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Summer Preview

Summer on the Stage 2022

Musicals and musical performances will play out this summer in Bigfork and Whitefish

By Mike Kordenbrock
Alpine Theatre Project's rehearsal for "The Who's Tommy" on July 19, 2014. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Bigfork

Bigforks’ repertory theatre, The Bigfork Summer Playhouse, has finalized its lineup for the 2022 season, which Producer Brach Thomson says is intended to offer something old, something family friendly, something more modern, and something that’s a bit of a wildcard.

Thomson said that about three quarters of this year’s company is made up of new performers found through extensive auditioning in New York, St. Louis and Memphis. In total, Thomson said about 3,000 auditions are whittled down into 20 people that are hired.

 “I think the most exciting thing is it’s a relatively new group,” Thomson said. “It’s exciting to watch them jump into what we do, and to find our style.”

This summer the theater will put on performances of “Guys & Dolls,” “Mamma Mia,” “Freaky Friday,” and “The Full Monty.” In late August the theater will begin performances of its family friendly “Hits from the 50s, 60s, & 70s.” A one night only performance of “Broadway in Love” is scheduled for Aug. 28.

Thomson said he expects “Mamma Mia” to be a hot ticket, owing to the Abba songs that always bring people back. For “Guys & Dolls,” Thomson said it’s an older, gambling, gangster-packed storyline, but one that takes place amid vibrant colors. The gangsters have a sense of humor, and for people unfamiliar with the musical, he noted that its where the song “Luck Be A Lady” came from.  

“Freaky Friday” should feature great ensemble numbers paired with a fun musical score, according to Thomson. “The Fully Monty” is based on the 1997 film of the same name, which tells the story of down on their luck male steelworkers who decide to start stripping.

Whitefish

The Alpine Theatre Project’s summer slate includes a mix of tribute bands and Broadway performers.

Starting Friday, June 24, The Queens of Country will perform in what ATP is describing as an event in which “the greatest female country singers of all-time take center stage in this hit-packed tribute concert.” The set list will draw from the music of country greats including Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Patsy Cline. Additional performances will take place Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26.

From July 26 through July 30, ATP will host its Broadway Concert Series, which is held in partnership with ATP’s Broadway Summer Training Camp. The concerts will be formatted around both Broadway professionals and camp students. ATP calls the series “a poignant and inspiring celebration of our individual differences, our collective humanity and the voices we can share to improve the world.”

On Friday Aug. 19 and Saturday Aug. 20, ATP will host two performances of “Here Comes The Sun: A Celebration of The Beatles.” The show features five vocalists playing multiple instruments as they try to recreate the excitement of a Beatles performance. The set list will include popular hits and B-side tracks.

The Whitefish Theatre Company has just a handful of performances of “Murder on the Orient Express” this season. The Ken Ludwig stage adaptation of the Agatha Christie whodunnit featuring detective Hercule Poirot will have performances June 2 through June 4. After 10 passengers board the Orient Express only nine are discovered after the train stops amid snow-covered mountains, prompting Poirot to try and uncover the killer.

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