My first taste of musical theatre was in the fifth grade at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood where I watched the Broadway production of Peter Pan. I was mesmerized first by Peter Pan flying over the audience and next by the fact that “Peter” was actually played by a woman; the great Sandy Duncan. Later, the magic of The Phantom of the Opera and Grand Hotel and Wicked and Les Miserables and Cats seen on stages in Los Angeles and New York hooked me in for good. When we moved our family to little old Whitefish, Montana a few years ago, I assumed I’d have to wait until a vacation to get my theatre fix. Oh so little did I know.
I’d heard that Whitefish had an amazing “arts community” and that the “theatre was good,” but I didn’t really get it until I finally bought a ticket to see She Loves Me and stepped into my son’s middle school auditorium to see what Alpine Theatre Project had to offer.
From the set design to the costumes to the acting to the light and sound and incredible voices, I was awed. I felt like tapping my shoes three times to make sure I really was in Whitefish and not on Broadway. Of course, then I devoured the program, wanting to know more about the people behind this professional production. And I learned what most Whitefish folks already know. That Luke Walrath and Betsi Morrison (the married duo behind Alpine Theatre Project) worked on Broadway, actually met while working on a Broadway production of The Sound of Music, and that their entire goal behind forming ATP in 2006 was to surprise people with quality, like they’d just done to me.
Now I’m a fan. A big fan and excited to see what they’ll do next. Lucky for us, the Summer Season isn’t over. Their next production starts just next week and I’ve heard that this one involves some savvy and numerous costume changes by Luke, who plays a serial killer. They are promoting it like this…
A killer on the loose. A cop on the edge. A mother on a guilt trip. These are the ingredients for musical murder and mayhem in ATP’s final production of the summer season, No Way to Treat a Lady, running August 9 – 21 at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center. It chronicles the cat and mouse game played between a meek New York City detective and a failed actor who turns to murder in order to gain publicity in the New York Times.
“This show has it all,” says ATP Artistic Director, Betsi Morrison. “It’s got great music, a rip-roaring tale of suspense, and enough comedy to make Mel Brooks proud, not to mention ATP’s trademark Broadway talent.”
If you haven’t yet experienced the wonder of what Alpine Theatre Project has to offer, then head over to their website and purchase your tickets for No Way To Treat A Lady. Whitefish, Montana is blessed to have this quality of theatre in their midst and from what I witnessed in She Loves Me, they don’t have it in them to create anything that disappoints.
Oh, and another tidbit. From Luke’s program bio, who says he’s an “expectant father,” it sounds he and Betsi are expecting something else quite magical to happen soon.
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