Alberta Bair Theater in Billings kicks off its 30th season at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 with the legendary Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt. Double bass sensation Kristin Korb brings her trio on Sept. 29 and Dance Theater of Harlem makes its Montana debut on Oct. 6.
Here are a few highlights of the Alberta Bair’s season:
September 29: Kristin Korb Trio: Kristin Korb, a Billings native who now makes Denmark her home, is one of those artists who makes you forget she is playing the bass when you hear her crystalline voice.
October 6: Dance Theatre of Harlem: Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, Dance Theatre of Harlem was considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (The New York Times, 1971). Now under the artistic direction of Virginia Johnson, the company has grown into a multi-cultural dance institution that brings innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression to audiences in New York City, across the country and around the world.
October 9: Boz Scaggs: In support of his recent spellbinding album, A Fool to Care, the singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs celebrates a remarkable career that began in the late ‘60s with the Steve Miller Band and spans another 40 years of solo triumphs with albums such as Silk Degrees, which produced four number one songs including “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.”
October 25: “Take Me to the River”: Live performance experience is based on the award-winning film and record that brought together multiple generations of iconic Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians to record a historic new album and re-imagine the utopia of racial, gender and generational collaboration of Memphis (Stax, Hi Records) in its heyday. This historic show features a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see legends William Bell (2017 Grammy Winner), Bobby Rush (2017 Grammy winner), and Charlie Musselwhite (2014 Grammy winner) share the stage and perform classics and new collaborations.
October 27: GENTRI: The Gentleman Trio: Three highly trained tenors – Brad Robins, Casey Elliott and Bradley Quinn Lever – have pioneered a signature sound that can only be described as “Cinematic Pop,”. Performing with them is a local string quartet headed by David Heinzen, principal cellist of the Billings Symphony.
November 3: AJ Croce: Two Generations of American Music: The son of Jim Croce, mixes music by his father with some of his own tunes, and songs that influenced both of them. The show often includes such timeless songs as “Operator,” “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” and “Workin’ At the Car Wash Blues.”
November 13: Rodger & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”: Tony Award®– winning Broadway musical features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and some surprising new twists! “Eye-poppingly opulent enough to wow any six-year-old at heart,” writes The New Yorker.
December 3: “The Wizard of Oz” at Rimrock Auto Arena: There truly is no place like home as the greatest family musical of all time twists its way into Billings! The entire family will be captivated as they travel down the Yellow Brick Road and beyond with Dorothy, Toto and their friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in this lavish production, featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography and classic songs.
December 8: “Jersey Boys”: They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. Go behind the music of hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like a Man” and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony Award®-winning true-life musical phenomenon.
December 20: “Charlie Brown Christmas”: Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they present a pageant, save a tree and uncover the true meaning of Christmas. The evening ends with a Christmas caroling sing-a-long party with Schroeder’s band.
And coming in 2018 to the Alberta Bair:
January 11: “RENT”: A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, “RENT” follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out.
January 21: Brooklyn Rider and Bela Fleck: Hailed as “the future of chamber music” by Strings, the game-changing string quartet Brooklyn Rider (Johnny Gandelsman, violin; Colin Jacobsen, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola; Michael Nicolas, cello) presents eclectic repertoire and gripping performances that continue to draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. Béla Fleck, banjo player and 15-time Grammy Award winner, remains a powerfully creative force globally in bluegrass, jazz, classical pop, rock and world beat.
February 6: “On Golden Pond”: Montana Repertory Theatre brings this American treasure to the stage.
February 10: International Guitar Night: Germany’s Gypsy Jazz legend Lulo Reinhardt returns with a cadre of fine guitarists: Calum Graham, the young Canadian contemporary sensation; Marek Pasieczny, Poland’s innovative classical composer/ performer; and award-winning American guitarist Michael Chapdelaine.
February 13: “Swan Lake,” Moscow Festival Ballet”: Full-length ballet in four acts with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikowski and choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov tells the story of love and deception.
Moscow Festival Ballet brings together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in an independent new company within the framework of Russian classic ballet.
February 28: Gobsmacked!: Featuring the reigning world champion beatboxer Ball-Zee and an international cast of world-class vocalists, this production weaves stories through all forms of a cappella from traditional street corner harmonies to cutting edge, multi-track live looping.
March 1: Steep Canyon Rangers: A bluegrass band at its core, the Steep Canyon Rangers effortlessly walk the line between festival favorite and sophisticated string orchestra.
March 14: “Hamlet,” Aquila Theater: Shakespeare’s compelling tale of familial discord, personal ambition, love and revenge has enthralled audiences for 400 years.
April 17: “Cabaret”: Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history in this Tony-winning musical about following your heart while the world loses its way.
A full line-up can be found at AlbertaBairTheater.org. The Alberta Bair box office, located at 2801 Third Avenue North in downtown Billings, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and will continue to be open two hours prior to any performance at the Alberta Bair Theater; call 406-256-6052 for more information.