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American Idiot 2

Cast members of "American Idiot" rehearse in the Montana Theatre recently. The rock opera is based on Green Day's album by the same name.

Symphony season-closer

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale will close out its season this weekend with Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "The Resurrection."

The Austrian composer took on the largest themes in his work — the meaning of life and what happens after death — and pursued a epic scale of beauty and drama to match, according to music director Darko Butorac.

Listeners unfamiliar with classical might be more acquainted with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, with its "Ode to Joy" climax, that opened the symphony's season back in October. Mahler's symphony is a direct descendant, ending with two vocal soloists and the full 100-member chorale.

The performances are Saturday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 29, at 3 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre at the University of Montana. Tickets start at $17 and are very limited.

Go to missoulasymphony.org, call 406-721-3194 or go to the Symphony box office at 320 E. Main St.

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Live music

Psychedelic rock is now 50 years old, but has proven surprisingly durable - each generation finds its own way into the wigged-out potential of guitar pedals, trippy lyrics and out-there artwork.

This Saturday's Missoula Psych Fest gathers a group of young bands and visual artists all in one place.

The fest was started last year by Joshua Bacha, a trippy visual artist who also plays guitar and sings in local psych band Charcoal Squids. He plays bass in Tiny Plastic Stars, another configuration of the band led by vocalist Riley Roberts.

In addition to Bacha's band, you can hear locals Crypticollider, who have an electronic edge to their music. The out-of-towners are Seattle's Spirit Award, Moon Darling and Weep Wave and Lucid Aisle of Boise.

The event starts early with doors open at 3:30, so there's plenty of time to check out the art, including installations, by more than 13 creators.

The whole thing takes place Saturday, April 28, at the Union Ballroom, upstairs from the Union Club.

Tickets are $13 in advance or $15 at the door. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the music starts at 5:30 p.m. All ages are welcome. Those 21 and up can purchase drinks downstairs at the Union.

Over at the Top Hat on Sunday, Erika Wennerstrom of the Heartless Bastards makes her return to Missoula.

On her new album, "Sweet Unknown," Wennerstrom "lets loose more than ever before—vocally as well as lyrically," according to the Austin Monthly, which gave the record four out of five stars.

Wennerstrom's main band, the Heartless Bastards, have made Missoula a frequent stop and provided music for "Winter in the Blood," the Montana-made film adaptation of James Welch's acclaimed novel.

Wennerstrom's opening act might be less familiar to local audiences: Josh T. Pearson, a Texas songwriter, a witty songwriter with a subtle voice. His new album, "The Straight Hits," was released earlier this year on Mute Records.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 the day of the show. All ages are welcome.

Theater

The coming weeks are your last chance to see a big musical from Missoula's two main-stage theater companies.

Missoula Community Theatre is opening "Disney's The Little Mermaid," the stage adaptation of the classic story. (See preview for more information.)

Over on campus, "Green Day's 'American Idiot,' " closes out a run from the UM School of Theatre & Dance. The musical, created by the pop-punk band with music from two of its studio-album rock operas, "American Idiot" and "21st Century Breakdown," won two Tony Awards.

The local production aims to stay true to its punk spirit, with a four-piece rock band on stage led by keyboardist Josh Farmer, and choreography and stage design that are more rock than Broadway flash.

The final performances are Friday-Saturday, April 28-29, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m. in the Montana Theatre in the PAR/TV Building.

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