Somehow, time and tide or their side effects do cause those calendar pages to flutter. Yet another dozen have been flipped, and as we prepare to tack up our new 1994 editions (featuring the works of the Impressionists or great literary figures, perhaps?) it's become traditional to recall the events, trends and passings of the year drawing to a close.And 1993 has been one to remember.

Utah arts lost stalwarts and friends like Maurice Abravanel, O.C. Tanner and Wallace Stegner - and, in view of the arts-tax defeat, may have lost some support in the overall tug of war for funds, attention and direction.

But there were gains of note:

In Logan, Michael Ballam's Utah Festival Opera proved to be the real thing. High culture may indeed be the key to making Cache Valley a destination for tourists.

In theater, the big touring Theater League shows and PMT took things up a notch.

In books and the visual arts, the City Art Reading Series brought adventurous local writing to the fore, and several local "found art" visual artists made waves.

And with Western movies back in vogue, southern Utah became one big back lot again. Several movies were shot there, including the big-budget "Geronimo: An American Legend."

In short, the ebb and flow of art in Utah has been almost as interesting as the art itself.

Here's a rundown of the year in arts and entertainment:


William S. Goodfellow and Dorothy Stowe

1993. Maurice Abravanel died. Varujan Kojian died. And the Utah Symphony came alarmingly close.

In short, a year that began with 90th-birthday festivities for the symphony's music director laureate - including renaming Symphony Hall "Maurice Abravanel Hall" - ended with his death the following September and the orchestra's struggle to avoid the same fate after the defeat of a Salt Lake County arts-tax referendum in June.

That struggle became severe enough that the musicians were put on notice for the 1993-94 season. But concessions on their and the board's part let the season begin as scheduled, but not with the kind of increased support at either the bank or the box office to remove the threat for '94-95.

Other deaths included benefactor O.C. Tanner, Abravanel's immediate successor, Varujan Kojian, as well as Erich Leinsdorf, Szymon Goldberg and Alexander Schneider. Obviously it was not a good year for conductors. But it was an even worse one for singers, robbing us of Marian Anderson, Boris Christoff, Italo Tajo, Josef Greindl, Hans Hopf, Gino Bechi, Jess Thomas and, at an early age, Arleen Auger, Tatiana Troyanos and Lucia Popp, all in their early 50s.

By contrast pianist Mieczyslaw Horszowski expired at the exalted age of 100, guitarist Carlos Montoya at 89 and legendary choreographers Alwin Nikolais and Agnes de Mille in their 80s. On the other hand the dance world also lost Rudolf Nureyev at 54 and Louis Falco at 50, both to AIDS, along with choreographer John Butler.

But it wasn't all bad news. Utah saw an unusually strong array of visiting composers, often with new pieces in tow. George Perle and Richard Danielpour had major premieres locally, as did such former Utahns as Crawford Gates and J.A.C. Redford. The renovated Cathedral of the Madeleine also unveiled an impressive new pipe organ.

In dance, the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company launched its 30th anniversary season, and Repertory Dance Theatre made a successful European debut at the Vienna Tanz Festival, while Ballet West enjoyed outstanding success at Wolf Trap Farm.

Utah Opera continued its quiet success story, running in the black, with a subscription rate of 69 percent. This reflects a national trend, which shows opera's popularity has increased 30 percent since 1980, 11 percent in 1991-92 alone. In Logan, Michael Ballam's Utah Festival Opera announced a $4-million gift, putting it more than halfway home on its quest for a $7.5-million endowment fund.

New York City Opera celebrated its 50th year with premieres in one gala week by Lukas Foss, Ezra Laderman and Hugo Weisgall. Across the square at Lincoln Center, artistic director James Levine announced that the Metropolitan Opera will capitulate to the nationally popular Supertitles, beginning in 1994-95.

Elsewhere the Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony began their new seasons by going on strike. Octogenerian Gian Carlo Menotti announced dissolution of ties with the Spoleto USA festival, which he founded 17 years ago. (He continues as director of the Rome Opera.)

Summer music in Utah flourished with festivals from Bear Lake to Springdale, and at least three chamber festivals along the Wasatch Front. Even the Utah Symphony floated a new classical series at Snowbird.

Farther north, soprano Dawn Upshaw made a notable debut at Utah State University, as did the Orion and Sine Nomine quartets at the University of Utah.

