Surprisingly we get some really good theater for being so back woods. We have had everything from Pork and Bess opera to the Ed Asner to many different comedians.
Parking is free in the garages at night. There is one on 2nd Ave in the 2700 block, so you can cut across the alley for a quick walk.
The theater is named for a local philanthropist Alberta Bair. She has many things named for her around town. In the Billings Clinic there is a room named for her and at St. John's Lutheran Home there is also a room there in her honor. But since her death the theater has had a ghost. If you stay late after a performance, sometimes there is a woman in the balcony in large red hat, this may be her. Several have been chased out of the theater when they were closing up late and alone.
Dress Code: It is a dress nice theater. Many do dress up although not required.
The Alberta Bair Theater is a wonderful place in Billings to enjoy live shows. This 1416 seat theater is on the National Register of Historic Buildings, and is the largest performing arts center between Minneapolis, Seattle, and Denver. The theater features such entertainment as plays, musicals, operas, dance groups, international groups, comedians, and various types of musical programs. Although most performers are not well know, such people as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, George Winston, Judy Collins, the Smothers Brothers, and Burt Bacharach have performed at the theater. Part of their mission statement is to bring the excitement of the performing arts to the people of the Northern Rockies and enhance the quality of life in Billings, Montana and the surrounding region by presenting a broad spectrum of quality arts events and educational programs. In my experience, they do this well. We have never seen a show at the Alberta Bair that was of poor quality, and compared to big city theater, the Alberta Bair is a bargain. The tickets in my picture are of four programs we attended. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the Diavola Dance Company were only $30 per ticket. Chicago and Evita were $47, and these were in the prime seating area. The tickets are even less if you are willing to sit farther back. Combine this with a dinner in one of the wonderful nearby restaurants and you have a big city style night out on the town.
If you plan to be in Billings, and would like to go to the theater, I highly recommend that you visit their website, and order tickets as far in advance as possible. The best seats often sell out early. If there are cancellations, you may be able to purchase tickets at the door, but only try this if you are unable to purchase tickets ahead of time.
Dress Code: I have found that the type of program being presented, seems to reflect on what people wear. Although nice, but casual clothing works for all programs, if it is an opera or some other program that most children would not enjoy, some people enjoy dressing up more.
Didn't get a chance to go in this place, but it was connected (next door) to Q Cuisine (see Restaurant Tip.)
This tiny block, just adjacent to the Sheraton Billings, packs alot of punch. From the martini bar, to Q cuisine, to two art gallerys, a vintage clothing store, a hair salon, and what is supposed be the best bakery in town, one has many choices to experience some of the best small businesses in Billings.
Check it out---if you do, let me know how that martinis are!
Dress Code: Looked like business casual or urban smart would be appropriate.