I know it sounds cliché, but 2011 truly did start off with a bang. Several of them in fact in the form of shootings in Tucson, AZ. As Americans we were all so saddened by these events words were inadequate in capturing our collective feelings of grief. For me however, a kind of miracle occurred. It just so happened that I had been invited to attend a concert at the Alberta Bair Theater just one week later on January 14th. This concert was the magical pairing of Christopher O’Reiley and Matt Haimovitz.
The reason I use the term “magical” is not just because these two angels of their instruments, the piano and cello, respectively, brought music to the composers’ music to life in ways that I believe even they never knew was possible but they didn’t it without even having met one another until three days prior to their performance together. Their magic was also evidenced in their ability to inhabit the visions of an eclectic group of composers that spanned Bach to Radiohead, and they did it with such perfect precision that the audience was brought to their feet several times. We were ecstatic, enthralled, and amazed. Tears were shed, hands ached from being clapped so much, even the very air seemed sweeter.
As a native New Yorker, the Alberta Bair Theater has offered me 15 years of quality enjoyment, relief from stress, and pleasure. Lately, however, the ABT has surpassed itself in providing an escape from some of the harshness of life that only live performance can. It reminds us of what unadulterated human talent and hard work is like in real life and in real time face to face with real people. Thank you ABT, for the joy you bring to Billings and to me.
I am on staff with Alberta Bair Theater. I witness, on a daily basis, the dedication of our 100 + volunteer ushers, the loyalty of our donors who support our mission, the admiration of the children we serve through our arts education program, and the determination of our board members who push us to do the best we can in delivering the arts.
Alberta Bair Theater is a point of pride for the residents of Billings and an anchor in our downtown commerce. Our followers and patrons appreciate the quality of our performances.
Review from Guidestar
I recently have been attending a variety of entertainment made avaialble by the Alberta Bair Theatre in Billngs. I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the productions and the level of entertainmment the the ABT provides our community. I have attended a Celtic Christmas with Michael Londra, one of the best shows of this kind I have attended. I also attended Lewis Black, one of the premier comedians in entertainment available. The pleasantness of the theatre, and staff enhanced the entertainment experience. Each of these entertainers, interacted well with the audience, personalized the experience and made the effort to ensure that the audience got the value for their money.
ABT is a wonderful theater for Billings, Montana - we are lucky to have this venue in this size city! - we are commited to providing a variety of entertainment so we can attract a wide spectrum of patrons - thank you for the opportunity for comments!
Last summer I interned at the Alberta Bair Theater in the marketing department. As a sophomore in college, this experience benefited me in ways I couldn't have imagined. Because the Alberta Bair is a small organization, I was given responsibilities that wouldn't have been possible at a large company and actually felt like I made a difference.
What I also love about the Alberta Bair Theater is that they bring something different to Billings. While Montana has plenty of bars, casinos, and fast food chains, what we really lack is sophisticated entertainment and I think the Alberta Bair does a great job of providing that. The theater makes sure to bring classic Broadway plays to middle-of-nowhere Montana and I think they are doing a great job. However, I do think they need to do a better job of reaching out to a younger generation. That said, in the past few years the executive director has done an excellent job bring more popular acts to the theater (such as country musicians) that appeal to a wider excellence.
The theater also does an excellent job incorporating school groups with matinees and theater tours. One of my favorite childhood memories was taking a field trip downtown to see Where the Red Fern Grows.
However, at the end of the day what left the biggest impression on me was the people. They obviously love what they do and I've never met such a friendly, helpful, fun group of people in my entire life.
The ABT breathes cultural life into Billings. It actually brings international entertainment to south central Montana. Evey year amazing Broadway plays, classical performers, international dance companies, and major headliners light up the stage. The theater is also a community partner, providing a venue for symphony, opera, dance, community performers and more. Finally, nothing can match the excitment on the faces of the school children who attend performances at the theater each year. Billings would be missing its cultural heart if the theater were not here.