Summer on Stage

As the valley’s busiest months approach, local theater and music groups are ready to lift the curtain on the 2018 summer season

By Molly Priddy

Certainly summer is the season for playing in the sunshine and the waterways of the Flathead Valley, but it’s also the hottest season on stage for the valley’s venerable theater groups.

From Whitefish to Bigfork, audiences will take in shows from top local and visiting talent, singing and dancing into the sunlit evenings. Grabbing dinner and catching a show is a lovely way to end a day of outdoor adventure; be sure to check out for a list of happenings every day throughout the valley.


It’s another summer of repertory theater for the folks at the Alpine Theatre Project, meaning the company puts on several different shows on a rotating schedule through each week.

Beginning the first week of July, the ATP’s cast and crew – which includes Broadway-level talent flown out for the summer – will tackle “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Fully Committed,” and “Matilda.”

“Smokey Joe’s Café,” running from July 5-21, features nearly 40 of the greatest songs from the 1950s and 1960s, all set in an idealized setting from the time. The classic themes of love, lost, and imagined all blend together for hilarious and poignant moments.

“Fully Committed” runs from July 6-18, is the one-act story that follows a day in the life of Sam Peliczowski, an out-of-work actor who mans the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan’s number-one restaurant.

“Matilda: The Musical” will run from July 7-20, telling the story of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, a little girl with an extraordinary imagination and dreams of a better life.

On July 10, ATP begins its three new, exclusive cabaret performances at the theater company’s headquarters. Patrons will enjoy show-stopping performances by Broadway artists here for the summer, featuring material hand-picked by the artists themselves. There will be drinks for purchase, and every show is unique; only 60 tickets will be sold to each event.

And from July 27-29, enjoy a stage performance of “Singin’ in the Rain Jr.” performed by the kids of ATP’s Broadway summer training camp.

For complete scheduling and ticketing information, visit or call 406-862-7469.

The Whitefish Theatre Company has a few showings of the fast-paced and lauded musical, “Urinetown,” which tells the story of a terrible drought causing the government to ban the use of private toilets. The show runs from June 7-10. For more information, visit


The Glacier Symphony has as much fun playing the summer as anyone else on stage with concerts throughout the sunny months. On July 6, the symphony will play a private performance for the Denim, Lace and Pearls fundraiser for Flathead Valley Community College’s ONE campaign to build a college center. Dinner is at Rebecca Farm followed by live music led by Maestro John Zoltek. Tickets are $150.

On July 7, the symphony plays a public performance at Rebecca Farm, with music from Lord of the Rings, Dances with Wolves, The Cowboys, West Side Story, and other popular tunes.

Then from Aug. 6-12, the symphony hits its stride with Festival Amadeus.

For schedule and ticketing information, visit or call 406-407-7000.


During the summer, the Bigfork Performing Arts Center is home to the ever-popular Bigfork Summer Playhouse. This year, the playhouse enters its 59th year on stage, featuring a rotating schedule of shows.

The theater company brings in promising talent for the summer, and the playhouse has proven to be a launching pad for careers in the past half-dozen decades, including that of Academy-award-winner J.K. Simmons.

This summer’s schedule includes: “The Totally Radical 80’s Revue,” featuring some of the best tunes from the 1980s; “The Little Mermaid,” the classic tale of a mermaid who falls in love with life out of the ocean; and the well-known “Singin’ in the Rain.”

The cast and crews will also present the Elvis-heavy  “All Shook Up;” “Into the Woods,” which features plots and characters from several fairytales; and “The HITS of the 50s, 60s and 70s.”

Shows begin in June, and other than the 80s Revue (which runs until June 30), the shows continue through August. For a complete schedule, visit

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