International Wildlife Film Festival
(Saturday-Friday, April 13-19)
The 42nd annual fest, born right here in Missoula, isn't just about animals. The theme this year, "Adaptation," alludes not only to wildlife, but humans' effect on the landscape and filmmakers' changing roles in documenting the world around them. The movies will screen at the Roxy Theater. See a full preview in this week's arts section and peruse a full schedule at wildlifefilms.org. And don't forget the WildWalk Parade on Higgins Avenue, plus the WildFest in Caras Park from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Indigenous Film Festival
(Friday-Saturday, April 12-13)
The third annual festival, put on the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center, focuses on stories of resilience and, this year, ones told by women indigenous filmmakers. A special guest this year is Tantoo Cardinal, the Métis-Cree actress who takes the lead role in "Falls Around Her," which will have a rare screening here. Besides the films, there'll be panels, Native food, music, art and more, all at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.
To see the full schedule, head to muihc.org/indigenous-film-festival/
Kubrick on 35mm
(Continuing April 12-May 3)
The Roxy Theater is showing the acclaimed director's movies in 35mm this month. Revisit the regrettably timeless Cold War comedy, "Dr. Strangelove," (April 12, 7 p.m.); his period drama famously shot by candlelight, "Barry Lyndon" (April 21 at 5:30 p.m.); his Vladimir Nabokov adaptation "Lolita" (April 26, 7 p.m.); or his dark vision of the future, "Clockwork Orange" (April 28 and May 3, 7 p.m.)
(April 12-14, 17-21)
UM's last play of the season wraps up it all up with this wild and somewhat controversial musical from Stephen Sondheim, profiling famous presidential assassins (or would-be assassins). The play probes their motivations and turns a mirror on America itself, questioning a country with so many high-profile killers.
Runs April 12-14 and 17-21 in the Masquer Theater at UM.
Tickets are available from the UM box office. Call 243-4581 or order online at umt.edu/theatredance.
'The Buffalo Play'
(April 13, 19-21, and 26-27)
This original play is inspired by the tourists who, in 2016, “rescued” a “cold” bison calf in Yellowstone National Park by placing the calf in the back of their van. The calf was unable to reunite with its herd and had to be euthanized.
Set in a small jail outside the park and starring the dead calf, its mother and the “calfnapping” tourist, the play promises to probe the question, “What kind of an idiot puts a baby bison in the back of their car?”
The play is collaboration between independent troupes BetweenTheLines and the MT+NYC Collaborative. The Missoula run precedes a three-week stint in New York City, by the way.
The first show is a preview night on April 13, then April 19-21 and 26-27 in the MASC Studio. Head to the BetweenTheLines Facebook page for more information.
The Monkey Queen
Missoula Children’s Theater fans will recognize Matt Loehrke’s name: the Education Director has directed plays and led programs for over a decade. He’s now working on a Master’s in Theatre Education and is putting on an original play as his thesis.
“The Monkey Queen” is based off of the Chinese folktale the Monkey King, where a monkey family is in need of a new leader. The candidates must go through several trials to prove their worth, with martial arts, sign language and puppets involved, according to a press release.
Loehrke describes it as written for kids, but interesting enough for adults, with stage production and performances by known Missoula artists like Hailey Stone (as the Monkey Queen) and Megan Wiltshire (choreography and co-direction).
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Performances at the Downtown Dance Collective April 12 at 7 p.m., April 13 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and April 14 at 2 p.m.
'Down from the Mountain'
(Tuesday, April 16)
Andrews, an author and rancher, follows up his acclaimed book, "Bad Luck Way," with a title that explores the life of a particular grizzly bear raising her cubs in a changing climate and landscape populated by humans. For more information, see the interview with Andrews from February. His publication party, reading and signing is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at Montgomery Distillery.
(Wednesday, April 17)
This festival highlights women's issues and women filmmakers, with short films about sexism, racism, coming-of-age and more. The event, held at The Wilma, raises money for the YWCA Missoula's GUTS! program. Tickets are $15 in advance (logjampresents.com), $18 day of show. All ages are welcome. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7.
Mary Clearman Blew,
'Ruby Dreams of Janis Joplin'
(Wednesday, April 17)
Blew, who grew up in rural Montana, is a professor emertia at the University of Idaho, and has a new novel centered on music. After her band breaks up, the protagonist returns to the small Montana town where she grew up.
Her reading and signing is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at Fact & Fiction.
Melissa Kwasny's 'Putting on the Dog'
(Wednesday, April 17)
Kwasny, a poet who lives in the area of Jefferson City, has written her first nonfiction book. The publisher says it "explores the age-old relationship between humans and the animals that have provided us with our clothing: leather, wool, silk, feathers, pearls and fur."
Her reading and signing is Wednesday, April 17, at Shakespeare & Co.
The Montana Rep's 'Gay-la, Gal-a, Gah-la' and plays in hotel rooms
The Montana Repertory Theatre has plenty of activities next week: You can see original plays in hotel rooms (with a stop at Conflux Brewery) and you can also attend their inaugural fundraiser.
First up, the plays. In its new "Plays on Tap" series, theater-goers see short works in unusual settings. The first entry last spring had a car theme, where the audience sat in the backseat and watched the drama unfold in the front. This go-round, director Michael Legg is moving them into hotel rooms. There are five plays, each featuring two to four performers in the Campus Inn. You can see previews April 16-17 and then catch the main show on April 19-21.
At the "Gay-la, Gal-a, Gah-la" fundraiser on Thursday, April 17, the the Rep will reveal its plans for the 2019-20 season, which will boast five plays. You can also see a "preview" of the hotel plays, too. The shindig runs from 6-9 p.m. in the Holiday Inn Atrium. Tickets are $50 per person. The event also features hors d'oeuvres, desserts a cash bar and music.
Story of an ancient grain
(Thursday, April 18)
Liz Carlisle, a Hellgate High School graduate and Ph.D.-holding lecturer at Stanford University, follows up her acclaimed book, "Lentil Underground" with another title focused on food and the environment. "Grain by Grain" a collaboration with Bob Quinn, details his research growing an ancient strain of wheat, which grew into Kamut International, an heirloom grain company. The two will appear at the University of Montana for a launch party. The reception with snacks by UM Dining is at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation is at 7 p.m.