Boise Music Week kicks off, Opera Idaho’s ‘Werther’ and Music Theatre of Idaho’s ‘Annie’

The cast of Boise Music Week’s “Mary Poppins,” led by Sarah Howard as Mary and Christian Grey as Bert, is hard at work rehearsing for its performances that highlight the weeklong free celebration of Boise music and theater. Rehearsals start in January for the May production.
The cast of Boise Music Week’s “Mary Poppins,” led by Sarah Howard as Mary and Christian Grey as Bert, is hard at work rehearsing for its performances that highlight the weeklong free celebration of Boise music and theater. Rehearsals start in January for the May production.

Boise Music Week’s production of “Mary Poppins” is technically sold out, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still have a chance to see a performance.

Based on the 1964 Disney film, “Mary Poppins” plays at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, to Friday, May 12, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13.

Tickets for the free musical sold out very quickly this year through Boise Music Week’s new online system.

“We knew this was going to be a popular show,” says Carl Spjute, the volunteer who heads Music Week’s publicity committee. “We just didn’t know how popular.”

But like every Music Week musical, any seat that’s still open 10 minutes before the show starts is up for grabs. “We’d love to have all the seats filled,” Spjute says.

The musical is big finale of a music-filled nine days that features community performances by Boise School District student musicians, church choirs and organists, folk dance troupes, local jazz musicians, community bands and more.

Keeping all of the entertainment free is part of the history and spirit of the event, which was founded in 1919. It was one of the first free music festivals in the nation, and it continues to be that — a grass-roots celebration of music and talent that offers all of its performances free of charge and draws thousands of people from across the Treasure Valley. More than 2,000 people volunteer each year to pull it off.

There also are plenty more free shows during Music Week, which runs Friday, May 5 to Saturday, May 13, in venues around the city. Some events do require a ticket, but — like the musical — if you show up, you could get a seat.

dance night 2
Provided by Boise Music Week

More Music Week events

▪  7 p.m. Friday, May 5: International Dance Night highlights Boise’s folk and traditional dancers with “Dance Across the Sea.” You’ll see Irish Dance Idaho, Oinkari Basque Dancers and others, South Junior High School, 3101 Cassia St., Boise. Free. Ticket required. Free.

▪  11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 6: Music in the Park outdoor concert, Gene Harris Bandshell in Julia Davis Park, 700 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise.

▪  7 p.m. Saturday, May 6: All That’s Jazz! presents “Jazztastia Redux” with Chuck Smith, Sandon Mayhew and Friends and a capella vocal ensemble Mostly Mary. South Junior High School. Free. Tickets are gone, but empty seats can be filled 10 minutes prior to show time.

▪  7:15 p.m., Sunday, May 7: Church Night brings together choirs from several Treasure Valley churches, including a bell choir, the Boise State string quartet, gospel singers and soloist Michelle Pederson. First United Methodist Cathedral of the Rockies, 717 N. 11th St., Boise.

▪  7 p.m. Monday, May 8: Showcase Concert Night features performances by Treasure Valley Concert Band, The Boise Chordsmen barbershop quartets. South Junior High School. Free. Ticket required.

▪  12:15 p.m. Monday, May 8, to Thursday, May 11: Noon Organ Recitals, St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral, 518 N. 8th St., Boise. Free. No ticket required.

▪  7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9: School Night features performances by more than 200 students in Boise School District choirs, bands and orchestras. You’ll hear everything from jazz to pop to classical. Taco Bell Arena, 1401 Bronco Lane, Boise. Free. No ticket required.

▪  12:15 p.m. Friday, May 12: Egyptian Theatre Organ Concert and Silent Movie, Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise. Free. No ticket required.

Find more information at

MTI takes on ‘Annie’

The cutest little redhead in American theater returns to the Music Theatre of Idaho’s stage with its production of “Annie.” It tells the story of a spunky curly-headed orphan who longs to leave the orphanage and find her real parents. When billionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks invites Annie to spend Christmas at his mansion, she jumps at the chance to find her family, with the help of Warbucks’ promise of a $50,000 reward.

The show is filled with the undeniable American can-do spirit and a litany of well-known songs including “It’s a Hard-Knock Life,” “Tomorrow,” “I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here” and “Easy Street.”

7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11, through Saturday, May 13; 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, Nampa Civic Center, 311 3rd St. S. $22 general, $20 seniors, $18 students. 468-2385,

Opera Idaho’s ‘Werther’

Dynamic tenor Joshua Dennis leads Opera Idaho’s performance of Massenet’s “Werther.” This is the first time the company has performed an opera by Massenet. The French composer wrote 30 operas, and “Werther” is one of his best known. Dennis is known for his robust tenor and for his acting ability that allows him to bring a deep sincerity to his characters.

The story is based on Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” which the German poet wrote about his own life. It’s a tender love story of a young poet who would rather die than be without the woman he loves.

This cast blends some some top-notch imported talent with some of the Treasure Valley’s best voices.

Another note: MTI will produce “The Lion King Jr.” for its kids summer camp that will run Monday, July 10, to Saturday, Aug. 12. Rehearsals run from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, and include two performances. It’s $200 for the five-week camp at

7:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 7, Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise. $24-$72.