Here's a quick guide to this week's arts events online and socially distant in person that you can check out around Missoula.
(Friday, Sept. 25)
The station’s Birthday Bash livestream series comes to a close this Friday, offering up your last chance to see some local bands do their thing within the socially conscious (and distanced) confines of Imagine Nation Brewing’s community room.
The line-up this week: garage band California City; folky-pop group Letter B; and horn-laden soul combo Fertile Crescent. The show runs from 7-10 p.m., with each group getting a full 45-minute set. To tune in, go to kbga.org. The brewery’s patio, with limited seating and a projection screen, is open.
Jazz at the Wilma
(Friday, Sept. 25)
The historic Wilma will hold its first concert since March, with a local band of jazz veterans and a very limited capacity.
The performers are the Missoula Jazz Collective, a combo of University of Montana faculty members who have a catalog of standards and originals, often in a forward-thinking style. The players are Johan Eriksson (saxophone), Rob Tapper (trombone), Jeff Troxel (guitar), Tommy Sciple (bass) and Robert LedBetter (drums).
The capacity is dialed down to less than 5% of its normal 1,500 people.
Advance reservations are advised at logjampresents.com. You can buy a two-top ($15) or a four-top ($25), all spaced out on the theater’s main floor. Price of admission includes one free drink, additional ones available through a specified server for contact tracing purposes. Check the website for more details on their safety precautions.
Art plus books at MMAC
(Friday, Sept. 25)
Explore the world of limited-edition art books in the latest exhibition from the Montana Museum of Art & Culture.
“Bookish: Selections from the Dan Weinberg Collection” shows off picks from the state senator’s private trove. All were created by Vincent FitzGerald & Co., a New York publisher that invites artists and writers to work on a “creative collaboration to produce limited-edition books in the French tradition of ‘livre d’artiste,’ “ according to the MMAC’s website.
The show is on view in the Meloy Gallery in the PAR/TV Building at the University of Montana through Dec. 12.
UM Drama streams a D&D-themed play
(Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 11)
The theater season at the University of Montana will go on, albeit with some adaptations for the pandemic era.
Thankfully, the first show UM had picked for the fall, “She Kills Monsters,” has been adapted by its playwright for Zoom. The cast has been rehearsing remotely and will perform with the aid of props and Zoom backgrounds. Conveniently for viewers during the pandemic, Qui Nguyen’s play lends itself to the format — it centers on a teenager who, after losing her sister, dives into her Dungeons and Dragons notebook to explore her “safe haven,” according to a UM news release. The show will be streamed at set times, but is subject to light editing and post-production while honoring the spirit of a theater show versus a movie.
The evening shows run Wednesday-Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m., plus two 2 p.m. matinees on Oct. 4, and Oct. 11, both Sundays.
The show will be recorded and streamed at the set times through a professional-grade platform. Go to umt.edu/umarts/boxoffice. Tickets are $12 regular, $8 students, $10 for faculty/staff and $8 for seniors.
Alley mural unveiling
(Friday, Sept. 25)
Catch more local art outdoors in the Allez! mural alley off Higgins Avenue, between the Radius Gallery and the Merc hotel.
The second installation for the new venture is called “Missoula Redux,” which alludes to the gallery building’s first incarnation as photographer Rollin H. McKay’s McKay Art Company. The Allez! team recruited six local artists and provided them with a historic photo by McKay or F.M. Ingalls that they could manipulate (digitally or analogue) in their own style. Many of the artists work in contemporary styles, so expect unconventional views on the Missoula of old. The artists are Courtney Blazon, Marlo Crocifisso, Anne Cruikshank, Jesse DeRosier, Theo Ellsworth, Lillian R. Nelson, and Jenna Parker.
The images were then professionally enlarged and printed at mural scale for your socially distanced outdoor viewing pleasure.
The opening reception is Friday from 4-6 p.m.
New podcast: ‘Death in the West’
(Tuesday, Sept. 29)
“A new podcast that lives at the lonely crossroads of true crime and history” created by four Missoula natives premieres this week. The first season is trained on Frank Little, a union organizer who was lynched in Butte in 1917, a crime that was never solved.
The team includes journalists (one of whom is a podcast veteran) and a historian. They are Chad Dundas, a reporter, novelist and co-host of the MMA podcast The Co-Main Event; his brother, Zach Dundas, also a journalist and published author; Erika Fredrickson, the arts editor of the late Missoula Independent; and her brother, Leif Fredrickson, a historian who teaches at the University of Montana.
The show is available through Spotify and iTunes. Head to deathinthewestpod.com to find out more.
‘Ziggy Stardust’ at the ballpark
(Wednesday, Sept. 30)
The bar for best audience costume will be raised higher than normal this week, as the Centerfield Cinema series continues with “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” the 1973 concert film in which David Bowie and company spared no expense on patterned bodysuits, silver jackets and hair spray.
The series is presented by the Missoula Paddleheads and the Roxy Theater. Doors at Ogren-Allegiance Park open at 5:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. Head to gopaddleheads.com to buy a socially distanced square on the field or a single ticket.