War of the Worlds

Actors run through the final dress rehearsal of the Montana Repertory Theatre production of "War of the Worlds" recently.

Here's a guide to some of the arts and cultural events coming up around in Missoula from Jan. 31-Feb. 6:

MAM Benefit Art Auction

(Saturday, Feb. 1)

Bidders take note: If you have your eye on acquiring some new art, Missoula Art Museum's Benefit Art Auction has moved some of the silent auction online, so you can bid from home and via an automated maximum bid. (Head to givergy.us/mamauction to learn how). If you want take part in the live auction, however, it's in the University Center Ballroom at the University of Montana, from 5-9:30 p.m. Tickets are required, and run $100 for members, $150 for nonmembers. Go to missoulaartmuseum.org.

'Porgy and Bess' live on stage (on screen)

(Saturday, Feb. 1)

The Metropolitan Opera's stage production of George and Ira Gershwin's folk opera, which produced standards like "Summertime," will be screened live at the Roxy.

As it has been since it debuted, and at the insistence of the Gershwins, it is performed by an all-black cast, including a large chorus. The New York Times called in "authoritative and gripping." 

It screens at 11 a.m. this Saturday. Go to theroxytheater.org for tickets or more information.

Montana Rep's 'War of the Worlds' continues

(Multiple weekend runs)

"The War of the Worlds," as adapted for radio in 1938 by Orson Welles and writer Howard E. Koch, is adapted once over as a live stage play, with sound effects produced by the cast, in the Montana Repertory Theatre's touring production.

Adding yet another layer to the story of catastrophe wrought by alien invaders, visiting director Caitlin O'Connell took the script and imagined that it's being performed by survivors of a modern-day crisis. With the actors tasked with using classic Foley sound effects arrayed on stage, the Rep version is fast-paced and kinetic across a roughly 75-minute run time.

The dates are Friday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $25 regular or $10 for children 12 and under. Go to montanarep.com or the UMArts box office. 

MCT's presents 'Leading Ladies'

(Thursday, Jan. 30-Monday, Feb. 3)

Missoula Community Theater is filling Montana’s long, cold winter with laughter and love in its upcoming production of Ken Ludwig’s comedic farce “Leading Ladies.”

The play tells a story of love, triumph and finding ourselves to a backdrop of big belly laughs and fun, said director Rosie Seitz Ayers.

“Leading Ladies” follows Meg, a young woman living in York, Pennsylvania, in 1958 as she cares for her dying, wealthy aunt Florence and dreams of life outside her small town. She meets two down and out Shakespearean actors, Leo and Jack, who are masquerading as her cousins, Maxine and Stephanie, in the hopes of inheriting Meg’s aunt’s fortune.

“And the farce ensues,” Ayers said. “In and out of doors and fish flying across stage and all that good stuff.”

For tickets and information, visit https://mctinc.org/.

Rudy Autio's memoir

(Thursday, Feb. 6)

It's a convenient time to revisit the work of the late pioneer of Montana ceramics, whose expressive innovations in clay influenced generations of artists around the United States. Autio, who lived in Missoula most of his professional life, is the subject of an exhibition at the new Radius Gallery, "The Creative Act," with works drawn from his family's collection. The family, too, is reprinting a new edition of his memoir, "It Comes Around Again," with more images of his work.

The publication launch is set for Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. at Radius, now located in a brand-new two-story building at 120 N. Higgins.