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Montana’s first original musical “The Chopping Block”, set in the late 1800s, comes to life on the Cutler Bros. stage in Deer Lodge this July and August. Written by Kelly and Matthew Cutler, “The Chopping Block” is infused with comedy and emotion as it meshes the Wild West with the sentimental children’s story of “The Giving Tree.”

The musical premieres on Friday, July 12, and runs through Aug. 4, with showings at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. There will be no shows the weekend of July 19, and a second, half-price dress rehearsal will be Thursday, July 25.

Among the cast of this Montana premiere are both Kelly and Matthew Cutler as well as Kamryn Johnson, who played Ariel in last season’s “The Little Mermaid,” and Marquis Dijon Archuleta of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, who has been with Cutler Bros. for six years now. Other cast members are primarily youth and high-school-aged thespians from the Deer Lodge Valley.

“The Chopping Block” follows the story of young Mack Haroldson in 1873. The fledgling wanderer only wishes to woo the heart of his best friend, Miss Jane Elliot. Unfortunately, the two friends grow up and Miss Jane falls into the deceptive arms of Mack’s nemesis and the town’s sheriff, Bill Buckwilder. Mack often consults a talking apple tree for advice and the tree becomes his best friend. The story progresses and Mack finds the success he’s always dreamed of having, but not the happiness.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling the Cutler Bros. box office at 406-846-4096. Visit cutlerbros.com for more details or call the number listed. Reservations are highly recommended.

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