SALT LAKE CITY — How do you solve a problem like … not knowing what to do this weekend?
Fortunately, there's enough going on in the Beehive State over the next few days to remedy that situation — from celebrating American composer Leonard Bernstein's birth centennial to watching 90-second film adaptations of classic children's novels.
'Bernstein at 100'
This year marks what would’ve been the great American composer Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday and this weekend, the Utah Symphony is getting into the full spirit of Bernstein’s birth centennial with performances that aim to showcase the diversity of the composer's works. The celebration begins Feb. 23 with pianist Conrad Tao’s rendition of “Age of Anxiety” and concludes in November with a semi-staged production of Bernstein’s popular operetta “Candide.”
Come celebrate the man who gave us "West Side Story," Feb. 23-24, 7:30 p.m., Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, $15-$83 (my.usuo.org or 801-533-6683).
90-Second Newbery Film Festival
The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is coming to Utah for the first time in its seven-year run. The rules are simple: The festival invites kids to retell their favorite Newbery Award-winning books through film in 90 seconds or less. As the festival's founder James Kennedy told the Deseret News, it's a chance to get kids reading and thinking about books in an engaging way — such as a horror adaptation of the classic children’s book “Charlotte’s Web.”
“The whole premise of ‘Charlotte's Web’ is this pig is afraid that he might get killed, and this terrifying spider shows up and puts messages in the web and then the spider dies at the end but has laid all these eggs and thousands of spiders hatch all over the countryside — that's a horror movie,” Kennedy said.
Come check out screenings at the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival Feb. 23, 6 p.m., Treehouse Museum, 347 22nd St., Ogden; and Feb. 24, 2 p.m., Salt Lake City Library, 210 E. 400 South, free, reserve ticket online (90secondnewbery.com/events).
Nine Mile Canyon Excavation Celebration
Barring heavy snow, this weekend could be a good time to trek down to Price and see some petroglyphs at Nine Mile Canyon. In addition to exploring the many trails and sites throughout the canyon, a free public event (featuring light refreshments) will offer presentations from experts about the latest archaeological happenings in the canyon as well as a chance to see the museum’s Nine Mile Canyon exhibits on Feb. 24, 4-6 p.m., Prehistoric Museum, 55 E. Main, Price, free (ninemilevolunteer.weebly.com/excavation-celebration).
Singer Mat Kearney emerged on the pop/folk scene in the mid-2000s and since his debut record in 2007, his music has been featured on several TV shows, including "Grey's Anatomy," "One Tree Hill" and "Vampire Diaries." Kearney performs on Feb. 25 at The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, doors open at 6:30 p.m., $27 (www.thecomplexslc.com).
LDS Film Festival
Mormons (and others): Start your engines! The 17th annual LDS Film Festival kicks off on Monday at Orem’s SCERA Center for the Arts. Running through March 3, the festival will include screenings of LDS-based films such as “The Other Side of Heaven” and premiere several films, including “Trek,” which highlights the Mormon tradition of youth handcart treks through the eyes of an LDS tee named Tom.
While most of the festival’s screenings and events cost money, Monday night’s festivities include a free family night program, which includes the Family Film Competition that features family-produced films. The competition starts at 6:30 p.m. and includes seven different films. Check out the festival Feb. 26-March 3, times vary, SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 S. State, Orem, $8 (scera.org).
Sound of Music
We know the lines, the music and very possibly all of the dance moves, but that won't stop theatergoers from crowding into the Eccles Theater starting Tuesday, Feb. 27, when the national touring production of "The Sound of Music" hits Utah. And although most of us know the iconic Julie Andrews film backward and forward, as Lauren Kidwell, who plays Mother Abbess in the touring production, told the Deseret News, the play brings something new to the film.
“You hear these songs like ‘Do-Re-Mi’ and ‘The Sound of Music,’ and you think you know these lyrics and you can just kind of sit back and let these songs happen,” she said, “but the way that these songs have been given new life and been invigorated by our creative team and directing team, it feels like you’re hearing these songs for the first time. They mean so much.”
Revel in Fraulein Maria's journey from nunhood to motherhood, Feb. 27-March 4, at the Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, $35-$110 (artsaltlake.org).
Wilner Baptiste and Kevin Sylvester met in their Florida high school as viola stand partners during their second period orchestra class, Baptiste told the Deseret News. Both classically trained musicians, the pair occasionally dabbled with hip-hop music, but it wasn’t until after college that the friends got together and began to explore the possibilities of blending classical music and hip-hop and performing it on a regular basis. The two formed the hip-hop duo Black Violin in the early 2000s, when they got their start playing at night clubs throughout Miami.
Hear what blending classical music and hip-hop sounds like Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m., Ellen Eccles Theatre, 43 S. Main, Logan, $30 (cachearts.org); Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m., Kingsbury Hall, 1395 Presidents Circle, $20-$35 (tickets.utah.edu).