Salt Lake summit to convene digital arts and entertainment gurus

1 of 3 View 3 Items Lightspark Director/producer Amy Redford speaks at the 2017 Lightspark Media Summit in Salt Lake City. SALT LAKE CITY — In a world that's scrambling to keep up with the digitization of, well everything, few areas have been more disrupted than the realm of entertainment. Where once the lines were pretty clear between the creators and distributors of music, film, video games and television, now those borders have been erased. Video games are movies, movies are virtual reality play areas, everyone is a content creator and our phones are fast becoming the conduit through which we consume all of the traditional media products, and a whole slew of new digital delights that have only been around for a few years, or a few minutes. On Friday and Saturday, Utah's Lightspark Foundation will convene a media summit in Salt Lake City aiming to bring local digital media creators together to explore how this landscape is continuing to change, and how local experts from various disciplines can co-create, and find success, in the tumult. "The summit is bringing people from film and television, music, social media, gaming, augmented and virtual reality industries together under one roof," said Lightspark co-founder Jared Ruga. "We're working to draw parallels between and among these emerging industries." Ruga said Utah has been building its own homegrown ecosystem of professionals in these areas and has also played host to production facilities for out-of-town animation and gaming heavyweights like Disney Studios and Electronic Arts. Utah Digital Entertainment Network co-founder Jeff Peters said the summit, now in its second year, is a perfect venue for community building and cross-pollination. He also noted that the talent, and digital business ventures, coming out of Utah are on a healthy growth arc, but are still working to earn wider recognition. "We have fantastic talent in this state and more being developed through great Continue Reading

The top 10 arts and entertainment stories of 2017

1 of 18 View 18 Items YouTube screenshot Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas strike the final pose of their first performance of the night. Related Link The top 10 arts and entertainment stories of 2016 SALT LAKE CITY — Art is alive and well in Utah. This past year saw major improvements and upgrades in many local arts groups across the state. Not only did Hale Centre Theatre completely relocate to accommodate a bigger audience, but Ballet West made a $3 million investment to upgrade its popular production of "The Nutcracker" to meet modern times. Many Utahns also starred in, created or produced nationally recognized works of art. To start, Elizabeth Smart produced and narrated a Lifetime movie based on the story of her life while in captivity. Dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling finished second place on "Dancing with the Stars," and bestselling fantasy author Brandon Sanderson released the third book in his popular Stormlight series. But that isn't all. Food also took center stage, with Deseret News writers visiting and reviewing many local restaurants throughout the state. Here are the top 10 arts and entertainment stories of 2017, as chosen by the Deseret News Arts and Entertainment team. The new Hale Centre Theatre opens. Hale Centre Theatre said hello to its new home at the Mountain America Performing Arts Centre in Sandy on Nov. 16 with a performance of Elton John's and Tim Rice's "Aida." The venue was previously located in West Valley City, but the founders decided it was time to move when the theater "started to sell out," according to HCT president and CEO Mark Dietlin. The new theater is 122,300 square feet and includes a 467-seat, 11-row proscenium thrust stage and a 900-seat, 10-row theater-in-the-round. Read more here. The Elizabeth Smart movie premieres on Lifetime. A movie about Elizabeth Continue Reading

The year in arts and entertainment in San Antonio

By Deborah Martin and Jim Kiest Updated 2:10 pm, Thursday, December 28, 2017 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-24', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 24', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Erich Schlegel /AP Image 1of/24 CaptionClose Image 1 of 24 A helping hand (September): Country superstar George Strait headlined a benefit concert at the Majestic Theatre that raised more than $10 to assist victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Joining him onstage were Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. less A helping hand (September): Country superstar George Strait headlined a benefit concert at the Majestic Theatre that raised more than $10 to assist victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Joining him onstage ... more Continue Reading

Bay Area arts and entertainment picks, Dec. 28

Chronicle Staff Report Updated 2:25 pm, Wednesday, December 27, 2017 Photo: (Photo By Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images), Getty Images Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Goapele comes home for New Year’s weekend. Goapele comes home for New Year’s weekend. Photo: (Photo By Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images), Getty Images Bay Area arts and entertainment picks, Dec. 28 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Goapele: This Oakland songbird returns home for another soulful New Year’s Eve residency at Yoshi’s, offering the socially conscious and spiritually uplifting R&B that has led to collaborations with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Estelle and Eric Benet. 8 and 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. $29-$99. Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. “The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue”: Chicago’s Second City visits Berkeley Rep for the first time. 8 p.m. $40-$60, subject to change. Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 647-2949. Latest entertainment videos Now Playing: Now Playing Bella Thorne Opens Up About History of Sexual Abuse InStyleTime Reese Witherspoon And Oprah Are Our New Favorite Best Friends MarieClaire Moss: Hollywood 'learning' women can make them money AP Coachella Bans Marijuana Despite California Legalizing It Wibbitz Angela Bassett, Connie Britton star in, '9-1-1' Fox5DC Black-dress Golden Globes protest: 'Right time', 'right place' AP Golden Globes 2018: Big Winners and Highlights FortuneTime James Franco hails Oprah's Globe speech AP Cruz, Timberlake, Watson, more wear black to the Golden Globes AP Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk Confirm Their Engagement: 'We Feel Incredibly Lucky' EWTime “Partition”: Indra’s Net Theater, which is Continue Reading

