Jul 28

Chicago Rocks Cutler Bros. Theater

ZChicagi2

By Rex Kendall


‘Chicago’ continues this Friday, July 31st on the Cutler stage and will mark the last big musical of the Cutler Bros. summer season.


If you’re not familiar with the story or the award winning movie that followed the award winning Broadway production, expect a rare, extravaganza that looks at the concepts of law and justice and is one of the few musicals that provide the audience with something to think about the next day.


Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb and John Kander’s musical premiered on Broadway in 1975, giving life to newspaper stories of political corruption, murder, greed, and treachery in Chicago circa 1920. The show won every conceivable award plays can win and has been called by many ‘the best musical ever made.’
In 2002, it was made into an Academy Award winning movie starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere.


Theatrical razzle-dazzle moves this coldly comic story of two murderesses who parlay the lurid press coverage of their crimes into a vaudeville career.  In the Cutler Bros. production, the heroine, Roxie Hart is played by University of Montana theatre major Sarah Ottley.


Roxie never hesitates to do whatever she has to in order to win an acquittal in her murder trial. She’s married to a chump named Amos who is basically the only honest one in the lot. Amos, portrayed by Kelly Cutler, plays a fool at best, an insensitive clod at worst, and a wimp the rest of the time. It’s in their sneaky dealings with each other that these characters really shine.  Roxie shoots her lover, Fred Casely, played by the redoubtable Marquis Archuleta, who made the fatal error of attempting to walk out on her.


Roxie tries to convince Amos to take the blame. When that doesn’t work out, she learns to play the corrupt judicial system with a virtuosity of a Horowitz. In prison, awaiting trial, she meets Velma Kelly, another murderess, who has learned to use the system to beat the system. They share a lawyer, Billy Flynn, who is as corrupt as they are. Together they shimmy and slime their way through the corrupt system.

Top dog inmate Velma is played by Cutler Brother’s veteran Mariann Woods (Cameron), most recently been seen on the stages at Port Polson. Matt Cutler slimes his way through the role of Billy Flynn.
Hart and Kelly develop a fierce rivalry under the watchful eyes of the prison Matron (Cutler veteran Muriah Buck of Deer Lodge).  ‘Chicago” is the dancingest show the Cutler Brothers have produced in a long time, and while the choreographers, Carrisa Marie Lund, Heather Bach and Kelly Cutler remain true to Bob Fosse’s signature bump-and-grind routines, they have made their own creative contributions to the show.


We choreographed the show to the cast’s strengths while staying true to Fosse’s flair. The numbers have very distinct Fosse-esk moves along with more modern styles of dance. The cast was wonderful to work with as we pushed them to perform steps that they weren’t used to. I’d say this level of dance is new for the community, but everything certainly came together,” said Bach, “What we choreographed isn’t easy to learn, so the fact that we were able to accomplish this in the rehearsal time that we had is impressive. Our audiences will not be able to tell how much hard work went into these numbers, which really shows we have a marvelous cast.”
Director Cutler said he’s amazed with the talent of the cast.


“I can see why dance choreography took such a hard physical and emotional toll on Bob Fosse,” said Cutler, “I’ve choreographed a lot of routines over the years, but this is the pinnacle. Every move has to be blocked just right. The timing and the incredible score have to be totally symbiotic. The athletic and artistic demands on the actors huge; they really have become one big, writhing, singing, dancing animal. They blow me away.”
For the finale, Roxie and Velma team up to put on a stage show and receive the gratifying attention they both crave.
The “Chicago” cast boasts twenty plus actors and a full eight piece orchestra to boom out the dance numbers. Several song favorites from the movie are also in the stage version including “Give Them the Old Razzle Dazzle,” “All that Jazz,” “Mr. Cellophane,” and the notorious “Cell Block Tango.”
“The music alone is worth the trip to the theatre,” said Director Cutler.


“Chicago” will run on the Cutler Brother’s stage from July 24 to August 9. Performances are every Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $15 for general admission and reservations are highly recommended due to limited seating space. Call the Cutler Brother’s Box Office at (406) 846-4096 to reserve seats or if you have questions. For further information visit cutlerbros.com.

Jul 28

Hit Rock Band “Girl On Fire” Returning to Cutler Bros. Theater!

zgirlThe Seattle-based rock band “Girl on Fire” will perform on the Cutler Brother’s stage on Thursday, August 6th with opening acts beginning at 7:00 pm. This is the second tour “Girl on Fire” has made through Deer Lodge and they will be accompanied by Twin Bridges band “Muddkikker” and Deer Lodge’s own “Seventh Passing.” The rock show is put on by Butte’s “Closing Chapter Productions.”

