Ask Angela Weekend Picks: Sistas in Zion, Joanna Brooks, and other Conference events

Image courtesy of Deseret Book

Image courtesy of Deseret Book

What: Sistas in Zion hosting Ladies Night @ Deseret Book. Saturday night, 6-8 pm during priesthood session. Free

Why you should go: It’s a Salt Lake tradition. Every year during priesthood session of General Conference, the Deseret Book on Temple Square holds a special ladies’ night where the women of the church can come out and have a good time. Our hosts this year are Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes–better known as Sista Beehive and Sista Laurel of the local radio show, Sistas in Zion. The Sistas are HILARIOUS, and with them as the emcees you know you’re gonna have a good time.

No really, why?: The Sistas just released their new book, “Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons.” Published through Deseret Book, this book has gotten rave reviews from such inspiring Mormon leaders as Joanna Brooks, Ann Romney, and Darius Gray. We’ve taken a peek ourselves, and the book is every bit as witty and enjoyable as it sounds. Swing by Deseret Book to grab a copy, meet the Sistas in person, and maybe even get your book autographed. See the Sistas’ Twitter account, @SistasInZion, for more info.

Image courtesy of Deseret Book

Image courtesy of Deseret Book

What: Sunstone Magazine pre-General Conference potluck dinner. 2747 E 3640 S, SLC. Friday 4-7 pm. $10.

Why you should go: This is a great event for you if you’re going through any type of faith transition, small or large. Guest speakers like Joanna Brooks and Phyllis Barber will share their wisdom and insights about how to live a healthy and happy life if you find yourself on the “borderlands” of Mormon culture.

No really, why?: This podcast interview, “Writing Mormon Lives,” gives a small taste of Joanna and Phyllis’ thoughts. Interested in the dinner? Register here or by calling the Sunstone office, 801-355-5926.

Image courtesy of Sunstone Magazine

Image courtesy of Sunstone Magazine

What: Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons pre-General Conference fireside. Friday @ 8 pm. Hilton Hotel, 255 S. West Temple, SLC. Free

Why you should go: Affirmation holds monthly socials for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Mormons who are interested in remaining active in the Church without denying their sexuality. If you yourself are in this situation, or if you have a friend who’s left the church because of a painful experience with prejudice, this would be a great way to participate in the Church community in a healthy way.

Image courtesy of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons

Image courtesy of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons

No really, why?: The guest speaker, Tom Christofferson, is a respected leader in the Affirmation community, and his remarks are sure to be spiritually edifying. Plus, it really is a great way to meet other people just like you.

Image courtesy of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons

Image courtesy of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons

What: G. Love and Special Sauce concert @ The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, SLC. Thursday April 10. $25.

Why you should go: If you like OAR, Jack Johnson, or Dispatch, you’ll probably like G. Love–heck, you’ve probably already heard of him! G. Love is like all three of these guys mixed together in one.

No really, why?: G. Love’s jam-band style mixed with a hint of blues-chill-funk-rock will really have you feeling some type of way. Check out his song, “Baby’s Got Sauce,” and try not to knock anything over while you’re dancing. You can order concert tickets here.

Follow our events blogger, @kekpenyong, on Twitter. New updates weekly!

Ask Angela Weekend Picks: Holi color dancing, Neutral Milk Hotel, downtown dining & more

We’ve really got you covered this weekend–and that includes some downtown dining tips for the LDS General Women’s Meeting on Saturday night. We’ll also tell you about the Holi color dance festival in Spanish Fork, the new play, 3, opening downtown, and a Tuesday concert by Neutral Milk Hotel.

Holi 1

What: Holi Festival of Colors. Krishna Temple outdoor grounds @ 311 West 8500 South, Spanish Fork. 10 am – 6 pm (most people stay for just 1 or 2 hours)
Why you should go: The Holi festival is extremely popular among BYU students and Utah locals because it’s basically a giant dance rave held in a cloud of colorful powdered chalk. A $3 ticket gets you all-day access to dance, socialize, and rock along–and you’ll also get some handfuls of chalk powder to throw around during the dance.
No really, why?: On top of the fun factor, this festival actually has special religious significance for the local Hindu community that hosts it. Holi is a Hindu holiday where people celebrate the arrival of spring by means of several rites, of which the dancing and chalk-throwing is one small part. This particular Spanish Fork festival is actually the largest Hindu gathering in the whole US, and it’s even more unique in the fact that most of its attendees are Mormons. The hosts say they appreciate the Mormon presence because one of the goals of the festival is to get a celebratory crowd that’s as large and vibrant as possible. More info on the event is available here:

