Alberta Bair Theater presents National Geographic Live speakers as part of its 2019-2020 Season

Billings Arts
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May 23, 2019  BILLINGS, MT —In addition to theatre, dance, music, and its student matinee series, Alberta Bair Theater is presenting National Geographic Live! speakers while the theater undergoes its $12.5 million expansion and renovation during the 2019-2020 season.

“The show must go on,” says Incoming ABT Board Chair Ron Yates. “We are committed to our mission of bringing the excitement of the performing arts to Big Sky Country—even while our beloved, historic theater is under construction.”

Evening performances will be held at Petro Theatre on the campus of MSU Billings, Babcock Theatre, and Lincoln Center. The Valley Credit Union Student Matinee Series will be held at Lincoln Center and will serve more than 15,000 students.

“The upcoming season has been thoughtfully programmed to showcase artistry that is the cornerstone of Alberta Bair Theater,” says Programming Director Jody Grant. “With a show each month from September to April, we’ve got something to inspire everyone and are excited to launch a premier speaker series by National Geographic Live.”

Tickets for all shows go on sale Saturday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. on the ABT website and by phone (406) 256-6052. The ABT Box Office window opens at 8 a.m. for those who prefer to come to the ticket office now located in the ABT executive offices located at 2722 Third Avenue North in Downtown Billings.  For people who like to lock in the best prices and same seats for each performance in a series, subscriptions to the National Geographic Live! Series may be purchased in early July prior to public on sale of July 13; orders are processed in the order received either by mail or at the box office window.  To insure quality customer service, series subscriptions are not sold by phone or on the internet.

Here’s an overview of Alberta Bair Theater’s 2019-20 Season.  More information about each performance can be found on the official ABT website, albertabairtheater.org.  

September 14, 2 pm & 8 pm: The Other Mozart
Petro Theatre on the campus of MSU-Billings

There was another Mozart – a forgotten genius, the sister of Amadeus.

“Strikingly beautiful,” says The New York Times.

Directed by Isaac Byrne, The Other Mozart is the true and untold story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus – a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso, and composer who performed throughout Europe with her brother to equal acclaim, but her work and her story faded away, lost to history.

Created by Sylvia Milo, it is set in and on a sweeping 18-foot dress, amidst the Enlightenment and a climate of great social change. Based on facts, stories, and lines pulled directly from the Mozart family’s humorous and heartbreaking letters, the play still resonates today.

Along with music composed by her famous brother and Marianna Martines (a Viennese female composer who inspired Nannerl), original music was written for the play by Nathan Davis and Phyllis Chen (of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the International Contemporary Ensemble) using clavichords, music boxes, bells, teacups, and fans.

“The Other Mozart is the most dynamic, theatrical, and moving one woman show I have ever seen… If you love the art of the theatre, the history of music, the conflicts of gender roles, or the power of storytelling, you simply must see this production.” – Theater is Easy
October 12, 7:30 pm:  National Geographic Live!
Steve Winter: On the Trail of Big Cats
Petro Theatre on the campus of MSU-Billings

From trekking India’s Himalaya in search of rare snow leopards and stalking the elusive jaguar through Latin American jungles to chronicling the nocturnal activities of the “American lion” or cougar, award-winning photographer Steve Winter ventures far and wide to come face-to-face with his subjects. This is no easy task: many big cat species are in danger of extinction, so they have good reason to avoid humans.

Endangered, wild, and unpredictable, caution is required in the presence of these felines, and negotiating their habitats can be dangerous. Winter has been charged by rhinos and stuck in quicksand. He’s had mishaps with remote-controlled cameras and captured more than his share of hikers with his camera trap on a Southern California hillside before catching his memorable shot of a cougar under the iconic “Hollywood” sign. Throughout it all, Winter’s mission is to share the beauty of big cats and work to save them.

The National Geographic Live! Series is sponsored by First Interstate Bank.

December 13 , 7:30 pm:  Warren Miller’s 70th Film
Babcock Theatre

Winter begins with Warren Miller. This season is no exception as we await the 70th film that captures world class skiers, snowboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts braving the elements for the ultimate adrenalin rush set amongst some of nature’s most breathtaking landscapes.

