The Myrna Loy in Helena takes the holiday season seriously. Well … sort of.
First, the arts center offers an antidote to Black Friday’s frenzy with Cow Tipping Comedy’s annual benefit for the Myrna and the Friendship Center, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29.
“This year it’s kind of special,” says Kev Hamm, a co-founder of the troupe. “We’re going on an unknown-length hiatus,” following the Myrna show and a January show at the Lewis & Clark Brewery.
“These are the last shows we guarantee,” he says, so he urges folks to come out and laugh while they can.
What could be better? “You’re having a good time, you’re giving back to your community and you’re not shopping and losing your mind.”
Tickets are $12 and available at the box office or online; call 406-443-0287 or visit themyrnaloy.com.
Celtic Cowboy Christmas
A week later, the Myrna takes a festive foray into the season with a Celtic Cowboy Christmas. The rollicking, joyous night of heart-warming Christmas music is back by popular demand with two shows, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, and Thursday, Dec. 5.
Montana’s beloved Butte-Irish band Dublin Gulch shares the stage with Willson & McKee and a host of special guests. Expect a wide variety of Irish, Celtic and cowboy Western tunes as well as old-timey, folk, gospel and jazz.
Colorado husband and wife duo Willson & McKee will be playing their usual music store of instruments during the night with Willson on bouzouki, banjo and guitar, and singer/songwriter McKee on mountain dulcimer, hammer dulcimer, accordion and mountain harp.
Dublin Gulch members include Helena singer/songwriter Jim Schulz on guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, vocals and ukulele; Tom Powers on vocals and bodhran; Mick Cavanaugh on Irish and tin whistle; and John Joyner on fiddle and banjo.
They are joined by special guests Emerson Vorel on vocals; Keith Johnson, fiddle and button box; Luke Michelson, bass; and Sean Logan on uilleann pipes.
“We make this as unique as possible,” says Schulz. Don’t expect to hear such standards as “Jingle Bells. “I spend a lot of time looking for good songs that people haven’t heard before.”
Their repertoire includes a new song, “Christmas Mittens”; “Five Round Moons,” an original song based on a Native American myth; “Santa Ain’t Misbehavin’”; and “Night in Bethlehem,” which Schulz describes as “an absolutely gorgeous ancient song.”
Once again, they’ll play the old English song, “A Soalin’,” which, of course, calls for serving delicious soul cakes – an Irish/Welsh holiday delicacy.
And lucky for the audience, free soul cakes, made by the Helena High culinary class, will be served; mulled wine is also available for sale.
Celtic Cowboy Christmas was a popular holiday tradition in Montana from 1996 to 2003 that went on hiatus 14 years, returning in 2017.
Some years it’s toured around the state, but this year it appears exclusively at The Myrna Loy.
“People always have a great time,” says Schulz. “It’s our Christmas present to people who love live music. They leave with lots of fond memories.”
Tickets are $35 and available at themyrnaloy.com, or the box office at 15 N. Ewing St. or by phone, 406-443-0287.