Holi 2

Image courtesy of Salt Lake Tribune

What: show performance @ Plan-B Theatre. Friday, 8pm, or Saturday, 4 pm and 8 pm. 138 W. Broadway, SLC.
Why you should go: This is a new play by Eric Samuelsen, an accomplished Mormon playwright who has produced dozens of professional plays discussing important themes of Mormon culture. 3 focuses on the lives of three Mormon women as they wrestle with questions about their place as women in the LDS Church and in the greater world at-large.
No really, why?: Hannah Wheelwright at the blog “Young Mormon Feminists” gave the play raving reviews, saying that 3 is “filled with snappy dialogue, Mormon jokes, raw and unexpected emotions, and cringe-worthy honesty that provoke deep introspection on why we do the things we do.” Click here for more info on tickets:

3 women

What: Saturday night dining @ Maxwell’s (9 Exchange Place, SLC, near Gallivan Center)
Why you should go: For the first time in recent history, General Relief Society Meeting and General Young Women’s Meeting will be combined into one. It’s bound to be an interesting spiritual experience, and what better way to celebrate afterwards than with a fun dinner trip to downtown.
No really, why?: Maxwell’s won the ‘Best Slice of Life’ award in City Weekly’s recent “Best of Utah” article. Check out their review:

By day, it’s a restaurant for young professionals to meet for lunch in downtown’s historic Boston Building. By evening, it’s a sports bar, and by late night, it’s a jam-packed dance club. But whatever crowd you’re in, you can always count on some of the best New York-style pizza the state has to offer. Maxwell’s traditional, floppy “fat kid” pizza is available by the slice or the huge 20-inch full pie, customizable with a slew of fresh toppings.

357 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-328-0304,

Image courtesy of Maxwell's East Coast Eatery

Image courtesy of Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery

What: Neutral Milk Hotel @ The Depot. 400 W South Temple, SLC. Tuesday April 1, 8 pm. Tickets are $32
Why you should go: Cause they’re friggin’ awesome.
No really, why?: You haven’t really lived yet if you haven’t listened to their classic album, “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.” Maybe you should just–maybe you should just listen right now. It’s linked below…40 minutes. Put it on in the background while you work on some other errand. And prepare to be amazed. (Buy tickets here:

Follow our events blogger, @kekpenyong, on Twitter. New updates every week!

Ask Angela Weekend Picks: Lady Gaga tickets, Strange Family, Turandot opera

gaga awesome

“A stranger took this picture of me in 2008 before I was ever a star.”

Welp, it’s officially the first day of spring, and Lady Gaga’s wasting no time bringing the first taste of summer excitement. Taking us by surprise this morning, Gaga announced that she’ll be coming to SLC this August as part of her world tour, artRAVE. Tickets for that will go on sale beginning Monday, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to get some tix of your own before they sell out.

Why you should go: You can Do What U Want with your body, but those of us who are Starstruck over Gaga are pretty psyched to Just Dance.
No really, why?: This is Lady Gaga’s first appearance in Salt Lake since 2011. We aren’t usually on her list of cities because she usually heads to larger cities like Vegas and Denver. Hardcore fans will appreciate the chance to welcome Gaga back into our home state. And, for new fans: well, what better time than now to join the Haus of Gaga? 
Other details: You can find ticket information at If you make an account with the website, they’ll give you early bird access to tickets, starting Monday.
Strange Family

Strange Family

What: Strange Family performing @ The Loading Dock, 6:30 pm, Tuesday March 25.
Why you should go: They’re one of trendy-Provo’s favorite local bands. Buy tickets here.
No really, why?: They honestly sound great, bro. Take a listen to Strange Family’s single, “Bones.”


Original 1926 poster for Turandot

What your face will be like this weekend if you don’t see Turandot

What: Turandot @ Capitol Theater, 50 W 200 S, 7:30 pm this Friday.
Why you should go: You’ve probably seen one or two of your cultured friends talking about how great Turandot was. Maybe after seeing this play, you can be the cultured friend. Wouldn’t that be nice? Wouldn’t it? Come on reader, seize the day.
No really, why?: This is a great, classy opera option for your Friday night. The opera gave celebrated, sold-out performances when it appeared in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and Seattle.
Other details: Tickets available at Expected to sell out, so order ahead!

