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Five fall cultural events you don’t want to miss

By Bryn McDougal

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Oct. 24 2013 9:38 p.m. MDT

Odyssey Dance Theater has become synonymous with high-culture Halloween fun in Salt Lake, and this year’s performance of "Thriller" will be no exception.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

Fall in Salt Lake City is rife with various stimulating activities, both indoors and out. If you haven’t had your dose of culture this year, now is a great time to get in some prime cultural exposure before the end of the year.

Here are my picks for the top five fall cultural events that you won’t want to miss:

Utah Symphony will present a Superhero Halloween on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at Abravanel Hall. Vladimir Kulenovic will guide the symphony on a journey from Gotham, to Neverland, to the stars with this dynamic celebration of superhero movie music. The concert will also include pieces by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Wagner. If the music is not enticing enough on its own, there will also be a costume contest in the lobby of Abravanel Hall, beginning at 5:30 p.m., with categories for groups, children and orchestra members. The winners will be chosen by audience applause during the performance and will be awarded prizes from KSL News Radio, Salt Lake City Comicon 2014, Geek Show Podcast, The Leonardo and the Utah Museum of Natural History. The only thing missing from this extravaganza? In this music lover’s opinion: You can’t do Halloween right without the The Bach Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor. Maybe the audience can coordinate this as a requested encore? Visit utahsymphony.org/tickets or 801-533-6683.

Odyssey Dance Theater has become synonymous with high-culture Halloween fun in Salt Lake, and this year’s performance of "Thriller" will be no exception. The company has expanded its schedule to present "Thriller" in seven locations this year. The show will include favorite pieces from past years and some new pieces as well. If you haven’t seen "Thriller," you haven’t fully experienced the thrill of Halloween in Salt Lake City. You can buy tickets for remaining performances by visiting odysseydance.com/shows/thriller/.

Have you ever left the opera forlornly wishing the fate of the heroine had been a little more positive? Salt Lake Acting Company resident playwright Kathleen Cahill must have sensed this mood when she devised the idea for "Fatal Song." Utah Opera’s presentation gives a new and humorous perspective on some of the best female arias ever written, as the women facing death confront their fate with a resounding "no!" For those new to opera, this is a low-pressure way to get acquainted. Opera aficionados will also love revisiting their favorite opera classics with a twist. "Fatal Song" will be performed on Nov. 14-16, at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. in the intimate Jeanne Wagner theater. Visit usuo.org or call 801-533-6683 tickets.

You won’t want to miss Salt Lake Choral Artists as they start their 10th season off with a bang, an oompah and a ratatat! Utah’s 2012 and 2013 winners for Best of State-Choral Group will present "With Sounding Brass! Songs of Praise for Choir, Organ, Brass & Percussion." The concert will feature themes of joy and light. This could serve as a great break from the gloom and doom attitude of Halloween. Pieces will include four unique settings of Jubilate Deo, including one composed by local composer and Mormon Tabernacle Choir conductor Mack Wilberg. The group, who normally performs in Libby Gardner Hall, will be changing venues for the opening concert of its 10th season. The concerts will be held Oct. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Ambrose Catholic church. Visit saltlakechoralartists.org/concerts_events for tickets.

To celebrate 50 sizzling years, artistic director Adam Sklute returns Ballet West to its roots in presenting a revival of founder Willam Christensen’s “The Firebird” danced to Igor Stravisnky’s "Who Cares?" The performance will also include "Petite Mort," a work featured on the national television series “Breaking Point.” If you haven’t stepped outside of "The Nutcracker" box in terms of Ballet West performances lately, you are truly missing the "pointe"! “The Firebird” runs Nov. 8-16 and will be performed at Kingsbury Hall due to the Capitol Theatre renovation. Visit artix.org or kingtix.org for tickets.

So get out there and broaden your fall cultural horizons by experiencing some of these great cultural events going on in the community. You won't be disappointed.

Bryn McDougal lives in Salt Lake with her husband and two sons. She sings with Utah Symphony and Opera. music runs almost as deeply through her veins as blood platelets. The daughter of an English teacher, she also enjoys writing, especially satire.

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