Around the Town: Helena-area arts and entertainment news published May 19 | Local


Premiere Dance gala with Reverend Slanky

Premiere Dance gala with Reverend Slanky

Reverend Slanky will perform in the Helena Civic Center Ballroom on Friday, May 20, at a Premiere Dance Company gala.

Reverend Slanky, Montana’s funkiest seven-piece heavy-hitting funk band, will perform in the Helena Civic Center Ballroom 7 p.m. Friday, May 20, at a Premiere Dance Company gala.

The event includes performances by PDC and the hilarious Bad Dads of Ballet.

Admission at door is $15 for adults; $5 for ages 12 and under. Food is available for purchase.

Visit or call 406-442-6519 for more information. 


Audition for new staged reading series 

The Montana Playwrights Network Staged Reading Series is launched with a new play written by Ross Peter Nelson, “Les Chiens Errants.” Auditions are by appointment beginning May 24 and will be held at the Helena Avenue Theatre (HAT), 1319 Helena Avenue. Needed are four women with excellent reading performance skills. A public presentation of this play is scheduled for June 25 at 7 p.m. at the HAT, and will include a facilitated discussion with the playwright, assigned play responders, performers and audience in attendance. To make an appointment and for more information, please call or text: 406-235-0353, or email: [email protected].

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Play summary: In 1920s Madrid, three young men from the countryside met in graduate school. They would go on to change the art world in their specialties: Federico Garcia Lorca in poetry, Luis Buñuel in film, and Salvador Dalí in painting. But at the time of their meetings, they were just three “stray dogs” who made an instant and powerful bond with one another. A bond that seemed insoluble, until the pressures of fame, jealousy, and sexual tension shattered their friendship, Les Chiens Errants (The Stray Dogs) explores both the arc of that friendship and surrealism, the mode of expression that marked their work.

Ross Peter Nelson has been a professional writer since he sold his first magazine article in 1986. Initially writing technical books and essays, he found his métier in drama and got a playwriting degree at the University of New Orleans in 2015. He has written nine full-length plays and dozens of shorter works. His play “Becoming Number Six” recently took second place at the Las Vegas Little Theatre’s new works festival and his short plays such as Call Me Comrade and Zoloft Tango have garnered awards from the US to Australia. He wrote half of Les Chiens Errants during a residency outside Barcelona. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and co-founder of Raven’s Feather Productions, a Helena theatre company.


Starz on Stage group trip

Starz on Stage continues to pursue another aspect of its musical options by offering another group trip coming July 20-24.

“Montana, Medora and More” is a four night/five day trek in and around Montana and in Medora, North Dakota. A full schedule of 10+ events is planned with the Medora musical as a major stop at their 3,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, with a pitchfork fondue dining experience prior to the big show. Also scheduled is the Teddy Roosevelt one-man show production, all taking place in the Badlands of Theodore National Park. Other stops on the tour include the Fort Peck summer theater and Havre Beneath the Streets.

For more details, check out the website at; email [email protected]; or call 406-227-9711 or 406-459-3967. The all-inclusive price of the escorted motor coach trip is $1,099 per person/double occupancy. A $350 deposit is required to save your space.

Although the Starz on Stage cabaret of music has closed its doors, bus trips are still being planned along with the possibility of other musical surprises around the community. 

‘Violinist’s Dreams’ at the Holter 

Stephen Cepeda, Helena Symphony Orchestra concert master, and Hyeri Choi, associate professor of violin at Idaho State University, perform “Reves de Violonist” or “Violinist’s Dreams” in concert May 25 and 26 at the Holter Museum of Art. Recitals begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for the general public or $10 for members. Visit for ticketing and information. 

The program features works by violinist composers and is centered around Eugene Ysaye’s monumental duo. Other works include Louis Sphor’s “Duo Concertante,” Halversen’s “Concert Caprice,” and female Polish violin virtuoso Grazyna Bacewic’s “Suite For Two Violins.” 

Hard Hugs album release party 

Hard Hugs

Synth dance band Hard Hugs will perform an album release concert at The Myrna Loy Thursday, May 19.

Hard Hugs band members plan a “fun party” immersive experience for their debut album release party 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 19, at The Myrna Loy.

“We like our shows to be unique catered experiences,” says Lenny Eckhardt, who does vocals, synths, and guitar.

He’s joined by Regan Clancy (vocals, bass), Jon Anderson (drums, vocals) and Joshua Loveland (synths, percussion, vocals).

The synth-punk-disco dance band is preparing some videos to enhance the party ambiance, plus some special lighting effects, and a few surprises.

Desperate Electric, the Montana-based duo known for their “electro soul brilliance,” will be opening.

Check out Hard Hugs at

Tickets: $20 at 15 N. Ewing St., For more info, call 406-443-0287.

