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Tim Shonkwiler, left, and Jeff Haberman from Missoula Community Theater rehearse a scene from the production "Elf the Musical," on Tuesday evening.

A cheat sheet to some of the arts and cultural happenings around Missoula in the coming week.

Peter Stark reading

(Friday, Nov. 30)

Missoula-based journalist and author Peter Stark mines both history and the outdoors in his latest book, "Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America's Founding Father." Missoulian reviewer Chris La Tray said it's "a fantastic book, full of thrilling adventure," and that Stark is "a master at taking material that could be dry and academic and breathing excitement into it."

Stark's reading is at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, in the Dell Brown Room, Turner Hall, UM campus.

Symphony's Holiday Pops

(Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 1-2)

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale's annual holiday show is so popular they added a third performance. Show times are Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Only tickets for the Sunday evening show. To buy, go to, call 406-721-3194 or go to the office at 406-721-3194.

Parade of Lights

(Saturday, Dec. 1)

The Parade of Lights turns 16 this year.

The festivities include "children's activities at over 25 locations, photos with Santa at the Florence building, a lighted parade down Higgins and the lighting of the downtown holiday tree." To see a list of activities, which start at 11 a.m., head to

"Santa arrives to meet Mrs. Claus at 1 p.m. at the Florence Bulding, followed by photos with Santa and a performance by Childbloom Guitar in the lobby. Free horse-drawn carriage rides provided by the Resort at Paws Up and sponsored by Lithia Ford of Missoula can be caught at the intersection of East Pine and Pattee Streets from 1:15-4:30 p.m."

The parade starts at 6 p.m. on the Hip Strip and heads north on Higgins Avenue to the red XXXX's.

Joe Biden at UM

(Monday, Dec. 3)

The former vice president is stopping through Missoula on his "America's Promise" tour.

Last year, Biden published a book, "Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose," that recounts the loss of his son, Beau Biden, to brain cancer at age 45.

His talk will take place in the Dennison Theatre. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the talk starts at 7:30. Tickets are $60 to $100, reserved seating. All tickets include paperback copy of "Promise Me, Dad." Call 406-243-4051 or go to

'Elf the Musical'

(Nov. 30-Dec. 16)

The Missoula Community Theatre is bringing the Broadway musical adaptation of Will Ferrell's classic Christmas comedy to a western Montana stage for the first time. The story about an elf named Buddy from the North Pole who realizes, much after everyone else, that he's not an oversized elf, but a human, and departs for New York City to find his father, who isn't as keen on Christmas as he is.

The show continues through Dec. 16, at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts. Go to for more information.

'White Christmas' at UM

(Nov. 30-Dec. 2)

The musical version of the classic Bing Crosby movie draws on the tunes of Irving Berlin and the musical and theatrical talents of students at the University of Montana, both from its School of Music and the School of Theatre & Dance.

All performances are in the Montana Theatre of the PAR/TV Building. Tickets are $10-$20, available at the UMArts box office or

'A Star is Born' at the Roxy

(Nov. 30-Dec. 6)

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's ubiquitous tale about the triumph of pop music over Americana moves from the big theaters to the Roxy, where the intimate screening rooms mean your friends and neighbors might see you cry if this show-business cautionary tale just maybe happens to not have a happy ending.

For show times, see our movie listings or go to

Student doc fest

(Sunday, Dec. 2)

The UM Film Studies program will show off seven short documentaries by students at the Top Hat. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show runs at 7. It's free and all ages.

Yellowstone myths, legends

(Wednesday, Dec. 5)

Author Ednor Therriault, who you may know through his alter ego Bob Wire, will take a humorous tour of the first national park when he reads from book "Myths and Legends of Yellowstone: The True Stories Behind History's Mysteries."

The reading is set for 7 p.m., Shakespeare & Co., 103 S. Third St. W. For more information, go to 549-9010 or


(Thursday, Dec. 6)

A touring production of the Broadway show, complete with music by Rodgers and Hammerstein, will stop at the Adams Center. Tickets start at $21.50, available at and GrizTix outlets.

Looking ahead

Dolce Canto

(Friday-Saturday, Dec. 7-8)

Missoula's premiere vocal group and its new artistic director, Yong Mao, will present its winter concert, "Unheard Voices." The program will include works by little-known composers from the 17th century, in addition to pieces from around the United States, China, Europe, Australia and more.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m., in the University of Montana's Music Recital Hall.

Tickets are $18 or $10 for students, available at Rockin Rudy's and Fact & Fiction through Dec. 7, or

They'll also perform in Ronan on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Ronan Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, go to

Holiday Swing

(Saturday, Dec. 8)

Trumpeter Todd Kelly, a Missoula native, is the featured guest at this year's Holiday Swing, the annual concert from the UM Jazz Program.

The concert will take place at the Downtown Dance Collective, which is the new host for the program's shows. 

There are two evening performances, at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., with Kelly and the UM Jazz Ensemble I and the Zootown Cabaret, plus a "Meet the Artist" reception after the 9 p.m. show at the Florence Hotel lobby. In the afternoon, there's a special hourlong "Swing Set" matinee at 3 p.m. 

For tickets and more information, call the DDC at 406-360-8763 or go to


(Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16)

Tickets for the Garden City Ballet's 34th annual production of the classic show are on sale, and typically sell fast. Head to or for more information. 

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Arts and entertainment