Indoor display of Top Hat books; political circus at Free Cycles


Here’s a quick guide to some upcoming arts and cultural events around Missoula.

Top Hat’s first indoor show since the pandemic began

The Phoenix Spafford jam band was scheduled to play Top Hat Lounge on March 21, 2020, according to Missulian records. About a week prior, the concert was postponed as the first cases of coronavirus were reported in Missoula County.

And fittingly, they’ll be the first band to play an indoor show at the downtown historic venue since COVID, as Logjam Presents has been operating it as a bar and restaurant in the meantime.

They will be joined by Sicard Hollow, a progressive bluegrass band. The date is the first of six announced for the hat through the end of the year.

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Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 on the day,

Disco Bloodbath canceled

Disco Bloodbath, the annual Halloween party/show, will not take place this year.

In a Monday Facebook post, BFK Productions said they couldn’t find a location. The newer ones were quite large, with thousands of square feet to set up stages. These include empty space vacated by Sears at Southgate Mall. Other recent setups were multiple sites spread around downtown Missoula, including Caras Park. Prior to this he stood by the Wye.

“[O]Our sites we create must meet certain size and security criteria and go through rigorous permissions in order to meet a standard we require in order to host the caliber of event that Bloodbath has been known for over its 12 years of life, and sadly we didn’t find what we needed this year,” it read.

The message did not elaborate on any future plans they have for this event. In 2020, there was no bloodshed either. BFK ran the Giggle Box event space in the mall. The company also hosted Sky Church dance parties and the Silver Cloud Campout music festival in Haugan.

Pattee Canyon Ladies Salon Museum Exhibit

The Salon, a group of artists who have been meeting regularly to draw the figure from life since the 90s, is the subject of the upcoming exhibition at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture.

“Focus on the Figure: The Pattee Canyon Ladies Salon, 1989-2022” reviews their work together. Outside of the collective, they have developed individual careers that have attracted many followers here and outside of Montana, including the late Nancy Erickson and her colleagues Leslie Van Stavern Millar, Beth Lo and Stephanie Frostad.

Reception is 5:30-7:00 PM in the PAR/TV Center Lobby. The public symposium will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 14 at the Montana Theater.

Artist Nancy Erickson is known for her innovative artistry and spirit

Watermedia 2022

See what artists can accomplish with the rich, translucent medium of watercolor as Dana Gallery hosts Watermedia 2022, the Montana Watercolor Society’s 40th annual national juried exhibition. The reception is Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will be on view until November 12.

‘Cabaret’ on the main stage of the UM

A major musical production will mark the start of the main theatrical season at the University of Montana. The classic “Cabaret” is a joint effort between the School of Music and the School of Theater and Dance. Learn more in this week’s article.

The full race is October 13-16 and October 20-23. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with matinees at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Go to for tickets.

Broadway talent and student ingenuity take center stage in UM’s ‘Cabaret’

A locally written horror play at ZACC

(Two-week race, October 13-22)

Local playwright Laramie Dean will see a new work performed on stage. Dean, who taught at Hellgate High School, has written numerous touring educational plays for the Montana Repertory Theater. For “I Know the Night,” he partnered with MissCast Productions, an independent Missoula theater company that formed last year.

Here’s a rundown of the plot, according to the ZACC press release: “Ruth refuses to think of herself as a frightened old woman; even though her son Michael and her husband Kelly want her to leave her familiar and beloved apartment for an assisted living facility, she refuses to be afraid. But something happens to his apartment every night; something scrapes at the window and knocks at the door; something wants to come in. And what will happen when it does? Does Ruth have the strength to fight back?

Missoula playwright and nonprofit theater team up for ‘scary’ new play

Race dates are Thursday-Saturday, October 13-15 and October 20-22. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Content Disclaimer: The show has adult themes and is not suitable for children, it includes loud noises and flashing lights.

Montana Film Festival at the Roxy

See seven feature films and more than 20 short films at the eighth annual Montana Film Festival at the Roxy Theater.

Highlights include one of two new features from Nic Cage in Montana, “Butcher’s Crossing,” about a young man who joins a buffalo hunt in the late 1800s. Lily Gladstone brings two films into the ‘State where her acting career began: “The Unknown Country,” an independent road trip about a grieving protagonist driving through the heartland; and “Quantum Cowboys,” an all-star animated feature that involves the Wild West and theoretical physics.

Visit for full schedule and tickets.

Montana Shorts Bring “Poetry” to the Montana Film Festival

Naomi Siegel creates a big band track

The trombonist-composer Naomi Siegel, lyrical and adventurous writer and improviser, will create a work for big band.

The Hellgate High School Jazz Ensemble I will perform the piece in its public debut in honor of its new director, Jesse Dochnahl, according to Siegel’s newsletter. They use “conduction”, a style of group improvisation invented by Butch Morris.

It’s 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Hellgate High School. It’s free and open to the public.

The Bread and Puppet Circus, a decades-old political theater troupe, brings its cross-country tour to Missoula. They perform their hour-long show (with bread) at Free Cycles on Wednesday October 19th.

Raphaël Royer, courtesy of B&P Circus

The circus of bread and puppets

Now 40 years in a row, the Bread and Puppet Circus has toned down its politically radical take on theatre. There are puppets, some quite large. There is bread (with aioli) served afterwards. And the messages have not become less urgent over time.

The title of this year’s cross-country tour, which stops at Free Cycles, is “The Apocalypse Defiance Circus.”

In a press release, their founder Peter Schumann said the piece is “in response to our totally unresurrected capitalist situation, not only to the hundreds of thousands of needlessly sacrificed victims of the pandemic, but to our culture’s reluctance to recognize the revolt of Mother Earth against our civilization. Since we earthlings do not live up to our obligations as earthlings, we need resurrection circuses to cry out against our own stupidity.

The “bread” part of the title is not a figure of speech. They will be serving sourdough rye bread with aioli after the show. They also sell art, which is specifically marked as “cheap art”, including books, posters, postcards, etc.

It operates from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., donations are accepted at the door. All ages are welcome.

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