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St. Paul's UMC to unveil, dedicate sculpture of Bob, Polly Holmes

A brief ceremony will be held 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church to unveil and dedicate a new, monumental-sized sculpture. The 7-foot-tall bronze, entitled "Who Gives All Gifts," honors the memories of Bob and Polly Holmes, and all those who give of themselves to their community in courage and compassion.

The sculpture, created by Helena artist Tim Holmes, who is also Bob and Polly's son, depicts an image of the physical embodiment of compassion in the world. It will be installed outdoors just to the north of the building, with the figure leaning down over downtown Helena.

Bob Holmes, retired pastor at St. Paul's, was a big band leader, a college chaplain, a pastoral counselor, a folk music arranger, prolific writer and a tireless champion for justice and equality. Bob was often called one of the best preachers west of the Mississippi.

His wife and partner Polly was a playwright, a former state legislator, a political columnist, recipient of the Belle Winestine Award and the ACLU Jeannette Rankin Award for lifelong contributions to Montana politics, popcorn maker to the world and owner of an enormously compassionate heart. Both Bob and Polly died in the fall of 2005.


Myrna Loy Center to have gala premiere for 'The Producers'

The Myrna Loy Center will roll out the red carpet for a Broadway-style gala premiere party 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24, to celebrate opening night of the hit musical "The Producers." Helena theater diva Dorothy Harper will host the party, which is a benefit for the Myrna Loy Center.

The special premiere-night party will draw celebrities arriving in limos, the flash of the paparazzi, and a red-carpet entrance into a champagne reception before the 7:30 p.m. curtain time. Party-goers will also be served gourmet desserts at intermission.

"The stage play of 'The Producers' was one of the biggest hits in the history of Broadway, and we want to celebrate being able to present that kind of high-quality experience in Helena," said Shalon Hastings, Myrna Loy Center board member and gossip columnist for the event. "It's a night to celebrate Helena theater, support the Myrna Loy Center, and have a taste of the high life, Myrna Loy style."

The event will also recognize Dorothy Harper for her many years of acting, directing, playwriting and supporting local live theater. Harper was theater director at Carroll College for 35 years. A closing performance of the play will honor Vicki Smith, another longtime professional actress from Helena.

Tickets to the premiere gala ($50) are available at the Myrna Loy Center, 443-0287 or online at

"The Producers," starring Paul Connolly, Kevin Casey, Ace Etchart and Michael McNeilly, is directed by Ed Noonan and is a collaboration between Helena Theatre Company and Carroll College. The play, written by Mel Brooks, won an all-time record 12 Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway in 2001. The show is based on Brooks' own 1968 movie starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. "The Producers" will continue through Nov. 8, and tickets for all other performances are $16.


New Christy Minstrels to perform at Helena Civic Center Nov. 16

The New Christy Minstrels are coming to the Helena Civic Center stage, 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students, and can be purchased at both Leslie's Hallmark locations, online at or at the door.

Under the direction of founder Randy Sparks, the New Christy Minstrels' lineup includes five original members of the popular 1960s folk group.

The New Christy Minstrels are known for their peppy, upbeat melodies, including Top 40 folk music hits such as "This Land Is Your Land," "Green, Green," "Today" and "Ramblin'." Former members include Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes.

Call 227-6588 or go to

workshops and classes

Next Holter Use-eum workshops for children slated for Oct. 24

The Holter Museum of Art will offer another one of its popular Use-eum workshops for children ages 3-7, 10:30-11:45 a.m., Friday, Oct. 24. Holter Museum docents (volunteer museum educators) will present a range of fun and challenging activities for children with an accompanying adult, including art viewing, stories, movement, music and hands-on art projects. A suggested donation of $5 per child supports the Holter Museum docent program. A reservation is required; call 442-6400.

Improvisation retreat to be held at Chico Hot Springs Nov. 15-16

An "Improvisation For The Spirit" workshop and retreat will be held at Chico Hot Springs, Nov. 15-16.

Led by Katie Goodman of the Equinox Theatre Company, Spontaneous Combustibles and Broad Comedy in Bozeman, the workshop uses improvisational theater games to access one's inner creativity.

Goodman is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and has combined her interests in the spiritual growth process with her skills as an improvisational comedian and teacher.

The workshop will use improv, in Goodman's words, "to enable participants to learn self-trust, release themselves from judgment, take-risks and accept challenges, practice being present, and be flexible and open to change. The comedy improv exercises teach us to surrender to the moment, ridicule perfectionism, stay in beginner's mind, listen to our intuition, move with the flow and give up the goal."

"This retreat is a great place to connect with other like-minded, creative souls," says Goodman. "There will be a lot of laughter and a lot of self-discovery."

The workshop begins Saturday morning, Nov. 15, at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 16. Chico Hot Springs is located one hour south of Bozeman. The workshop fee is $255. Prices for accommodations range from $45-$200 a night.

Call (406) 580-8586.

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