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The Fun Five: Experience a piece of Ireland and/or Shakespeare for free

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The Elders perform at the free An Ri Ra Irish Festival in Butte this weekend. Courtesy photo
The Elders perform at the free An Ri Ra Irish Festival in Butte this weekend. Courtesy photo

Friday again is upon us fellow fun finders.

This weekend features quite a bit of music, some classic theater, and some heritage, namely of the Irish persuasion.

But, without further ado, we at Big Sky State Buzz present you with the Fun Five for Aug. 8-10.

1) Shakespeare in the Parks presents “As You Like It” and “Romeo and Juliet”

 Friday and Saturday at the University of Great Falls

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefor Art Thou Romeo?

For this weekend, at least, you can find him on a stage at the University of Great Falls. Friday night’s “Shakespeare in the Parks” production features the iconic William Shakespeare play “Romeo and Juliet”

The free shows start at 6 tonight (Friday.) The other enticing Shakespeare production of “As You Like It” runs Saturday, also at 6.

The plays offer a perfect date night filled with romance, intrigue, humor, drama and acting. Plus, even better is that they’re free.

Also if you haven’t, check out my article I wrote about the shows that ran earlier this week here. 

2) The annual An Ri Ra Irish Festival

Uptown Butte all weekend

For the first time in its history, the An Ri Ra Festival in Butte is offering free admission. The festival this year features music from the authentic Celtic band The Elders, Whiskey Asylum, the Irish-American band Solas, the fan favorite duo Evans and Doherty, Rory Makem and the Trinity Irish Dancers.

On Saturday at 12:30 p.m.,  Bob O’Boyle, director of The Gathering, will give a presentation on the Irish of Montanaas told through The Gathering. It will be a mixture of story, film and history at the Butte-Sliver Bow Public Archives.

For more on the An Ri Ra Festival, including a complete schedule of events, check out the event website.

3)  The Marshall McLean Band and Joseph live in concert

Machinery Row in Great Falls on Friday

McLean, a Great Falls native, returns to his home town for a show tonight (Friday) from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Coming with him from Spokane is the band Joseph, a group of three sisters from the Pacific Northwest who play harmonic, three-voice folk music.

McLean will open for Joseph this time around, with Joseph going up after his solo set. Joseph is named after a small town in Eastern Oregon and three sisters’ grandfather.

They’re full of positive female energy with a little bit of an edge to them. This should be a sweet show if you’re into underground, lo-fi, high quality music.

But, don’t take my word, here’s a sample of Joseph’s music:

Admission is $5 per person at the door.

4) The Big Sky Telemann Festival wraps up in Great Falls

Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church

If you have not had a chance to see the Big Sky Telemann Festival, coordinated by the multi-talented Steve Olson, there are two days left to check it out.

Along with music from the famed German composer, the group of 15 local musicians will play an array of pieces from the baroque period. For more about what’s happening at the festival, check out my previous article I wrote earlier this week here.

5) The Busdriver Tour stop in Great Falls

Sunday at 6 p.m. at Giant Springs State Park

The Busdriver Tour started in 2011 with three Livingston musicians, Ian Thomas, Paul Lee Kupfer, and Danny Freund, and has since expanded to include a bevy of talented singer/songwriters.

Sunday’s free show features the group performing its fiddle-based folk/country songs in front of Giant Springs State Park. It is the second concert at the park this summer, with the Montana Wild Cats comprised of Phil Aaberg, Jack Walrath and Kelly Roberti, performing there in June.

Check out a few tracks from their to their album “Halfway Between” below.

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