Utah Symphony music director Joseph Silverstein came through with two of his finest performances, in the form of the Beethoven Ninth Symphony and "The Rite of Spring," to round out the orchestra's '92-93 season. Similarly his magnificent Brahms First opened '93-94 with a bang. Showing that at least one Utah Symphony conductor is still alive, even if the orchestra's future is still in doubt.


Richard P. Christenson

Greeting the New Year with resolute sparkle were colorful shows at Utah State University (Greg Schulte's work), Utah Museum of Fine Art (John Nieto's paintings), Dolores Chase Gallery (Brian Kershisnik's art) and the Springville Museum of Art (works from permanent collection).

The visual art scene for 1993 continued to be sprinkled generously with memorable exhibitions.

Several outstanding traveling photography exhibits temporarily graced the walls of the Utah Museum of Fine Art - prints by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Annie Leibovitz and Helen Levitt. Photography by Bruce Barnbaum was exhibited at the Utah Museum of Natural History.

The long-awaited opening of the Brigham Young University Museum finally happened in October. The first exhibit, "The Etruscans: Legacy of a Lost Civilization," was - and still is - a blockbuster. Adding to the visual impact of the exterior of the museum is a sculpture garden containing impressive sculptures by a number of Utah artists.

Whenever the LDS Museum of Church History and Art has an exhibit, it's more than memorable. Such was the case with "The Mountain of the Lord's House: Construction of the Salt Lake Temple, 1853-1893"; it continues through Feb. 21. "Pioneer Artists in Zion" opened in September.

The Springville Museum of Art captured attention with an All-State High School Art Show, the 69th Annual Utah Spring Salon and an exhibit of "Russian & Soviet Realism."

The Salt Lake Art Center had its share of impressive exhibitions: "10 plus 10," "Fragile Ecologies," and the Lee Deffebach and Larry Elsner retrospectives.

Other top-notch artists holding one-person shows were Richard Murray, Tony Smith and Randi Wagner.

Some of the emerging Utah artists whose names to seem destined to become household words include Carole Doubek, Cordell Taylor, Darryl Erdmann, Paul Heath and Janet Shapero.

A number of other artists and craftspeople got plenty of exposure - and in some cases, too much, thanks to the inclement weather - at the Park City Arts Festival, the Utah Arts Festival and other festivals in surrounding cities.

1993 was designated as "The Year of the American Craft." Exhibits celebrating the year included "Utah '93: Crafts" at UMFA and "Sitting Pretty," an innovative exhibit of handmade chairs at the Finch Lane Gallery.

Outstanding quilt shows covered much of 1993, including the 20th annual National Quilt Show in Springville, creative quilts by Karen Hagen of Idaho and and Jodi Warner of South Jordan.

Park City was the meeting place of several art organizations - fantasy artists at the Repartee Gallery, the Rocky Mountain Carvers and the North West Rendezvous Group at Kimball Art Center.

Sculptors, painters and other artists turned public places into visual meccas at the Utah Center, Liberty Park, various restaurants and other locations around the city.

The interior renovation of the Cathedral of the Madeleine was completed in February, and the public was eye- and awe-struck by the incredible transformation.

The year with topped off with a traveling show at the Utah State Fairpark featuring works by M.C. Escher.

Some of the new galleries in 1993 are Art Palace, Ancient Future Gallery, Repartee Gallery & Framework and Hippodrome Gallery at FHP. Clayton Williams moved his gallery to the main lobby at Eagle Gate Plaza.

On a sadder note, Utah Designer Crafts Gallery will close its doors for good on Dec. 31.


Jerry Johnston

For Westerners, by far the two most important literary events of 1993 occurred in March and August.

In March, Wallace Stegner died from injuries suffered in a car crash. After years of toiling as a literary underdog, Stegner was just starting to receive the attention and praise that "The Big Rock Candy Mountain," "Angle of Repose" and his other work deserved. Since his death, Stegner's shadow continues to stretch out across American letters.

In August, William Stafford - the Oregon poet - died quietly at home. Stafford was a voice for reason and responsibility when the country was in dire need of both.

But there was good news in the region as well. Several prominent writers visited Utah in 1993 - including poet Adrianne Rich, essayist Robert Fulghum and novelist Isabel Allende. More and more, Utah is getting attention from national writers and publishers, which means fewer literary "celebrities" skip from Denver to San Francisco. More stop here.