Follow our events blogger on Twitter, @kekpenyong. New updates weekly!

Ask Angela Weekend Picks: St. Patty’s Day Edition

 (image from Salt Lake Tribune)
Spring is here, the weather’s warming up, and a few brave souls are even starting to break out their shorts and summer pastels. Have you? Maybe this weekend, St. Patrick’s Day weekend, is a chance to put a little green and orange in your life. On this holiday weekend, check out some of the festive events going on in downtown Salt Lake.
st_pattys_40 (image from City Weekly)
What: St. Patty’s Day Parade and Music Festival @ Gateway Mall plaza, Sat. 10 am through the afternoon
Why you should go: The parade, which starts at 10 am, will feature music, dancing, and exciting floats of all kinds–leprechaun, bagpipers, horses, carriages, and lots of green and orange. A musical celebration begins after the parade at 10:45 am–food, music, dancing, and fun all around.
No really, why?: It’s free, and it’s also one of Salt Lake’s best-known traditional St. Patty’s Day festivities. More info below.
Hibs 1. 2014
What: Irish dancing @ Squatters Pub, 147 W Broadway Street, SLC, Saturday 6-10 pm
Why you should go: This downtown restaurant is hosting a fun evening of traditional Irish music, dancing, and food. Makes for a good date night, or simply a cultured night on the town.
No really, why?: The pub itself, Squatters, has a pretty high rating on Yelp. And don’t let the word “pub” scare you away. Plenty of non-alcoholic food and beverage options for those who do not drink. For more info, call Squatters: 801-363-2739.
What: Young Dubliners performing a concert @ The Depot, 400 W South Temple, Saturday 8 pm.
Why you should go: Parades and food too mainstream for you? This Celtic rock concert is an edgier approach to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
No really, why?: They sound like the Decemberists with a Gaelic twist. Check out the Young Dubliners’ catchy song, “In the End,” which is one of our favorites.

Other details: Tickets are $23 per person. More info here:
What: Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra St. Patrick’s Day Concert. Libby Gardner Hall @ University of Utah. Saturday 7:30 pm
Why you should go: Selections include holiday-themed pieces like “Irish Tune From Country Derry,” “Harty in Ireland,” and Beach’s Symphony No. 2 “Gaelic.”
No really, why: Because you’re cool like that.
Other details: Tickets are $10, or $5 for current students. More info here:

Whatever fun events you choose, have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!!
Follow our events blogger on Twitter, @kekpenyong. New updates weekly!

Ask Angela Weekend Picks for March 7-10

Music, mystery and more: coming up in Salt Lake this weekend. (Follow our events blogger on Twitter, @kekpenyong. New updates weekly!)

dr dog gif(1) What: Dr. Dog concert in downtown Salt Lake. Saturday March 8, 8 pm @ “The Complex”

Why you should go: Dr. Dog is pretty big in the national scene, as far as Pitchfork-y hipster bands go. Their song “That Old Black Hole,” which they recently performed on the Conan O’Brien show, is a good example of their sound–it’s like a a happy marriage of Dispatch, Phish, and a little O.A.R. Check out “That Old Black Hole” and see if you like it:

No really, why?: Our blog will try to give you at least one good SLC concert recommendation every week. Some weeks we’ll have superstar pop names, like Katy Perry; other weeks, we’ll feature bands that are maybe lesser known, but still just as talented. On top of their Conan performance, Dr. Dog also recently performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. So yeah, Dr. Dog is no Katy Perry, but they’re not your neighbor’s garage band either.

Other details: Venue address is 536 W 100 S. Tickets are $20 and you can buy them at this link:

(2) What: Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” performed by the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Friday March 7 & Saturday March 8. 8pm @ Abravanel Hall

Why you should go: The “New World Symphony” is Dvorak’s most popular symphony, and it’s seen its fair share of pop culture fandom. Excerpts from the symphony have appeared in TV shows and movies, and in 1969, Neil Armstrong took a copy of it with him on his first mission to the moon. Why not have a cultured (date?!) night with our talented Utah Symphony Orchestra?

No really, why?: On top of the New World Symphony, the orchestra will also play Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 and Lutoslawski’s Symphony No. 4. Whether you’re a classical music aficionado or someone who’s totally new to this kind of music, this night is bound to be a treat for you.

