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Ellen Fagg Weist

Reviewer, Arts, entertainment and culture

801-257-8803, ellenf@sltrib.com


  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Salt Lake Acting Company’s new ’Saturday’s Voyeur’ show has a spy-versus-spy plot line for 2017, with music inspired by ìMission: Impossibleî and James Bond themes. Pictured from left are Dan Larrinaga, CJ Strong, Eb Madson, Emilie Starr and Justin Ivie. Putin, Trump administration get ‘Voyeurized’ in Salt Lake Acting Company’s annual musical satire
    The plot of this year’s “Saturday’s Voyeur,” Salt Lake Acting Company’s annual irreverent musical satire, has been compromised by Russian connections,...
    Updated Jun 22 2017 03:02 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Courtesy photo)    Anne Cullimore Decker (Lady Bracknell) and Jared Larkin (John Worthing)  star in Pinnacle Acting Companyís production of ìThe Importance of Being Earnest,î playing through July 1 at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Review: Utah theater company’s stripped-down ‘Earnest’ has fun along the way
    Perhaps “The Importance of Being Earnest” is the perfect comedy of manners for a fake-news era. After all, listening to the deliciousness of Oscar Wil...
    Updated Jun 22 2017 09:39 am   |     |   Share

  • Writer Mary Roach will promote her new book, ’Grunt,’ in Salt Lake City on June 21. Jen Siska  |  Courtesy Meet Mary Roach, who explains the science of protecting soldiers
    From a reader’s point of view, just the idea of a thematic ingredient list for a Mary Roach book sounds, well, interesting — in a disgusting sort of w...
    Updated Jun 19 2017 04:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  Tribune file photo)   Bears Ears Buttes are located near Comb Ridge, a few miles from Bluff. The area is part of the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument. Check out the new book of Native American voices about Bears Ears
    An important new collection of Native American writers essaying the cultural significance of Utah’s Bears Ears landscape will be launched with two Uta...
    Updated Jun 19 2017 04:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Courtesy photo)    Utah writer Gerda Saunders. Meet the Utah writer whose field notes on dementia became an act of self-preservation
    In her memoir, “Memory’s Last Breath,” Gerda Saunders reports on her life’s most extraordinary journey: her clear-eyed steps into dementia. The book (...
    Updated Jun 19 2017 04:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • One actor, wrapped in a fat suit, anchors ‘The Whale’
    The themes of playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s “The Whale” are visually anchored in the presence of the actor encased in a fat suit to play the 600-pound...
    Updated Jun 09 2017 10:45 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah theater’s lesbian version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ transforms it into a ‘sex-and-violence-and-drugs story’
    Imagine Juliet falling in love with Romeo, another young Italian woman. Imagine two rival political philosophies or houses of thought, conservatism an...
    Updated Jun 09 2017 03:11 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy   Actor Conlon Bonner as Joseph in Hale Centre Theatre’s production of ’Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’ Hale Theatre’s new production finds new colors in ‘Joseph’
    Director Jennifer Parker Hohl considers herself a “Joseph” junkie. Playing the Narrator, she’s offered more than 400 performances in some 13 or 14 pro...
    Updated Jun 03 2017 08:08 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy   Writer Dennis Lehane. Dennis Lehane and Maile Meloy to read in Salt Lake City
    Two writers with national followings and regional anchorings — Dennis Lehane and Maile Meloy — will read from their newest novels this week at Salt La...
    Updated Jun 04 2017 12:11 pm   |     |   Share

  • Hayden Stanes, Tatyana Lubov and the company of ÎRodgers + HammersteinÌs Cinderella,Ì playing at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday through June 4.   Courtesy | Carol Rosegg Review: Classic ‘Cinderella’ gets reality TV-era twists — and princess fashion
    There might not be rose ceremonies in “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” but this fairy tale has been cheekified for reality TV-loving families. As...
    Updated Jun 02 2017 10:18 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Alicia Washington, Bijan Hosseini, JJ Neward, Darryl Stamp, Isabella Reeder, Bryan Kido, Matthew Ivan Bennett,  Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, Rachel Bublitz, Shane Mozaffari, Matthew Sincell, Lily Hye Soo Dixon and Nicki Nixon, pose for a portrait at the Utah Capitol Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Stage: ‘(in)divisible’ sees Utah playwrights, actors stage readings across political borders
    Plan-B Theatre Company commissioned 12 Utah playwrights to write dual responses after America’s divisive presidential election. Each playwright was a...
    Updated Jun 03 2017 08:08 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   George Maxwell, Colleen Lindstrom, and George Pesck at Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Theatre, Tuesday April 25, 2017. Changing of the artisan guard at Pioneer Theatre Company
    In the costume shop working on his first Pioneer Theatre Company show, George Pesek was assigned to tailor 10 pair of jeans for the male actors in “Ok...
    Updated May 26 2017 04:56 pm   |     |   Share