Highs, lows and uh-ohs: Dallas area’s most memorable arts and entertainment moments of 2017

Two tragedies and comebacks Two artistic directors were physically attacked and returned to their theaters with the help of their devoted companies and the larger community which raised money for their care: Derek Whitener of the Firehouse Theatre and Matthew Posey of Ochre House Theatre. Whitener, who had been savagely beaten by two masked assailants in a Target parking lot in Dallas on Jan. 14, woke from brain surgery unable to speak, move or recognize anyone. As he teetered between life and death, community support and his determination to direct Pippin in July got him back on his feet at the Firehouse Theatre in Farmers Branch. On Jan. 30, Matthew Posey, artistic director and founder of Ochre House Theatre, was shot in the leg and the face by an unidentified assailant in Deep Ellum during a run of Dr. Bobaganush, Posey's original play in which he starred as the title character. The bullets nearly severed his tongue and knocked out all but six of his teeth. After rehabilitation and support from his theater family, which raised $40,000 for his medical care, he reopened and returned to the show March 8. "The world is good," he said. Nancy Churnin Continue Reading

Top 10 New Jersey arts and entertainment stories of 2017

2017 was a year of beauty and sadness for the New Jersey arts and entertainment scene.Certainly, “Springsteen on Broadway,” in which Freehold-native Bruce Springsteen tells the story of his life, is a thing of  beauty. It conveys  the hopes, dreams and ambitions of a hardscrabble outsider looking for the big time and a personal connection in a way that often leaves audience members in tears.Speaking of tears, the Jersey music world lost one of its finest talents and most engaging personalities in 2017. Pat DiNizio, the lead singer of the Smithereens, passed away on Dec. 12 at the age of 62.“The  music in New Jersey is a little quieter today with the passing of Smithereens’ frontman Pat DiNizio, who wrote memorable riffs and proudly called Scotch Plains home,” said New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy. Best of 2017: The year in music: Top 10 albums Best of 2017: Music at the center of year's most significant moments The band’s hits included “Blood and Roses,” “Drown in My Own Tears” and “Only a Memory” and “Beauty and Sadness.”Theater news, festival happenings, a museum opening, the emergence of a new Jersey singing star, a Beatle having dinner in Asbury Park, Bon Jovi finally getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more make our list of the Top 10 New Jersey arts and entertainment stories of 2017.1. Bruce Springsteen on Broadway“Springsteen on Broadway,” which opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre in early October, is a Jersey story at its heart. A  young Bruce Springsteen grows up in the shadow of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Freehold, goes to Asbury Park, where he fits in with the other ne’er-do-wells of early ‘70s Asbury Park, and from there he becomes a superstar. More: Bruce Springsteen on Broadway: James Comey subtweets Donald Trump moment So after years of singing songs about getting out of Continue Reading

Hue-Man Books ‘pops-up’ for first time since store’s closing to help MIST Harlem open its 300-seat arts and entertainment space

Two Harlem businesses — one new, one resurgent — turned to an NBA champion to help them begin making good on their plans to bring more programming to the community. Miami Heat hoops star Dwyane Wade signed copies of his new book, “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball” on Wednesday night at the brand new — and not quite finished — My Image Studios (MIST) Harlem. The kick-off event at MIST Harlem, located at the Kalahari Condominiums on W. 116th St., was co-sponsored by Hue-Man Bookstore, a popular Harlem business that closed in July, ending a 10-year run. When it’s completed, MIST Harlem will be a nearly 300-seat arts and entertainment space replete with a 130-seat restaurant and bar. Plans for the venue, which will cater its programming to what its founders called the African and Latino diaspora, were in the works for nearly four years and MIST Harlem CEO Roland Laird said he’s thrilled to have it in Harlem. “This is a place where culture emanates from,” said Laird, whose partners include developers Carlton Brown and Walter Edwards (both are founders of Full Spectrum; Edwards is also the chairman of the Harlem Business Alliance). “It’s very important to have a place that’s centered in African and Latino culture.” He said there are plans to host independent film screenings, poetry nights and comedy shows. The $21 million, 20,000-square-foot space appears far from completion, but the partners say it will be finished in time for a Def Poetry Jam showcase on Sept. 27. Owner Marva Allen vowed that the closing of her brick-and-mortar bookstore would not mean the end of the Hue-Man brand. She’s promised to maintain a presence in the community by hosting book signings and other “pop-up” events. “It’s great to be back and it’s great to see my customers,” Allen said after the first such event since her shop Continue Reading