Other details: Tickets start at $29 and can be found here:

new world symphony

(3) What: Dinner detective mystery night. Saturday March 8, 6 pm @ the Embassy Suites Hotels.

Why you should go: It’s a chance to dress up fancy, get some great food, and have fun with a group of friends in a real-life game of Clue. This particular Dinner Detective event series has been around since 2004 and performed in cities all across the nation. We’re blessed now to have it in the Salt Lake area. It’s a quality affair.

No really, why?: Price of admission includes a four-course meal, take-home prizes for the people who win the murder mystery, and a fun chance to show off your improv skills in storylines with your friends and professional actors. Especially if you’re in a group of friends or ward buddies, this is a really fun event to check out!

Other details: You can buy tickets online, but you really should call the box office, just to get a kick out of the perfect British voice that will answer the phone. The number to call is 855-633-0080. Tickets are $54, and the address is 3524 South Market Street in West Valley City. Look below to see a video preview:

(4) What: Utah Jazz vs. Atlanta Hawks. Monday March 10, 7 pm @ Energy Solutions Arena.

Why you should go: For those of you who are Jazz fans, you’ll know–or you should know–that our talented Jazz power forward, Paul Millsap, jumped ship and switched over to the Hawks team after the 2013 season. That close connection adds a little spice to the normal excitement of the game.

No really, why?: Why not?

Other details: Tickets start at $13, and you can buy them here:

jazz pic

John Travolta / Idina Menzel: I’m still laughing about this today


This is just so funny to me, mainly because I am always *about* to make this mistake on people’s answering machines. I don’t know what it is about voice mail panic, but the person’s name is the first thing to leave my brain. That’s why there is the option to click # and then the number 1, and re-record it!


Here’s to wishing there was a pound sign at the Oscars, John! :)


I’m in a play, and it’s literally haunting my dreams! Come see it!

***Considering the fact that I’m in a play right now that opens on March 6th, I thought I’d share the dream I had with you last night.***


People chasing me: We found her! There she is!

 ::They remove me from my hiding place and I’m all of a sudden on a stage and they are facing me with pitchforks::

 Me: Hey everyone, how are you…?

 People: Kill her!

 :: Try to run, but play it off like I was just moving around the stage because I realized I wouldn’t be able to get away::

 Me: Hey, don’t kill me, why don’t I perform a show for you? It’ll be funny and entertaining.

 People: We should just kill you

 Me: But look, I’m already on a stage! You’re in an audience, let me perform for you!

 People: Okay! Let her perform!

 Me: Okay, let me go grab a costume really quickly okay? I saw one back stage, it’s this black mask

 People: Okay!

 ::: I exit the stage and escape, run to the local hospital and call my sister to pick me up::

 End Scene 


Also, come see my play! (Playing at the Grand in Salt Lake City!)



“If God wanted you to have a tattoo you would have been born with one.”

I wrote an article the other day for the Deseret News that addressed this girl’s question about her new tattoo and an upcoming family trip. She said,

“I’m going on a beach vacation with my ultra-conservative Christian family, and I have a tattoo they are totally unaware of and would 100 percent disapprove of. That tattoo itself is not offensive; it’s the fact that I have a tattoo at all that is offensive to them.”

She went on to ask for advice on how she could tell them about the tattoo (so she could enjoy the trip, without them thinking that she’s living some crazy Sons of Anarchy lifestyle)

You can read the full article here.

Side Note: I’ve never seen Sons of Anarchy, but I hear I’m missing out. 

A reader, who responded to this article said, “If God wanted you to have a tattoo you would have been born with one.”

.  . . 


I immediately thought of all of the things that I have that are good, but that I wasn’t born with. 1. A college degree, 2. A drivers license 3. My younger siblings 4. A toothbrush 5. my cell phone etc., etc., The logic above was just ridiculous.

Anyway, I get it, as Latter-day Saints we’re taught not to get tattoos. We’re also taught how to help other people when they’re in distress. So, why throw the God – card in this girl’s face when she’s just asking for help? 

Maybe I’m overreacting, but It’s hard not to be protective of the people who write into my column, they share a little piece of their lives in hopes that they can get some help – it’s a very vulnerable place to be. So, I guess I just want to say thank you to the many voices who offered help and understanding to this person (and many others who have written to the Ask Angela column) – judgement is tempting, and we’re all guilty of it at some point or another – but in the end it doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t really help. 