  • Tatyana Lubov and Hayden Stanes star in ‘Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,’ playing at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday through June 4. Courtesy Carol Rosegg This isn't your childhood fairy tale: New-gen ‘Cinderella’ lands in Salt Lake City with sincerity and snark
    Tatyana Lubov, who plays the lead role in the national tour of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” offers glass-slipper-sized advice for theatergoer...
    Updated May 31 2017 08:24 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Courtesy photo)   Frank Mack Utah Shakespeare Company hires new executive producer
    Frank Mack, who teaches arts administration at the University of Connecticut and previously led Shakespeare theater companies in California and New Je...
    Updated May 24 2017 10:40 am   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Sylvia Torti’s second novel, ’Cages’, is about the scientists at a university like the University of Utah conducting birdsong research. Torti, the dean of the U’s Honors College, is a PHd-trained biologist who draws upon her love of science to write fiction. She was photographed at Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, Tuesday May 16, 2017. Why the caged bird sings is the question of a new Salt Lake-based novel
    In a University of Utah biology lab, writer Sylvia Torti unlatches a soundproof cooler to reveal the zebra finch hopping around inside the cage, weari...
    Updated May 22 2017 10:42 am   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Utah Shakespeare Festival co-artistic directors David Ivers and Brian Vaughn go over the house rules before the opening performance of ’Henry V’ in the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, Cedar City, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Theater: Utah’s David Ivers to head Arizona company
    David Ivers is heading to Arizona Theatre Company, taking over July 1 as artistic director. For seven years, Ivers has shared artistic duties co-direc...
    Updated May 23 2017 11:24 am   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy  Paisley Rekdal, op-ed mug. Meet the poet laureate who plans to map the diversity of Utah’s writers, journals, presses
    Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed University of Utah English professor Paisley Rekdal as the state’s poet laureate. In that voluntary position, Rekdal p...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:38 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Author Laura McBride poses for a portrait at Kings English Bookshop Wednesday May 6, 2015. Las Vegas writer gambles on stories of contemporary mothers
    Some 25 years ago, Laura McBride saw a photo of an Asian woman on the cover of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, her local newspaper. The diminutive woman...
    Updated May 12 2017 05:15 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Betsy Ross, the founder of The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for emerging artists, outside the Tower Theate in Salt Lake City Wednesday May 10, 2017. Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  Meet the Salt Lake City mother who filmed her way through grief
    The only song David Fetzer ever wrote for his mother has a lyric that underscores Betsy Ross’ artistic journey: Tag. You’re it, Mama. That chorus rin...
    Updated May 16 2017 03:26 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy   Stills from the short film ’Drivers and Demagogues.’ Meet filmmakers telling next-gen stories at annual Davey Foundation showcase
    Since Curtis Whitear moved to New York City over a year ago, the Utah-trained filmmaker says he was continually intrigued by the conversations about t...
    Updated May 15 2017 09:20 am   |     |   Share

  • Actor David M. Lutken plays folk hero Will Rogers in Pioneer Theatre Company’s production of ’The Will Rogers Follies.’ Todd Keith  |  Pioneer Theatre Company Spinning the folk wisdom of Will Rogers at Pioneer Theatre
    Will Rogers may have served as the honorary mayor of Beverly Hills, even launched a fake news campaign for president in 1928, but the iconic American ...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:33 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Tony Weller, co-owner of Weller Book Works at Trolley Square, plans to pass along his ’Bone Garb’ spray-painted artistic stenciled expression onto customers who want something imprinted as part of Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Visit four Utah stores during Saturday’s first-ever book crawl
    A book crawl linking four Wasatch Front independent bookstores is the new local page-turner to mark Saturday’s Indie Bookstore Day. The third annual e...
    Updated Apr 27 2017 06:12 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Writer Sandra Cisneros gets a warm reception as she visits Mountain View Elementary School on Wed. April 26, 2017, where she spoke with 40 fifth graders who have have read her book, ’The House on Mango Street,’ in both english and spanish as part of their dual immersion program. Meet author Sandra Cisneros, as she advises Salt Lake students to dream big — starting now
    Sandra Cisneros — who, as a girl, was so shy that in class pictures she tried to fold her body inward to make herself smaller — was in fifth grade whe...
    Updated Apr 27 2017 09:50 am   |     |   Share

  • The cast of ’Intersections II: Forging Family Through More Than DNA,’ a staged reading April 28-29 that is a co-production of Art Access and Plan-B Theatre playing at Art Access in Salt Lake City. Courtesy of Rick Pollock Meet some of Utah’s unconventional families in a dramatic event
    For Jim Martin, a theater-writing workshop focused on the subject of families offered him the chance to bring together his passions. In his day job, M...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:14 pm   |     |   Share