In publishing, one book by local author Stephen R. Covey and another by Richard and Linda Eyre made it to the top of the New York Times best seller lists. Betty Eadie started a national craze by publishing "Embraced by the Light" with a local house, Aspen Books. Deborah Laake's "Secret Ceremonies" also roused national curiosity.

Several new chain bookstores opened up - turning up the competition and heat in the local book market. Independent stores, to battle the discount outlets, began turning to poetry readings, specialized inventory and even coffee bars to battle the big stores.

There were also other transitions. Mark Strand, poet at the University of Utah, announced he'll be going to Johns Hopkins University after a 14-year stay in Utah. And Pearl Baker, a pioneer among pioneer writers, passed away.

In LDS publishing, Gerald Lund's "The Work and the Glory" series continued to soar, and Mormon cartoonists had a heyday in print and in the marketplace. Orson Scott Card threw a haymaker with a book of essays, and several independent LDS voices broke with tradition and spoke publicly.

In the traditional LDS market, Chieko Okazaki silently became one of church's most loved and respected voices.


Ivan M. Lincoln

One theater closed - then reopened several months later under new management. Another company came precariously close to biting the dust but is still hanging in there. Even the Utah Shakespearean Festival saw a slight downturn in patronage.

The general consensus is: These were all representative of the year's economics.

While this report is for the calendar year, keep in mind that the majority of local theaters operate on a "fall-through-spring" season, so the end of the 1992-93 season and the first part of the 1993-94 season are included here.

Some highlights from the Salt Lake (and Utah) theater community during 1994 included (not in chronological order):

- Edward J. Gryska was ousted as producing artistic director at Salt Lake Acting Company, which, during the past quarter-century, he had built into one of the region's foremost "alternative" theaters. SLAC's board of trustees, pointing to a reported $80,000 deficit, said it was time to restructure the company's management. (Later reports placed SLAC's projected deficit at more than $374,000 and management of the company was turned over to a 25-member volunteer committee.) One source close to SLAC emphasized that Gryska was not to blame for the shortfall, but he was the first to go due to his high profile. However, even more changes, some of them major, are in the offing.

- The Broadway Stage, 272 S. Main, closed its doors in March following a limited run of Paul Rudnick's "I Hate Hamlet." Producer/director William Sargent's dream of operating a first-rate, semi-professional theater in downtown Salt Lake closed with it.

- The Broadway Stage reopened, now rechristened the Broadway Family Theater and was being run by Dan Whitley as a venue for concerts, music classes and stage productions. So far, it seems to be succeeding.

- The Theater League of Utah seems to be faring much better during its 1993-94 season than it did during the 1992-93 season (when Michael Crawford canceled his "Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" production). "Les Miserables," returning to S.L. for its third go-around, was - again - a complete sell-out last July and August, as were "Cats" and "Liza!" (as in Minnelli).

Other touring celebs: Carol Channing sold out Abravanel Hall for two performances in April, but Lynn Redgrave's stunning "Shakespeare for My Father" drew a pitifully small crowd on March 25.

- The Hale Center Theater in South Salt Lake finally installed a computerized ticketing system. (I like to think it was because I had nagged them for the past several years.) I was always told "We can't reserve seats because we're in-the-round." To which I would reply: "So are the Salt Palace, the Huntsman Center and the Delta Center."

- My personal picks for the best local productions of the year were: Pioneer Theatre Company's stunning production of "Fences" (directed by Ken Washington), HCT's "The Miracle Worker," SLAC's "FF: The Brontes" (written by Aden Ross and directed by Charles Lynn Frost), StageRight TheaterCompany's "Inherit the Wind" and Weber State University's exciting production of James Christian's adaptation of "The Pirates of Penzance."

- Other memorable productions would have to include "The Woolgatherer" in the intimate Backroom at D.B. Cooper's, the SLCC Grand Theatre production of "Paint Your Wagon," WSU's delightful "Pump Boys and Dinettes," and Park City Performances' production of another Aden Ross drama, "Rings."

- The Utah Shakespearean Festival, as usual, continues to get better and better. And founder Fred C. Adams' plans for the festival's future growth are just as exciting as what's produced on stage.

- The bulldozers and building crews began construction on Tuacahn, the big, new amphitheater and performing arts school complex just west of St. George. This will eventually be the site of a spectacular outdoor historical drama called "Utah!"


