Bad Luck Burlesque, Igloofest, Wildside,Guitars for Attawapiskat: What to do this weekend, Jan 13-15

  • Burlesque dancers like Rom Solesse and Lolita Blanca will push their luck with Bad Luck Burlesque tonight, Friday the 13th at The Wiggle Room on the Main. I’m expecting a few black cat jokes and sketches from host Bill Wood and comedian The Love Doctor.
  • Wildside, the showcase of indie theatre at the Centaur, has a raft of funny, original shows for you to catch this weekend. I recommend Empire of the Son, a very relatable one man show by former radio broadcaster Tetsuro Shigematsu, who takes care of his dying father. It’s very enchanting – and relatable. See musicals Hootennany and Backdoor Queens for a laugh... the former is about Aussie children's entertainers gone wild and the latter is a shaky but spirited behind-the-scenes look at a drag troupe. Picture Perfect is a turbulent telling of doomed photographer Kevin Carter,  The Village is about women dealing with disappointment and success and Self-Exhile is a charming, true-life tale of storyteller Nisha Coleman's hippy childhood and freeing séjour in Paris.
    • After all the shows tonight, there will be a Leonard Cohen tribute show in the theatre gallery at 10pm. 
  • Igloofest, the great annual dance off in the cold of the Old Port, gets started this weekend. The kickoff theme is Coureur de bois, and tonight’s DJs include Carl Cox, Miss Mee and The Rawsoul. On site, there will be a toboggan chute and a Nordik village... which is described as an interactive circuit of ‘different visions of temporary winter dwellings’ by different Montreal design groups. Find out more about this year's edition here.
  • This is the last weekend to check out the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts FOR FREE... it’s a brand new space bought and paid for by the legendary philanthropist couple, who both passed away early in 2016. The pavilion includes 750 works, and your entrance is free grace au 375e birthday party.
  • This is also the final weekend to catch Le Grand Balcon, the eclectic art exhibit at the Musée d’art contemporain (MAC), wherein a variety of visual artists are inspired by the concept of hedonism. 
  • Guitars for Attawapiskat is a promsihing show tonight at la Sala Rossa at 8pm...  it's an instrument drive and fundraiser for a community centre in the northern Ontario First Nation. The town has been in the news these last few years because of terrible living conditions and numerous suicide attempts. Even organizer Tara Desmond plans to bring the instruments to the community herself... bands playing tonight include Blue Odeur, Little Fire and Nag. I first heard about this event yesterday when I spied its small black flyer, but I got the full rundown via Cult Montreal’s writeup. Give it a read if you want to find out how to help.
  • The Montreal Swap Club holds a giant three-hour clothing swap Saturday afternoon at Rosemont. Bring your old duds, pay $5 and get to refill the bag you came with… if you arrive empty-handed, the price of entry is $10. Leftover items are donated to a shelter.
  • Show up in your finest witch, emo or goth gear for Strip Spelling Bee on Saturday Night. 9pm at MainLine Theatre. The theme is black outfits. Contestants are invited onstage to take part in spelling impossibly long words… and they have to shed a layer when they inevitable mess up.