January 18, 2020, 7:30 pm:  National Geographic Live!
Mireya Mayor: Pink Boots and a Machete
Petro Theatre on the campus of MSU-Billings

A former NFL cheerleader and daughter of Cuban immigrants who grew up in Miami, Mireya Mayor followed her unlikely dreams. In short order, she became a respected primatologist, audacious explorer, and Emmy Award-nominated wildlife correspondent for the National Geographic Channel. 

Mayor’s adventures have taken her – armed with little more than a backpack, notebooks, and hiking boots – to some of the wildest and most remote places on earth. Hailed as a “female Indiana Jones” and an inspiration to young women interested in science and exploration, she has survived poisonous insect bites, been charged by gorillas and chased by elephants … and keeps going back for more. She shares stories, images, and film clips of her adventures in this behind-the-scenes look at the hardships and danger of life in the field, along with the moments of discovery that make it all worthwhile.

The National Geographic Live! Series is sponsored by First Interstate Bank.

February 15, 2020, 7:30 pm:  International Guitar Night
Petro Theatre on the campus of MSU-Billings

Each year, International Guitar Night’s founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries from around the world for special concert tours of North America highlighting the diversity of the acoustic guitar.

The 20th Anniversary Tour features the most eclectic lineup yet: Guest host Mike Dawes (England) and his incredible two-hand contemporary style is joined by German Lopez and his sweet, high-pitched timple from the Canary Islands, along with electrifying jazz virtuoso Olli Soikkeli from Finland and Hawaiian Slack Key master Jim Kimo West.

February 24, 2020, 7:30 pm:  Hiplet Ballerinas
Lincoln Center

The only company in the world to perform the signature trademark style, Hiplet Ballerinas of Chicago, Illinois fuse classical pointe technique with African, Latin, Hip-Hop and urban dance styles rooted in communities of color. Promoting inclusivity in both their cast and audience, Hiplet features true-toned tights, modern music, and dancers of all shapes, sizes and colors. 

Since going viral in 2016 thanks to appearances on Good Morning America and Buzzfeed, the company has amassed over a billion views on YouTube, starred in a feature documentary, made a cameo in Shawn Mendes’ “Youth” music video, and performed across the world. The Hiplet Ballerinas are also often found in high-fashion campaigns from the runways of Paris Fashion Week to ads for Desigual and Swarovski Crystal.

Their premiere world tour will support the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center and the scholarships the studio provides.

March 21, 2020, 7:30 pm:  National Geographic Live!
Brian Skerry: Ocean Soul
Petro Theatre on the campus of MSU-Billings

For more than 20 years, wildlife photographer Brian Skerry has captured “the soul of the sea” for National Geographic. His images celebrate the mystery of the depths and offer portraits of creatures so intimate they sometimes appear to have been shot in a studio. Skerry dives eight months of the year, often in extreme conditions beneath Arctic ice or in predator-infested waters, and has even lived at the bottom of the sea to get close to his subjects.

His book, Ocean Soul, is a stunning tribute to our seas. In this presentation of the same name, Skerry takes us from the glacial waters of the North Atlantic, where harp seals face off with commercial hunters, to the balmy central Pacific, where he photographed damaged coral ecosystems rebuilding themselves. In Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence, he searches for the “thoroughbreds of the sea” – Atlantic blue fin tuna. And in the Bahamas, he joins researchers studying dolphin intelligence.

A passionate spokesman for the oceans he loves to photograph, Skerry inspires reverence for the marine realm and offers hope for protecting it.

The National Geographic Live! Series is sponsored by First Interstate Bank.

April 25, 2020, 7:30 pm:  Joe Alterman Trio
Petro Theatre on the campus of MSU-Billings

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Joe Alterman studied music at New York University, where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Jazz Piano Performance. In addition to performances with Houston Person, Les McCann and his own trio, among others, Alterman has performed at many world renowned venues including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Birdland and New York’s Blue Note, where Alterman has opened, many times, for Ramsey Lewis.
“Pianist Joe Alterman pulls off one of the rarer feats in modern jazz,” says Downbeat Magazine, “he swings – hard.”

Only 29 years old, Alterman has released four critically-acclaimed albums, his most recent being 2017’s Comin’ Home To You. He was profiled three times by iconic journalist Nat Hentoff and was the subject of Hentoff’s very last piece on music in March 2016. Dick Cavett has referred to Alterman as “one fine, first class entertainer” and Ramsey Lewis has called Alterman “an inspiration to me” and his piano playing “a joy to behold.”
 

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