Chris Hicks

For moviemaking in the state of Utah, 1993 was an unprecedented year - both in terms of revenue generated by out-of-state productions and the array of theatrical features showing off Utah locations on movie screens all over the country.

"It took a huge, huge jump this year," says Leigh von der Esch, director of the Utah Film Commission. "We went to $88.9 million for the fiscal year (June 1992 to June 1993).

"To put that in perspective, we started eight years ago with $15 million, then it grew to the 20s. And then, in 1989, we hit $39 million - and we thought that was wonderful. And it stayed at around $37 million for a couple of years. So this $88.9 million is fantastic."

Whether it can continue, however, remains to be seen, says von der Esch, especially with new restrictions imposed by the Bureau of Land Management, in particular a new 30-day waiting period that is required before approval can be given to film on BLM land. "We did get hit by the BLM, and it won't be reflected in our numbers until next spring. But it will hurt. This is a creative industry. It's not like booking motel rooms."

The new big-screen version of "Maverick," starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner, is a high-profile example, says von der Esch. "We got a lot less credit for `Maverick' and there was a lot less filming here, simply because they didn't have the time (for the BLM waiting period).

"Fortunately for us, the place where they built the Western town was actually on National Park Service land. If that had been BLM land, forget it. We wouldn't have gotten any of it."

The recently released "Geronimo" has already given the state an enormous amount of publicity, through the film's intensive hype (much of it showing off scenic southern Utah in TV clips). But the box-office performance has been less than impressive - the $35 million movie has earned only a mediocre $8 million in its first two weeks.

In fact, most of this year's nationally released Utah-made movies have not fared well financially, including "This Boy's Life," with Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin, filmed partly in Ogden and Salt Lake City; "A Home of Our Own," with Kathy Bates as a widow with six kids, settling down in small-town Idaho . . . but actually filmed in the Heber Valley; and "Josh and S.A.M.," a cross-country road movie with a sequence that prominently features Saltair. Each shows off a different side of Utah's on-site locations, but none could stand up against the heavy competition.

The one unexpected hit was "The Sandlot." Filmed entirely in the Salt Lake area, this family comedy about kids forming a sandlot baseball team in the early '60s was a low-budget picture that raked in more than $30 million. It was, as they say in Hollywood parlance, a genuine "sleeper."

In addition, the Richard Attenborough biography "Chaplin" featured a sequence set in Salt Lake City during the 1920s, though it was actually filmed on a backlot at the Disney Studios.

Utah personalities also brought attention to the state - cinematographer Reed Smoot, for his work on Disney's "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey"; Salt Lake resident Wilford Brimley, for his highly praised performance in "The Firm" (he was also in Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Hard Target"); Salt Lake filmmaker T.C. Christensen, whose first feature, "Seasons of the Heart," won the top prize at WorldFest Charleston, the Charleston International Film Festival; and young T.J. Lowther, who lives with his parents in Sandy, lauded by critics for holding his own with Kevin Costner in "A Perfect World."

Upcoming major movies shot (at least partially) in the state include the aforementioned "Maverick"; "City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold," with Billy Crystal and Jack Palance; "Pontiac Moon," starring Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen; "Forrest Gump," with Tom Hanks; "Lightning Jack," with Paul Hogan; and the local films "Wind Runner," from Leucadia; "Wind Dancer" and "Walking Thunder," from Majestic Productions; and "Seasons of the Heart" and "Rigoletto" from Feature Films for Families. "Dark Blood," the film in which River Phoenix was starring when he died suddenly in October, shut down production and will probably not resume.

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" `Thelma & Louise' opened the door, `Indiana Jones (and the Last Crusade') opened the door - but it's really a reflection of where we want to be with this industry in the state," says von der Esch. It's a mix of what comes in, coupled with our own (local filmmakers). If we were to rely strictly on out-of-state-productions, it could go from feast to famine very quickly.

"TV productions were very soft this year - except for `The Stand,' " a Stephen King TV miniseries that will air on ABC in the next few months. "There were fewer movies-of-the-week this summer, less network programming, so our fall figures for this year were not as strong as a year ago.

"The expectations I had for `Geronimo' may actually be realized more with `City Slickers II,' in terms of pushing us. That one should probably just explode as a summer movie.

"Arizona is taking credit for `Maverick' - but the sets were built in Utah, they were on the Utah side of Lake Powell. That Western town is in Utah."

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