Yesterday we drove 8 hours total to take in a performance of "Chicago" at the Cutler Brothers theater in Hub's home town of Deer Lodge, Montana. The town of has a storied history but fell on hard times with demise of the Milwaukee RR of which it was a major crew change hub and has been declining ever since. Now it's largest employer is the prison, a growth industry to be sure but not one to make a town flourish.
But Montanans come from sturdy stock and when determined they are a power to be reckoned with. Such it is with Kelly Cutler and his family of theater lovers. And my oh my, what they are doing for Deer Lodge as we witnessed yesterday. We've know Kelly since his high school days when he mowed my in-laws lawn. Even then he was into filming skits starring his brother and doing gigs around town. We've watched the emergence of a young man who I will be prouud to say, "I knew him when..."
Having taken over the town's video store, they converted it into a most serviceable theater that seats I would guess about 125. Tickets were a mere $15. The performance was a sell out plus.
Like Kelly and his family who all have a part, a lot of the talent is home grown and wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. From restaurant owners to prison personnel to high school students to college drama majors they all share a passion for theater. And they are good.
Mr. Cutler can do it all. He's plays a wicked piano, can dance, sing, and of course direct. Perhaps his greatest strength is his ability to draw the best from his actors, no small talent in of itself.
The progress of bringing live theater to small town Montana has been documented by Kelly and the basis for what he'd like to see become a reality show. Isn't it time there's something on the tube for those of us who have a passion for something other than the self-absorbed, mindless drivel that's out there? How about something that shows real creativity, passion other than physical and the march toward success?
I've embedded Kelly's trailer for the concept though it doesn't do justice to what he's accomplished. You can also find more on You Tube.
If anyone who reads this would or could help him get it to the powers that be to move it forward please let me know. Or contact Kelly directly. He's good. Really good.
Otherwise, if you're in the neighborhood, take in a performance. You won't be disappointed.