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Daily Dramz: “Not That Serious (NTS)” Question of the day: Office Microwaves



Dear Angela,

My not that serious question is this: My coworker is always microwaving fish/curry or popcorn in the company break-room microwave. It’s so offensive to my nose, and literally smells up the entire office. There is no company policy against what can and cannot be prepared in the break-room, but certain things should be known and followed without an official written policy. Is there anything that can be done?


Can’t Breathe

Dear Can’t Breathe,


A more patient advice columnist might be like, “Effective communication can be achieved by blah blah blah” But I think you should put a really passive aggressive note on the front of the microwave talking about bad smells, small spaces and common decency.

You might also consider asking “What IS that smell?!” really dramatically around the office (but that might be a bit much.)

Let us know how it goes!



Ask Angela Picks: What’s up this weekend? Bill Cosby’s in town and other events

Coming up this weekend in the Salt Lake metro area:
by Kufre Ekpenyong
Bill Cosby stand-up show (University of Utah)
Interfaith conference on women and religious leadership (SLC Library)
Freedom Riders documentary film and Q&A panel with local civil rights leaders (SLC Library)
“I Am Jane” play about early black Mormon pioneers (BYU campus)

(1) What: Bill Cosby speaking at University of Utah. 8 pm on Friday Feb 28

Why you should go: He’s famous, and hilarious! Best known for The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby has been a professional actor for decades. His stand-up comedy shows won several awards, including Grammys. 
No seriously, why?: Bill may be funny, but he also has a serious side, speaking out on important social issues like race and education. If you go to his show, you’ll come away with not only a laugh but also a few good things to think about longer-term. 
Other Details: Venue is Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. For tickets call 801-581-7100.

(2) What: “We Will Sing and Not Be Silent”: interfaith conference on women and religious leadership. SLC Library. 12:30 to 6 pm on Saturday March 1

Why you should go:  Guest speakers include female leaders from Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, and Mormon backgrounds. The conference will explore the role that women play in these different religions–whether in home life, sacred rites, or positions of congregational leadership. 
No seriously, why?: With thousands of new sister missionaries and with Mormon feminism growing popular on the Web, our Church is in a time of serious discussion right now about the need to hear women’s voices in the Church. Some are simply excited about the changes that have already happened, and others want to see even more change.Wherever you stand on Mormon feminism, it’s a good idea to get informed about women’s roles in other religions for context about what is happening in our own church.
Other Details: You can read the full event program at this link:

(3) What: Free film screening of “An Ordinary Hero,” the story of the Freedom Rider Joan Mulholland. Friday Feb 28, 6:30 pm, at the SLC Library.

Why you should go: We all know about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, but what do you know about the Freedom Riders–black and white college students who bravely rode desegregated buses into the segregated South during the 1960s? These young adult risked life and limb to make their lives a physical protest of segregation. At times, hostile Southerners set the buses on fire or otherwise violently resisted the college activists.
No seriously, why?: After the film, there will be a panel of local community leaders who had roles in the civil rights movement. The list of speakers includes: Darius Gray, a black Mormon civil rights activist and speaker, Gloria Wilkinson, senior Vice President for community relations at Zions Bank, and Jeanetta Williams, president of the Utah NAACP. 
Other Details: Reception at 6:30 pm. Screening at 7 pm. RSVP is preferred by emailing
(4) What: “I Am Jane,” the story of the first black Mormon pioneers. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 7:30 pm. Saturday matinee at 2 pm. Education in Zion Theater, BYU campus.
Why you should go: This play has gotten media coverage from the Salt Lake Tribune, the Provo Herald, and KSL TV and radio news. It’s celebrated as an inspiring and award-winning story about the untold story of black Mormons. 
No seriously, why?: BYU is showing this play in response to the Church’s December 6, 2013, statement on the origins and end of the priesthood ban. This statement, approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, says that the Church officially “disavows” past racial theories such as the curse of Cain, stigma toward interracial marriage, etc. BYU is holding this play as a way to honor the contributions that black Mormons, past and present, have made. (You can read the full Church statement
Other Details: Tickets are $3 for singles and $5 for couples. They recommend you buy tickets in advance, “will call” option, by calling801-422-4313. Tickets are expected to sell out soon. 
Know of some other fun activities? Email us