Experiencing cultural events, films, galleries, music, theater has been proven to enrich and improve quality of life, whether you’re the actor on the stage, a first chair violinist for the Utah Symphony, or an ardent audience member enjoying the spectacle before you.

Participating in or attending art events opens up the other hemisphere of the brain and encourages harmonious development, stress relief, emotional resilience and improved quality of life for all by connecting diverse communities, ages and cultures. It oft en results in promoting societal and ecological change. From prehistoric cave paintings to modern day films, art serves as a vessel for enriching the lives of individuals and families by conveying humankind’s relationship with the world.

Utahans are lucky to have a culturally vibrant community where on any given night, opportunities abound for professional Broadway theater, opera, gallery strolls, traveling shows, ballet and concerts at a variety of venues.

The Pioneer Theatre at the University of Utah is the only fully professional equity theater-in-residence. When plays close on Broadway, the Pioneer Theatre often gets first rights to produce those shows—it was the first regional theater in the country to earn rights to produce Les Miserables due to its reputation for Broadway-quality productions. All plays are produced and “built” at the theater’s complete carpentry shop. Three shows are normally being built at any one time including sets, costuming and props.

(Tours of the carpentry shop and other backstage areas are offered monthly). Their seven-play season includes classics, large-scale musicals, contemporary dramas and comedies. This season’s calendar includes: Sweeney Todd, Christmas at Pemberly, The Lion in Winter, Tony award-winners; Once, Oslo, Grease, and a “concert version” of La Cage aux Folles.

Pre-theater, head to Cucina Wine Bar, an Avenues café voted one of Salt Lake’s “Top 10 Restaurants.” Owner Dean Pierose and Chef Joey Ferran have created a show-stopping menu accompanied by an extensive wine list of over 100 wines. Choose from inventive small plates like Orangebrined Duck Breast with smoked beet coulis or the Fried Avocado stuff ed with Tamarind Coconut Curry, candied cashews and green chile emulsion. Entrees like Seared Ahi with Hot & Sour Sambal Coconut Cream Sauce, Elk Loin Sous Vide with Wild Morels, Red Currents and Huckleberry Gastrique: or Seared Branzino in Prickly Pear Buerre Blanc get rave reviews. For the final act, enjoy violet-topped baked Goat Cheese with Blood Orange Honey.

Caffé Niche is another stylish Salt Lake eatery. Enjoy small plates, Shrimp & Grits, Ahi Tartare, Tzatziki Lamb Meatballs, Spinach-stuff ed Chicken and Citrus Mahi Mahi in this relaxed, friendly neighborhood bistro.

Caffé Niche
779 East 300 South, Salt Lake City 801.433.3380

Cucina Wine Bar
1026 East 2nd Avenue, Salt Lake City 801.322.3055

271 No. Center Street, Salt Lake City 801.596.0566

Stanza Italian Bistro
LaSalle Restaurant Group
454 East 300 South, Salt Lake City 801.746.4441

Salt Lake County Center for the Arts encompasses Abravanel Hall, the Capitol Theatre, Eccles Theater and the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Abravenel Hall joins the new Eccles Theater in hosting the Utah Symphony, comedians and lectures by luminaries such as Jane Goodall and Deepak Chopra. The Capitol Theatre, where vaudevillians, silent movies, and “talkies” were once billed, is now an elegant venue for Ballet West, Utah Opera, Children’s Dance Theatre and Broadway Across America productions like Rent, Wicked and Finding Neverland.

If pasta is your prerequisite for an evening of opera, head to Stanza Italian Bistro and Wine Bar. Utilizing authentic ingredients and techniques, the menu’s contemporary cuisine is rooted in the classics. Th e Clams alla Calabrese is a great curtain opener, and the Veal Saltimboca or Rigatoni Fra Diavolo will set the stage for a memorable meal.

Salt Lake Acting Company has a 48-year history of engaging adventurous audiences through brave contemporary theater. SLAC nurtures professional artists, develops new plays and produces regional and world premieres of Pulitzer and Tony award-winning shows and presents the popular Saturday’s Voyeur.

Before attending a performance at SLAC, stop by Em’s, a Marmalade Hill neighborhood bistro located in the 100-year-old Center Street Market. Owner/Chef Emily Gassmann prepares simple, elegant fare and an ever-changing array of mouthwatering menu items in a light-filled gallery space.


Abravanel Hall
123 W. South Temple
Salt Lake City

George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater
131 So. Main Street
Salt Lake City

Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre
50 West 200 South
Salt Lake City

Pioneer Theatre
University of Utah
300 South 1400 East
Salt Lake City

Rose Wagner
Performing Arts Center 138 W. Broadway
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake Acting Company 168 West 500 North
Salt Lake City

By Corinne Humphrey