2011 Cutler Bros.
One More Prison Show
In 2010, Cutler Bros. Productions took its only summer off in the past 20 years. Kelly had moved to Chicago and was directing plays for the Skokie Parks District. Pat had moved to Pittsburgh with his wife at the time, and Matt was attending school in Dillon.
In the fall of 2010 Kelly moved back to Missoula to finish his Music Education degree and upon graduation he landed the music job in Deer Lodge. Jeri-anne kept pushing the idea of producing "Annie," but Kelly didn't know if Deer Lodge had the kids. After all, we never really did a show that revolved around children up to this point. Jeri-anne said she knew the perfect girl that could play the part: Rachel Nicholson. After much coercing, Kelly agreed to produce the show...but WHERE?! You guessed it...back at the old stomping grounds.
In Missoula, Kelly was heavy into MCT and University Productions. He played Poo-Bah in the "Mikado" that January and was involved with opera theatre under the direction of the U of M great - Anne Basinski. He met fellow actor and good friend John Knispel after deciding to take part in the Grizzly' Marching Band for his 4th year. John was a talent of his own and agreed to play the role of "Rooster" in "Annie." John brought along his girlfriend Maria Miller at the time to play Lily St. Regis and fellow opera theatre colleague Myra Nurre to play Miss Hannigan. Kelly not only returned home from Chicago, but if Cutler Bros.' Theatre was to be a "thing"...he wanted to step up our game. The three Missoulians solidified a more professional attitude around Cutler Bros., as well as a handful of Grizzly' Marching Band horn players to round out the orchestra.
Rachel Nicholson made the perfect Annie. Spunky and mature beyond her years. Elizabeth Cozby played "Grace Ferrell," seen here with Myra Nurre as Miss Hannigan.
"The Cabinet" was a mix match of odd balls including Wolfie Winter, Terry Johnson, and Martin Reinbolt. On one particular rehearsal where the actors were struggling to remember their lines Kelly (the director) turned into a football coach and "chewed them out." One of the little girl's dads who was picking her up from rehearsal heard the entire thing. Kelly apologized and the man said, "no, I love it. You sound like your dad out there." Kelly's dad is Coach Cutler, who coached the Warden's Football team for 35 years.
Elizabeth Cozby (Lowery)
Myra is a Billings-native. Kelly met Myra during MCT's production of "The Mikado" in 2011 and he loved her sense of humor. Myra could also sing the pipes off a Catholic Church. In fact, she almost did. During Kelly's college roomate Roy McKenny's wedding Myra sang the "Our Father" and we swear you could hear it in North Dakota. A true talent.
Josh Pentland made his first appearance in a Cutler Bros. ' play via "Annie." Josh played an 80 year old butler...he was only in 6th grade at the time. Josh is an old soul and would go on take many, many covetted roles in the future with Cutler Bros. Theatre.
Martin Reistad (with the mustache) made his first and only debut with Cutler Bros. Productions. Martin is the childhood best friend of Kelly Cutler and he starred in countless home movies growing up, many of which were Friday the 13th-themed and many of which he was "killed"...not once, not twice, but countless times. We went through a LOT of fake blood! Martin has always been a good sport and the kids in "Annie" loved flirting with him. "Mr. Bundlessss!"
The three Missoulians played the villains in "Annie" with just the right amount of comedic flare. Their big number was titled "Easy Street." At one point in the song they sing the lyrics, "Mother, we know you're...DOWN there listening," and the three look towards Hell. Well one particular show we had two priests in the front row and during this line they hunched over in their seats and almost died from laughter. Rest in Peace Father McGurk!
"Annie" was also the debut for Annmarie Downey, an actress that would go on to win many Conny Awards and play many amazing roles in the future with Cutler Bros.!
Zane is the cousin to Elizabeth. He graciously accepted the role of Daddy Warbucks...well...maybe not "graciously." Kelly told Zane he had a role for him and Zane agreed to meet at the Golden Spike Casino. After pumping Zane full of multiple beers, he agreed to play the role. He even shaved his head for the "Daddy Warbucks look." Zane had taken several roles with the Deer Lodge Players and also played Mr. Roberts for "Mojo Bombay." He would go on to be a founding member of the "Das Froot Comedy Team" and star in countless "Comedy Nights" as well as straight shows and musicals at the Cutler Bros. Theatre.