“Girl on Fire” began receiving national attention with the release of their debut record “Not Broken” on Century Media Records. Their album debuted at #25 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Charts. In 2013, they toured with such acts as “Buckcherry,” “Halestorm,” “Pop Evil,” and “Filter.” “Girl on Fire” was founded by members Austin Held, guitarist Nick McMahon, bassist Josh Mouser and drummer Harry MacDonald in 2007.

This is the second visit to Deer Lodge for the Seattle-based band. Last time the band graced the Cutler stage was last February but a blizzard kept audiences from traveling to enjoy the concert. “We wanted to bring them back. They were so entertaining,” said Cutler Brother’s producer Kelly Cutler. He added, “They were robbed of a crowd last time due to Montana weather but we want to give it another chance.”

Tickets to “Girl on Fire” are $12 if reserved by Friday, July 31st. After the 31st tickets are $15 and may be reserved by calling the Cutler Bros. box office at (406) 846-4096. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. Cutler Bros. Theatre is located on Main Street in Deer Lodge. For more information visit cutlerbros.com.

Jul 18

Cutler Bros. Productions More Than Just a Theater

Cutler Bros. Theater

By Rex Kendall

You’ll find the Cutler Brother’s Theatre on Main street in Deer Lodge directly across from City Hall. On days the City Council isn’t meeting, the theater provides the best comedy and entertainment in the valley.


The theatre venture began in 2003 when brothers Kelly and Patrick Cutler decided to produce an SNL-styled comedy show generally known as Comedy Night. The first Comedy Night took place in July of 2003 at the historic Rialto Theatre and, to the brother’s surprise, nearly 200 people attended.  Since that time, Cutler Brothers Productions has produced everything from live stand-up comedy and Improv to big name heavy metal bands, Broadway musicals and film productions.

The theatre is run by the Cutler Family, including mom, dad, the brothers Cutler and an army of volunteers. The family manages every aspect of their entertainment endeavors from directing the stage shows and films to marketing their efforts.  When the Cutler brothers were barely of their diapers, their mother, Jeri-anne, gave them a VHS Video Camera. Initial Cutler Brother Productions included WWF wrestling matches in the backyard to “stop motion cartoons” which employed the brother’s toys, crayons and paper, and their endless imaginations. Starring in the early Cutler Brother films were the brothers, and countless friends and neighborhood children. Jeri-anne and their father Butch (Albert III) were quite often coerced into playing roles in the young artist’s films as well.

As the years went by, the brother’s cinematic capabilities and strengths grew. The Cutler boys were now developing plots and implementing costumes and visual effects into their short films. They bought newer equipment with their allowances after they dropped the original video camera in Cottonwood Creek while filming a remake of the movie “Daylight.”   They also began to take an interest in live stage production as another outlet to exercise their creativity and performance ambitions.


Kelly Cutler’s first real audition was for Missoula Children Theatre’s “The Pied Piper” where he was cut from the roster with twenty other unfortunate children. Being a young boy that didn’t believe in “no” as an answer Kelly began producing his own stage productions in his parent’s backyard. He’d cast his brothers and neighborhood children, as well as parents and relatives. Then he would invite everybody he knew to watch the productions on a set made out of blankets and large cardboard boxes.


Cutler said they were always amazed when people actually showed up for our plays – even adults!
“We knew we were hitting the big time when we started putting girls in our horror movies, besides mom and my aunt Kathy. Patrick took to the film side of things, Matthew sunk his chops into technical effects, including a secret recipe for “Cutler Brother’s blood,” Kelly mused, “I fell in love with acting on film and the diversities of the live stage. We began labeling their endeavors ‘Cutler Brothers Productions’ more frequently.”  Between 2005 and 2007, the brothers went on to produce several Broadway musicals and straight shows including “Calamity Jane,” Neil Simon’s “Rumors,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and “Of Thee I Sing.”  

Kelly wrote and produced two more original plays bringing his total to seven and Matt wrote and produced an original play titled ‘The Setup’.  In the summer of 2007 the brothers produced their second feature length movie ‘Mad Dad.’
After “Of Thee I Sing” and Comedy Night 13 in 2008 the brothers looked for a new venue to host their summer seasons. Cutler Brothers Productions was six years old and the entertainment company had acquired quite a load of sets and costumes. (Twelve truckloads to be exact.)

