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Arts in Missoula: Musicals, Shakespeare, and a Wes Anderson retrospective

Arts in Missoula: Musicals, Shakespeare, and a Wes Anderson retrospective

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks 47th Season, Merry Wives of Windsor

Members of the cast perform "Merry Wives of Windsor" at the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks kick-off in Bozeman last month. The play will come to Seelet Lake on Thursday, Aug. 1.

Musical at the DDC

(Friday-Saturday, July 26-27)

A local group of performers/singers and a live band are presenting "Songs for a New World," an original, nontraditional musical written by Jason Robert Brown ("Bridges of Madison County," "Parade").

The performers are Jadd Davis, Brit Garner, Elijah Fisher, Arielle Nachtigal, accompanied by Scott Hamilton (conductor), Nick Barr (bass), Rosie Cerquone (drums), Mac Merchant (keyboard) and Troy David (percussion).

According to the news release, Tony Award-winner Brown wrote songs in a variety of styles (gospel, rock, folk, blues) that relate vignettes without a traditional plot. Instead, it functions as a "theatrical song cycle that examines life, love and the choices we make."

Showtimes are Friday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, July 27, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 at the DDC or

New artist/maker shop

(Friday, July 26)

Aporta Shop, a new space for artists and makers, is opening on West Front Street. The outlet, founded by textile designer and artist Noelle Sharp, is a "curated space" that will "provide an outlet for Montana makers and artists and a studio setting for teaching and learning," according to a news release.

They'll stock more than 70 creators whose work ranges from textiles and accessories to jewelry, kitchen and home goods, and apothecary items. They'll also host workshops in weaving, knitting and floral design, plus "human design readings, tarot readings, and healing ritual workshops."

Sharp grew up in Utah and Montana and attended the Chicago Institute of Art, and founded Aporta in Chicago in 2011.

The grand opening is 3-7 p.m. Friday at 117 W. Front St. For more information, go to

Live fly-fishing art

(Friday-Monday, July 26-29)

Dale Evers, an artist from California, will be in Missoula to show his work and demonstrate it at Draught Works Brewery. Evers' sculptures, which are made from bronze, steel, brass and copper, are based on fly patterns with a whimsical result.

Draught Works is located at 915 Toole Ave. For more information, go to

Polson play

(Continues through Aug. 4)

Former Montana speaker of the House, Polson attorney and theater enthusiast John Mercer is presenting an original musical, "Tonight on Wild Horse Island," with the Port Polson Players.

"Honoring the patriarch of three generations, the family has gathered to scatter his ashes on Wild Horse Island. Old disputes and generational differences arise as the sun sets on history and family feuds, ultimately bringing out a powerful loving bond shared by the clan," according to the news release.

Show times are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $19 for adults and $18 for seniors or students. For reservations, call 883-9212 or go to

DDC presents 'Songs for a New World,' a musical with an unconventional plot

ZACC garage sale

(Friday-Saturday, July 26-27)

The Zootown Arts Community Center is moving to a new home after 10 years on the Northside. In that decade, their old digs have accumulated a lot of art from group shows and classes that never got picked up. They've rounded it all up for a garage sale, with proceeds benefiting their campaign for the new headquarters on West Main St.

The sale runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 235 N. First St. W.

ZACC garage sale features unearthed treasures

Outdoor Cinema

(Saturday, July 27)

Head to the Northside for an outdoor screening of "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," the 1993 Australian classic in which a trans woman (Terrance Stamp) and two drag queens (Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) travel across the desert for a performance.

The movies are shown on the lawn of the Head Start School, 1001 Worden Ave., at dusk (approximately 9:14 p.m.). Suggested donation is $5 per person or $10 for a family. For more information, go to

Wes Anderson retrospective 

(Starts Wednesday, July 31)

Next week, the Roxy Theater is launching a film retrospective of the complete works of Wes Anderson, whose style is so carefully cultivated you could spot his movies even if he took his name off them.

It all starts, even the Helvetica credits, in 1996 with "Bottle Rocket," a charming, low-budget film that introduced the Anderson house style: the visual and storytelling tropes, the repertory troupe of actors, and the Mark Mothersbaugh score supplemented by tasteful vintage tracks.

The plot is lighthearted 1990s slacker material. Anthony (Luke Wilson) has recently left a stay at mental hospital after a nervous breakdown. His friend, Dignan, is the quirky, naive dreamer, which became a staple for both Anderson and Owen Wilson, here in his first role. Dignan talks Anthony into joining a heist in which they are naturally ill-equipped to participate.

The dry, weird humor is there from the beginning. Anderson's world is populated by (often polite) fussy and well-meaning nerds, a buttoned-down contrast to the raunch and offense-is-its-own-reward stupidity that dominated 1990s humor, from Kevin Smith to Adam Sandler to "American Pie." Anderson celebrates flawed but endearing characters who plan obsessively and fail humorously, a succession of precocious dorks, often enacting the Icarus arc while learning the value of love, friendship or family after the inevitable fall. Their adventures are small in the way of ordinary people, but the stakes remain high.

It's not hard to see him as an influence on television shows by Michael Schur, who created the American version of "The Office," along with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Parks and Recreation" and "The Good Place," where the behavior is nowhere near as acidic as "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" or "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Besides "Bottle Rocket," the Roxy will screen the early hits, where Anderson's stylized visual sensibility really comes into its own ("Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou"). From there, find deep-catalog gems ("Moonrise Kingdom"), late baroque Anderson ("The Grand Budapest Hotel") and the stop-motion critter works ("The Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Isle of Dogs"). They're also screening "The Darjeeling Limited," which, while a little rudderless but visually enticing, has its moments. (The movies won't be shown in chronological order.)

"Bottle Rocket" starts at 7 p.m. If you suspect there are a few Wes Anderson fans around Missoula, you can buy advance tickets on the Roxy's website,

(Cory Walsh)

Shakespeare in the Parks

(Thursday, Aug. 1)

The Montana troupe stops up in Seeley Lake for a performance of the Bard's "The Merry Wives of Windsor."

This light comedy, in which Sir John Falstaff is outsmarted by Mistress Page and Ford, has been transported to the early 1960s. At least in its set and costume — Shakespeare's words remain the same. Director Marti Lyons' interpretation looks for reflections between the script, the current #MeToo movement and the early 1960s women's movement.

The free show takes place at the Double Arrow Lodge and starts at 6 p.m. Bring a blanket, chairs or a picnic. The troupe will come to the University of Montana in Missoula next month for performances of "Merry Wives" (Aug. 26) and "Henry IV Part I" (Aug. 27)

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