Events at Lewis & Clark Tap Room

Never Come Down

Never Come Down performs bluegrass and Americana May 20 at Lewis & Clark Tap Room. 

Lewis and Clark Brewing Co. is planning the following events.

  • May 19: Jackson Holte is a hard-nosed, soft-spoken folk singer. Matt Strachan, a Montana based singer songwriter, shines on stage with his high energy, crowd pleasing band The Hoot Owls.
  • May 20, 7-10 p.m.: Weaving together modern and traditional styles of bluegrass and Americana, Never Come Down is a Portland, Oregon based five piece. $5 cover.
  • May 21, 7-10 p.m.: Alt-country favorites Micky and the Motorcars. Tickets are $20-$150 on
  • May 22, 6:30-9 p.m.: Seen on Conan and Comedy Central, comedian Mohanad Elshieky will make you laugh at what you thought you couldn’t. Tickets are $20 on
  • May 26, 7-10 p.m.: Father/daughter duo The Teccas perform original songs written from personal memories and life experiences that touch you in so many different ways.

For info on all shows: Lewis & Clark Tap Room, 1535 Dodge Ave., or call 406-442-5960. 


Rodney Norman: Humor with a dry, wry twist

Rodney Norman

Standup comic Rodney Norman performs his philosophical-absurdist show at The Myrna Loy Friday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m.

“You’re nothing special, so you might as well get over it and be happy anyway.”

So says one of Rodney Norman’s personas – a sage Moses look-alike, Leonard McCrunstky, that’s earned him millions of followers on TikTok.

The stand-up comic sensation expects that several of his popular stage personas will make appearances at his two upcoming shows in Helena this week.

He performs 7:30 p.m Friday, May 20, at The Myrna Loy, and outdoors at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Rodney Street Block Party.

“My stand-up is clean, so all ages can attend. I talk about life and everything and anything about families, relationships, philosophy, psychology, history, science, and we just have a lot of fun.”

Tickets for The Myrna Loy show are $20 and available at 15 N. Ewing St., For more information, call 406-443-0287.

The Rodney Street Block Party show is free.


Walter Piehl show at Holter

The Holter Museum of Art opens a new exhibit, “Walter Piehl: A Retrospective, 1962 – 2018,” April 28 to July 7, in the Baucus Gallery, 12 E. Lawrence. An artist reception is 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7, with an artist talk at 5:30 p.m.

Info: 406-442-6400.

Holter hosts 4-H photography

The Holter Museum of Art, 12 E. Lawrence, is hosting a 4-H Photography Project through June 10 in the Nicholson Gallery.

Students will be exhibiting black-and-white photographs covering the activities, work and events of being in Lewis and Clark County 4-H.

Queen City Framing showcases Diane White

Diane White’s show, “Taking the Back-Road Home,” is featured at Queen City Framing & Art Supplies during May. Her local Montana oil landscape paintings are inspired by her country roots, while her style reflects an attention to details seen through the softened edges of memories.

Fiber art in Basin

The Refuge Gallery hosts “Intertwined: fiber, process, and dialogue” in Basin by artists Jennifer Reifsneider and Heidi Marie Faessel.

Refuge Gallery is open Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., on May 21 and 28 and June 4, 11 and 18, or by appointment. Call Nan Parsons at 406-422-9338 to make an appointment. 

On June 25, 4-7 p.m., the exhibit closes.


Rodney Street Block Party celebrates new look 

Rodney Street Block Party

Videographer Jeanie Warden is one artist collecting stories and reflections about the Rodney Street neighborhood as part of The Myrna Loy’s creative placemaking project.

Check out the new look and new vibe on Rodney Street, Saturday, May 21.

A whole day of fun events kicks off from 10 a.m. to noon.

At 2:30 p.m. The Myrna Loy will screen a new documentary film, “Rodney Street is Something Beautiful,” by videographer Jeanie Warden.

Take a walking tour of the new art projects at 3:30 p.m.

At 4:30 p.m., dance to tunes by All Bets Are Off.

Tiernan Irish Dancers perform at 6:30 p.m., comic Rodney Norman is at 7:15 p.m., and from 8 to 9 p.m. it’s a foot-stomping show by Max Hay.

This event celebrates the two-year “Rodney Street Is…” community development project headed by The Myrna Loy and collaborating with artists, small businesses and community members.

For more info, visit or call 406-443-0287.

Helena movie listings


760 Great Northern, 406-442-4225,

  • Downton Abbey: A New Era, PG
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, PG-13
  • The Bad Guys, PG
  • Men, R
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2, PG
  • Firestarter, R
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, PG-13
  • Father Stu, R
  • The Lost City, PG-13

The Myrna Loy

15 N. Ewing,406- 443-0287,

  • Downton Abbey: A New Era, PG
  • Memoria, PG

Kenneth Proto

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