The title of my first stage musical, which will be based on the life of Olivia Newton-John, is Living Olivia (or Her Land Down Under). It’s going be a smash, not only because a lot of gay boys love the iconic songstress/actress, but the title will entice lesbians to drop their oil pans and barbeque tongs, catapult into their monster Dodge Rams and barrel their way to the theater. Of course, other than securing Portia de Rossi in the leading lady, I would have to offer $1 Natties and a dozen intermissions — damn, the theater is a cruel mistress!
10thursday — Based upon the 1980 cult-classic flick, starring the fabulous Olivia Newton-John, this stage musical of Xanadu focuses on a Greek muse, Clio, who descends from Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach, Calif., in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest creation of his life — a roller disco. Hello!! How delightfully gay is that? Oops … should I not say gay? How delightfully flamboyant is that?
7:30pm, through May 26, Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State St. Tickets $10–24, 801-957-3322 or the-grand.org.
Spy Hop Productions presents its annual benefit show, this year titled Connection, highlighting the unique talents of up-and-coming youth across the media-industry spectrum. The evening will include live performances, food and drinks, and a live auction that allows students from Loud & Clear Youth radio, Spy Hop Records, and the Multimedia Apprenticeship and PitchNic film programs to “pitch” their programs live on stage. In fact, audience members can bid to have producer credits on the four films pitched by the directors. Special keynote speaker will be Utah native and goofy Modern Family dad, Ty Burrell.
6:30–9:30pm, Gallivan Center (upstairs), 239 S. Main St. Tickets $40-50 (must be 21 or older), 801-532-7500 or spyhop.org/benefit.
11friday — Holy didgeridoo! Dutch artist Constant Dullaart will perform Found By, featuring impersonations of Olivia Newton-John echoed through cult classics of today and yesteryear, cacophonic piano pressure, Salt Lake’s “King Kong,” a teenage travelogue, the grandparents of a boogeyman and more. This one-night show closes Dullaart’s exhibit Onomatopoeia.
7–9pm, UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple. Free, 801-328-3201 or utahmoca.org.
12saturday — Plan-B Theatre Company presents the 9th annual SLAM, in which five plays are foreplayed, conceived and born in a mere 24 hours. Oh lord, Matthew Ivan Bennett must have the stamina of an Arabian horse. Along with Matt, the other playwrights are Elaine Jarvik, Julie Jensen, Jenifer Nii and Eric Samuelsen. The cast includes Kirt Bateman, Topher Rasmussen and Colleen Lewis (who was a classmate of mine in elementary school and who stole all the attention away from my best friend – really, my future husband – Dick.) I know, I know, the irony.
8pm, Jeanne Wagner Theatre, Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. Broadway. Tickets $25, 801-355-ARTS or arttix.org.
OK, so we’ve moved on from Occupy Salt Lake City to Unite Salt Lake City — it’s “one step toward humanity, unity and peace.” With over 7,000 Facebookies invited and 382 confirmed guests (as of May 3, 1:34 p.m.), this could be a funtubular (just trying out a new term) time. Entertainment includes The Suicycles (2012 Fabby-award winner), Redemption, Folk Hogan and many more. The event is co-sponsored by Equality Utah, Metro Bar, Area 51 and the Utah AIDS Foundation.
11am–9:30pm, Liberty Park, 700 East between 900 and 1300 South. Free, for more info, facebook.com/uniteslc.
17thursday — The two-day Tastemakers event brings progressive food and wine tasting from Utah’s best restaurants under an exclusive dining pavilion and in several restaurants within walking distance: Caffe Molise, J. Wongs, Naked Fish, Ruth’s Chris, Squatters (located next to the pavilion) and others. Beer and wine are available for purchase, not included in the ticket price.
5–10pm, through Friday, pavilion located at 147 W. Broadway. Tickets $30, 801-485-5100 or saltlakemagazine.com/tastemakers.
18friday — The Salt Lake City Arts Council proudly presents the annual Living Traditions Festival, a celebration of traditional folk and ethnic arts. The festival bands together local ethnic artists, dancers, musicians and community groups to celebrate the diversity and cultural traditions of our communities. Featured guests are Ana Tijoux, Bettye LeVette, Mexican Institute of Sound and Charlie Musselwhite.
Times vary, through Sunday, Salt Lake City and County Bldg., 451 S. Washington Square. Free, 801-596-5000 or livingtraditionsfestival.com.
Since its inception, Ballet West’s Innovations has become a platform for some of America’s most up-and-coming choreographers. This year’s show will spotlight new works by Ballet West artists, an expanded version of Principal Artist Michael Bearden’s Descent, and the return of Susan Shields’ vibrant Grand Synthesis.
7:30pm, through May 26, Jeanne Wagner Theatre, Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. Broadway. Tickets $45, 801-355-ARTS or arttix.org.
19saturday — Enjoy the warm weather and exotic animals at the zoo! The Gay Escape, a social group devoted to providing a safe and friendly setting to meet other gay men in Utah, is hosting Gay Day at Hogle Zoo. Wear red, ride the train (conductor), spank the monkeys (just don’t get caught), eat cotton candy (or churros, they’re a bit more phallic) and visit Nature’s Nightmares (Kevin Guzik’s massage table and Gene Gieber’s feet). HA!
11am, Hogle Zoo, 2600 Sunnyside Ave. Tickets $12.75 at the gate, facebook.com/pages/the-gay-escape.
Speaking of Gene’s nightmarish feet, they’ll be tickling the baskets of many, many boys at Try-Angles monthly Underwear Night. This Fabby award-winning event draws a throng of thongs, and it’s always a riot. Great music, great crowd, great drinks and great schlongs always make for a great, gay ol’ time.
10pm, Club Try-Angles, 251 W. 900 South. Free, 801-364-3203 or clubtry-angles.com.
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
Peppermill Concert Hall, Wendover
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
Foster The People
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
“8” The Play (a reading)
Rose Wagner Center