provide all of the above–tasty brews from Epic Brewing, sausages from Colisimo’s, our local sausage geniuses, and tunes from The Number Ones and The Fourteenth Ward, while belly dancers from the Rubber Room School of Dance will also perform. The event happens at The Community Co-op, 1756 South 700 West in Salt Lake City.
The event runs all afternoon on Sunday, and all of your $45 donation will benefit the Crossroads Urban Center, supporting its efforts to help the underserved in the Utah community through emergency food, diapers, infant formula, clothing and medicine delivered to those in need. The organization is home to a thrift store, and funds emergency needs, holiday food distributions, the Anti-hunger Action Committee, the Coalition of Religious Communities and Utah’s busiest food pantry.
A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE, THE SUGAR SPACE, Friday, May 3-Saturday, May 4 & Friday, May 10-Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m., $12
On a solo trip to New York City a few years ago, a friend tipped me off to the cheap tix to Broadway plays available at matinees, as well as the production of playwright Will McDonagh’s A Behanding in Spokane that was going on at the time, starring Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell. I loved the dark comedy about a haunted criminal desperately trying to find his hand that had been brutally removed by thug years earlier when he was a teenager, and his interactions with a young couple who claim to have his prized paw. Only later did I find out that McDonagh is the writer behind a series of brilliant plays, as well as films like In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. Now, Salt Lake City’s Hive Theatre Company is presenting the Utah premiere of A Behanding in Spokane with four performances at The Sugar Space over the next two weekends. You can count on the plot and dialogue being worthwhile, and it should be exciting to see the Hive group tackle McDonagh’s work.
DON WILLIAMS, DEE EVENTS CENTER, Ogden, Friday, May 3, 7:30 p.m., $33-$38
Known in country circles as the “Gentle Giant,” Don Williams is a true legend who doesn’t get nearly the attention later in his career than his successful run as a singer/songwriter would seem to warrant. From the mid-’70s through the early ’90s, Williams had an insane streak of hit singles–all but four of them reaching the Top 10, including songs like “Tulsa Time,” “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me” and “Just As Long As I Have You.” Williams decided to retire in 2006, but relaxing must not have treated him well, because he came back in 2012 with a new album on Sugar Hill Records called And So It Goes, an excellent collection that stands up to the best of his old catalog. Even so, you never know when Williams might decide it really is time to retire, so I’d suggest a trip to Ogden for this rare Utah appearance.
DAVID SEDARIS, CAPITOL THEATRE, Sunday, Aug. 28, 7 p.m., $32.50-$49.50
Perhaps you’re familiar with David Sedaris via his books like Barrel Fever or Me Talk Pretty One Day. Or maybe you know his audio essays from This American Life. Reading his work and listening to his radio pieces are both fine ways to delve into the man’s humor and style. But there’s something extra that comes with seeing Sedaris in person. His stories come off with more laughter. His interactions with the audience are great. And he always suggests a book to the audience and offers a little book report–something I’ve come to appreciate in the several times I’ve gone to his SLC appearances. It should make for a fine Sunday night, and I imagine there will be some offerings from his new book, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.
CITY WEEKLY MUSIC AWARDS, VARIOUS LOCATIONS, Thursday, April 25-Saturday, April 27, 9 p.m., $5
Every year the good people at City Weekly put together a series of local-music showcases that offer the perfect way for the unfamiliar to get to know some of the best original music Utah has to offer. This year, the alt-weekly moved the event to April, making it all the more comfortable to bounce among venues and check out a wide swath of styles and sounds. This weekend, you have ample opportunity to get yourself educated, or just enjoy some awesome aural artwork.
Here is the rundown of this weekend’s CWMA showcases:
Thursday, April 25 at The Complex: Spirit Master, Marinade, Night Sweats
Thursday, April 25 at The Hotel: DJ Spin-off featuring DJ CWell, Elvis Freshly, J Godina, DJ Electronic Battleship, DJ Bentley
Friday, April 26 at The Urban Lounge: Secret Abilities, Hang Time (pictured), Eagle Twin
Saturday, April 27 at Muse Music in Provo: Book on Tapeworm, Golden Sun, Polytype
Saturday, April 27 at The State Room: Matteo, Mideau, L’Anarchiste