What to do this weekend: Wildside, Drag Kings and Johnny Halladay
Centaur Theatre's experimental theatre showcase Wildside Festival wraps up this weekend. The 21st edition has a special emphasis on stories about women and non-binary identities. There are six boundary-pushing shows to check out, and here are two of my picks:
- The Morning After the Life Before is about the fight to legalize gay marriage in Ireland. Performer Ann Blake tells her story of coming out at age 31, falling in love and getting engaged (though not legally allowed to wed!) It’s a touching story, with Ann's honest storytelling punctuated by her co-perfomer Lucia Smyth's snappy comedic timing.
- Helen Simard's Idiot is an rock 'n roll gig meets modern dance meets Iggy Pop dream phase. Four sinewy dancers clad in tights and colourful blazers twist and jump alongside three easily distracted musicians. If all this sounds like it will be hard 'to get', don't stress... Simard just wants her audience to take it all in. A longtime fan of Iggy, this is her second part of a trilogy devoted to the pop star.
Find the full schedule here.
Check out live pro wrestling at Battlewar, Sunday night at Foufounes électriques. The opening invitation is Mathieu St-Jacques vs "Triple X" Sexxxy Eddy!.
Speaking of stepping into the ring.. you likely know about drag queens, men who dress and perform as women in over-the-top, fantastical outfits and makeup. Drag kings, then, are (usually) cis women who put on their best male swagger for the stage. Meet Montreal's best drag kings at The King of Kingz competition Saturday night at Cabaret Cléopatre as they strut and answer skill-testing questions to earn the title. It's hosted by the House of Laureen, a team of drag queens who host a monthly event at the Café.
On Friday at Café Cléopatre, BurlesGeek pays homage to Jean-Philippe Léo Smet, the Frenchman better known as Johnny Hallyday. The rock 'n roll star passed away in December. Dancers like Bibi Lolo Lolo Bang Bang and Cœur de Lyon will dance and sing karaoke to his hits. Local drag star Uma Gahd is MC. Friday night at Café Cléopatre, 9pm.
The 26th Ciné Gael Montreal Irish Film Series kicks off Friday night with a screening of The Journey. The recent film retells a 2006 car ride taken by two rivals in the fight for Irish nationalism: Ian Paisley, a Protestant and Northern Irish leader, and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, a former IRA leader. Screenings in the series will continue through January and February.
And more burlesque for good measure: check out Curvy Cats VI, starring vixens like Miss Meow and Lady Muffin Stuff. Friday night at the Wiggle Room.
And at the Comedy Nest on Sunday night, CJAD's Joey Elias hosts a special spotlight on our neightbour to the West with Sunday Funday Ottawa Invasion! Comics include David Pryde, Megan Honey, Heather Hurst, Nick Burden and Heather Joy. (Pryde, Honey, Hurst, Burden and Joy - sounds like a wrestling crew!) Sunday at 8pm.
NB: the Friday night skating at Beaver Lake has been cancelled due to the weather. More like... swimming in Beaver Lake, amiright?