Art

Salt Lake Acting Company

Tuesday, we’re talking about Utah playwright Julie Jensen’s Winter, premiering this week at Salt Lake Acting Company. It’s the story of a woman sinking into dementia and determined to end her life before she loses her dignity. Her husband isn’t ready to carry out their pact though, and her sons argue over what they think is best for their parents. Jensen and others join us to talk about the difficult choices facing each character, and why Jensen says this subject is “hideously important.”

The Last Ship

Sep 22, 2016
Photo by Brent Uberty. Courtesy Pioneer Theatre Company

The musician Sting says writer’s block led him back to the hometown he had worked so hard to escape. Wallsend was a shipbuilding center in Northern England, but he was never interested in being a shipwright. The stories of the men and women there called to him though, and they became the basis for his musical The Last Ship. Pioneer Theatre Company opened its production last week, and Thursday, director Karen Azenberg and others join us to talk about the themes of work, identity, and coming home.

Local Music: 3hattrio

Sep 19, 2016

What do you get if you cross a cowboy singer, a Caribbean percussionist and a classical violinist? Well, if it happens in Virgin, Utah, folklorist and musician Hal Cannon says you get a new kind of Western music. He’s the cowboy singer and 1/3 of 3hattrio. They’ve just released their third album, and Monday, he joins us along with career musician Greg Istock and 19-year-old Eli Wrankle to explain why they say the West was ready for a new genre and how they began creating “desert music.”

In a run-down commercial block in Salt Lake City, Ralphael Plescia has spent some 50 years making art that tells the story of creation as he understands it. He’s hollowed out tunnels, built narrow bridges over bubbling groundwater, and his sculptures are embedded in the walls. Wednesday, we profile a new short film that asks why Ralphael has made this his life work and what will happen to it when he dies. We’ll also explore other “outsider” Utah artists who bring a unique view to our world.

Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016

Utah Shakespeare Festival is performing Much Ado About Nothing, and we’re using it as an excuse to talk about Shakespeare’s women. Scholar Kate McPherson says few Elizabethan playwrights created female characters as rich as the Bard, and that Much Ado is his most sophisticated play about women. It features Beatrice, a feisty and fearless lady who has forsworn love. McPherson, actor Kim Martin-Cotten, and director David Ivers join us to talk about Beatrice and the challenges and opportunities afforded women in Shakespeare’s world.

Henry V

Aug 25, 2016
Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016.

Thursday, we’re live at the Utah Shakespeare Festival with a look at the bard’s great history  Henry V. Director Brian Vaughn says the play represents a battle of conscience. Through two earlier works, Shakespeare’s audience knows Prince Hal as a wild and irresponsible young man. But now he has the crown, and must weigh right and wrong to grow into the role of king. We’ll talk about the character, how he’s been portrayed over time, and what the play has to say about leadership and authority.

A Clockwork Orange

Aug 19, 2016

Author Anthony Burgess said his novella A Clockwork Orange should have been forgotten, but because of Stanley Kubrick's film, it seemed destined to live on. It's the story of the barbaric passions of a British teen and the state's attempt to impose a mechanistic morality over his free-will. This weekend, The Salt Lake Film Society is screening the film, so Friday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with the scholar Andrew Biswell. He joined us to explain why Burgess said the point of the book has been widely misunderstood. (Rebroadcast)

The history of Salt Lake City quintet Quiet Oaks is anything but quiet. Four of the band mates played together in a group that broke up after a falling-out with a frontman. Rather than call it quits, they decided to rebuild as Quiet Oaks, refining their take on classic rock into the sound they’ve always aspired to. Now on the western leg of a 42-show tour across America, Quiet Oaks joins us Wednesday to discuss their music and picking up the pieces to become the band they’ve always wanted.

The Road Not Taken

Jul 22, 2016

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . .” Those are the first words to Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken." One hundred years after their publication, Frost’s immortal lines remain unbelievably popular. The poem seems straightforward enough: it's about boldly living outside conformity, right? Wrong, says poetry columnist David Orr. He says nearly everyone hopelessly misreads Frost's poem. Orr joins us Friday as we explore the meaning of "The Road Not Taken" and the history behind it. [Rebroadcast]

Filmmaker Laurie Kahn calls romance fiction a story of pride and prejudice. The genre accounts for a billion dollars in annual sales, and the people who read and write these steamy books are a vast community of educated and savvy women. But despite its wild popularity and economic success, many see romance as nothing more than tawdry, throw-away pulp. Thursday, Kahn and Princeton University’s William Gleason join us to talk about romance’s literary strengths and the people who love the genre.

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