In March of 2011 the brothers held auditions for the popular Broadway musical ‘Annie’. Over 70 people showed up for the audition and the Cutler brothers, having no place of their own yet, turned back to the Old Montana Prison stage to produce the show. “Annie” was a massive success selling out every performance.  Following the 2011 season, the Cutlers purchased an old hardware building on Main Street, gutted it, built a stage, and drove to Bonham, Texas to buy theater seats for $1 a piece. In the summer of 2012 Cutler Brothers Productions produced their first full summer stock season since 2007, beginning with Broadway’s ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’.

Since that time Cutler Brothers Productions has upgraded their theater significantly and produced a successful summer stock season every year. They are now looking forward to their fourth year in their new facility.
The brothers have produced everything from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to ‘Of Mice and Men’ and they employ talents from all over the state of Montana.

On top of the brother’s summer stock seasons they also produce live standup comedy shows that have seen the likes of several Comedy Central comedians, heavy metal bands such as ‘Girl on Fire’ and ‘Walking Corpse Syndrome. Every October they produce ‘The Cutler Brothers Creepshow’, an interactive haunted house that requires a cast of 30 plus. The ‘Creepshow’ takes place inside the walls of the Old Montana Prison, making it a truly creepy experience and a huge draw for people all around the west.

Also in 2011, work began on the Cutler Brother’s third full-length film. ‘The Cottonwood City Project’ is a unique film that shares hints of “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Jackass,” and “The Blaire Witch Project.” The movie was accepted to the Los Angeles Comedy Festival and was nominated for Best Original Picture.

Another film is in the works, working title ‘Home Video’, that is scheduled for release before the end of the year.
Cutler Brothers production of ‘Mary Poppins’ kicks off the Deer Lodge theater’s 2015 season and runs May 1 – 17 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees as 2:00 pm. Tickets are $15 and reservations are strongly encouraged as the theatre has limited seating space. Reservations may be made by calling Cutler Brother’s Box Office at (406) 846-4096.

The rest of the 2015 season will bring the intense drama “To Kill a Mockingbird” in June and the sizzling hit “Chicago” in July and August. Season passes are available at Steeles of Butte or by calling the number above. Visit cutlerbros.com for more information.

Besides readying their casts for Summer Stock 2015 in Deer Lodge, Cutler Brothers Productions continues to make plans for future projects, bigger movies, and innovative ideas to push the limits of their creativity. The company looks to turn Deer Lodge into a Northwest entertainment mecca.  For the last few years, CBP offered a non-profit summer school for area youngsters. Next year the ‘Rising Star Academy’ will expand to include high school grads from around the country in a preparatory school focused entirely on stage and film production.

“It’s our hope to turn our hometown into a college town once again,” said Cutler, “Anyone looking to pursue careers in theatre, film, or the arts will be able to begin here, in one of the most beautiful areas in Montana. Throw in all the recreational opportunities from fly fishing to skiing and the bonus of a small town, family friendly atmosphere and you won’t be able to find a better place on the planet to watch your dreams come true

Jun 17

The Aristocats (Kids) Opens Thursday

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Rising Star Academy and Cutler Brothers Productions of Deer Lodge will proudly present the end product of their Summer Theatre Camp in “The Aristocats – Kids.” The show will run Thursday, June 18th at 7:00 pm and Saturday, June 20th at 2:00 pm. Tickets are only $5 and the kid’s musical will be presented at Cutler Brother’s Theatre.

“The Aristocats-Kids” is a shortened version of Disney’s beloved “The Aristocats.” The same characters and songs fill the show but it is overall adapted for the stage. The story of “The Aristocats” revolves around a mother and her three kittens. They are kidnapped by the house butler when he learns that Madame’s fortune will go to her kittens and not to him. Edgar, the butler, takes the kittens out to the country and leaves them there. The journey begins as the cats find their way back to Madame and encounter several unique characters along the way including Thomas O’Malley, Scat Cat, and some talkative geese.

Nearly twenty children showed up for the Rising Star Theatre Camp. The kids have gone through a summer intensive of dance, song, and stage craft. They attend camp Mondays to Fridays from 9:30 am to 3:15 pm and are under the direction of University of Montana Acting Major, Cody Root. Root was last seen in Cutler Brother’s “Mary Poppins” as the affable Bert.

Jun 17

Cutting Edge Dance Starts June 29th

 

Cutting Edge Dance is a summer program being offered through the Cutler Brothers Theatre and Rising Star Academy. It is an opportunity for kids of all ages to come experience multiple styles with an opportunity to perform at the end of the summer.
Cutting Edge Kids_Cutting

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