5 new arts and entertainment options in Fort Collins

You’ve probably been to the drive-in this summer, tubed the Poudre and caught a concert at your go-to spot. But with new arts and entertainment opportunities popping up in Fort Collins, why not try something you might have missed.After all, variety is the spice of life. For the music loverWhat: The Downtown ArteryWhere: 252 Linden St.Why: This arts incubator has been around for a couple years, giving a variety of artists space to hone their craft. But with the recent addition of a music venue and coffee, wine and beer bar, there’s now a new spot to see shows and eat toast.Booked out for the next two weeks with bands, a 90s dance party and a NoCo Pride “QueerBots” improv show, the Artery offers a new space for new events. For the gamerWhat: Dungeons & DraftsWhere: 1624 S. Lemay Ave. #6Why: To the naked eye, Dungeons & Drafts may look like a gaming store tucked into a strip mall off in the center of town. Step inside, though, and you’ll see the vision of two self-proclaimed geeks who felt there was a lack of entertainment options for gamers like themselves.Back in June, Fort Collins transplants Manny and Melissa Garza opened the medieval tavern-themed bar and restaurant, where patrons can throw back a beer and throw the dice on a variety of tabletop games.New to gaming? Dungeons & Drafts also has game concierges who will help you pick a game to fit your skill level and mood. For the art appreciatiorWhat: “Of Beards of Men” photography exhibitionWhere: The Center for Fine Art Photography, 400 N. College Ave.Why: Beards are all the rage these day so check out photographer Joseph D. R. OLeary’s take on the modern man and his facial hair. The exhibition, featuring 28 photographs, will be in the Center for Fine Art Photography’s North Gallery until Aug. 22. For the beer aficionadoWhat: The Biergarten at Anheuser-BuschWhere: Anheuser-Busch, 2351 Busch Dr.Why: Opened late last year as an addition to the Continue Reading

2016 was the year arts and entertainment shattered ‘the season’

This was the year the Coachella Valley really became a year-round destination resort.There are still seasonal hotel rates and it’s a lot easier to traverse Highway 111 in August than February. But the Goldenvoice company shattered the concept of “shoulder months” with its mega-festivals in April and October, which drove other big events back into the season known as "the hell months."Coachella and Stagecoach, which extended into May this year, forced the White Party — the nation’s largest gay dance party — back to May 5-8 because there weren’t enough local hotel rooms to accommodate the 25,000 men coming to dance their worries away.Goldenvoice’s new event, Desert Trip, turned October into the new March. The festival — featuring the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who — generated more than $150 million over two weekends at the box office for Goldenvoice, making it the most lucrative music festival of all time. WHO'S NEXT: The next Desert Trip Its impact on hotel availability had a bulldozer effect on other October events. ZZ Top went head-to-head with Desert Trip at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, but the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival moved its event to Labor Day because their Eastern fan base couldn’t find places to stay in the desert. Goldenvoice shrank the “off-season” from mid-May to Oct. 5, despite triple-digit weather.Summer events like the Splash House parties and the Palm Springs International ShortFest continued to attract out-of-towners, but new events compressed the off-season even more.Comic Con Palm Springs, which launched Aug. 25-28 in the Palm Springs Convention, attracted 10,000 people for a pop culture shopping spree and a chance to see Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, who made a rare appearance at a first-year comic con. Somehow, it complemented, rather Continue Reading

‘A Lifetime of Burning’: Tale of fake memoir is artful and entertaining, if glib

For home decor, Emma goes for minimalism - clean, chic, froufrou-free. When it comes to writing her life story, she's just the opposite. She throws everything at the wall and sees what sticks. Including lies. Big ones. So it goes for the heroine at the center of the stylish but inconsequential comedy "A Lifetime Burning," now premiering at Primary Stages. Emma (Jennifer Westfeldt) is a trust-fund orphan with Irish roots and a privileged upbringing. But with a few tappity-taps on her sleek white laptop, she's written a memoir in which she's part-Inca and has over-come a crack-addled past. Rags to riches sells. Resemblances to fibbers like James Frey are intentional on the part of playwright Cusi Cram. Even more so, Margaret Seltzer, a rich white chick who made herself over as half-Cherokee and an ex-gang girl in a phony-baloney autobiography. Seltzer's hoax was revealed when her sister dropped a dime. Emma's jittery journalist sib Tess (Christina Kirk) is the one who rats her out to the powerful publisher Lydia (Isabel Keating). Cram's script is consistently entertaining, if glib. And its depiction of the way book deals are made seems pretty sketchy. The action in the 90-minute one-act plows past logic to dishy detours: manic-depression, abortion, affairs, a dead dog, date rape, divorce and lawsuits. It's a lot to wade through, only to end up with two little big girls doing some emotional eating (ice cream, what else?) and wondering what might have been had Mom and Dad been different. On the plus side, director Pam MacKinnon has gathered a topnotch cast led by TV, film and Broadway vet Westfeldt. With fluttery voice, searching eyes and clingy minidresses, she charms as a woman who's adrift in a life she wants to rewrite. Kirk makes a perfect contrast as the seemingly sturdier sibling. She even pulls off the annoying speech tic Tess is saddled with. Keating brings fizzy wit as a Chanel-clad lioness with an Anna Wintour bob and dark Continue Reading