Sarah’s Weekend List, December 1-3

The Esplanade Tranquille skating rink is open for business! Bring your own pair, or rent. PHOTO: Ulysse Lemerise
Sarah Deshaies produces the Andrew Carter Morning Show. Every Friday at 8:20am, she tells you about the big, quirky and off-the-beaten-path events happening in Montreal. Here is this week's list, with links for more information so you can get out and enjoy the city! Submit your event to

The skating rink at Esplanade Tranquile is now open for business! Le Patin Libre will be offering ice dancing lessons and demonstrations, Friday and Saturday 7:30 to 11pm. While you are at the Quartier des spectacles, take in the Great Montreal Christmas Market and the just-launched Luminotherapie light display. 

Friday’s music picks: The Jonas Brothers bring their Five Albums, One Night tour to the Bell Centre, 7pm. La Bottine Souriante launches new album, Domino!, Club Soda at 8pm. Californian death grind band Cattle Decapitation will be joined by Immolation, Sanguisugabogg and Castrator at the Corona-Beanfield, 7pm. Brooklyn indie pop band Nation of Language, at Le Studio TD, 8pm. Pianist and electronic producer (and global music director for W Hotels) LP Globbi with Bad Snacks at Bar le Ritz PDB, 8:30pm. Moroccan rapper ElGrandeToto lights up L’Olympia, 8mp. 

Saturday’s music picks: The Wainwright siblings Martha and Rufus assemble friends and family for A Not So Silent Night, a holiday fundraiser for the Kate McGarrigle fund, which provides support for sarcoma research and music therapy. Luminaries like Robert Charlebois, Ariane Moffatt, Patrick Watson, Jeremy Dutcher and of course, Anna McGarrigle, will perform at L’Olympia, 8pm. English singer-songwriter (and Drake muse) Ama Lou at Bar le Ritz PDB, 7:30pm. Dubstep DJ Subtronics at Place Bell, 7:30pm.

Sunday’s music picks: Montreal folk singer Sarah Segal-Lazar launches her new album, Valleys, at the Segal Centre studio, 7:30 pm. BONES with Xavier Wulf and Eddy Baker at MTelus, 8pm. 

Nuits d’Afrique continues its series of weekend mini-festivals: Les Cabarets Acoustique hosts acts all weekend, including Brazilian singer Thaynara Perí, who fuses bossa nova with samba, jazz and rock, 9pm Friday. Club Balattou 

The Orchestre Métropolitain makes time for families with music from a legendary kid’s television show:  Passe-Partout at the Symphony at Maison symphonique, Saturday and Sunday, 10am and 4pm.

Grammy-winning conductor Arnie Roth leads the FILMharmonic Orchestra and Choir as they perform selections from a legendary video game series, Final Fantasy. Catch Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy Sunday, 3pm at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. 

Les 4 saisons d’André Gagnon Symphonic honours the composer on the third anniversary of his death. Sunday, 3pm. at Théâtre Maisonneuve. 

Kevin!!!! Attila Glatz’s movie-and-music show tackles John Williams’ score for 1990 holiday classic Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin stars as the boy left behind on a family vacation, who manages to take care of himself, help a lonely neighbour and defeat some bad guys to boot. Home Alone in Concert at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm. 

Extra/Beautiful/U explores beauty, trust and family ties through the eyes of five Montreal women. Michaela Di Cesare’s newest play places a beautiful, selfish influencer at the centre of the constellation. Lara is a one-time reality TV star from St Leonard, but when she is disfigured in a car accident, her future lies with an old classmate and bullying victim, Sam, who is now a surgical innovator. Lara’s harried mother and little sister Louise, who has Down’s syndome, juggle their own wants and needs, while Sam’s trusted scrub nurse wrestles with disillusionment when she meets her idol. Infinitheatre presents the show as part of Centaur Theatre’s Brave New Looks series, until December 9. 

Actor Jake Epstein achieved success early in his career, from making his stage debut at age 12 and then getting cast as aspiring musician Craig Manning in a Degrassi High reboot. But despite his time on Broadway (including Beautiful and the doomed Spider-Man musical) and success in TV, Jake found himself plagued with doubt and the fear of failure. His solo show, Boy Falls From the Sky, tackles the pitfalls of show business. Until December 10. 

A lonely fisherman ponders his lack of connection in Newfoundland-set play Quiller. Graduating NTS directing student Allison Kelly is from Newfoundland, and says this play has helped her work on her homesickness. See Quiller the André-Pagé Studio, 5030 St Denis. Friday, 7:30pm and Saturday, 1pm. Free. 

Toronto writer Christopher Ross sees his play about humanitarian work translated into French in Tremblements. Acclaimed actress Debbie Lynch-White plays a fictional portrayal of a real Quebec nurse whom Christopher befriended over the past six years. In the play, Marie volunteers with Doctors Without Borders in Africa, where she finds herself wrestling with ethics and trauma of aid work. Until Saturday at Espace Go.

Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite teams up with writer Jonathon Young in Kidd Pivot, a dance-theatre hybrid set amid a group of medieval re-enactors facing dissolution. This Danse Danse show is at Theatre Maisonneuve, Friday and Saturday, 8pm. 

Dancer and visual artist Mona El Husseini conscripted her mom to join her in Creatrix, a dance-storytelling show that examines sharing through generations. Mom Hala Farahat is not a performer by trade; she worked as a physician and then became a science educator. Catch the mother-daughter show at the MAI, Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm. 

Come and go as you please during this three-hour performance featuring one man performing contortion:  Andréane Leclerc directs Neil Sochasky in this exercise in attention. L’abîme, temps 3  d’À l’Est de Nod at La Chapelle, Saturday, 3pm. 

The talented students at John Abbott’s theatre program perform The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s riveting dramatization of the Salem witch trials. At the Casgrain Theatre until December 7. 

Chicago native John Roy is headlining at The Comedy Nest, with support from Mike Carrozza, Raajiee Chelliah, Gino Durante and more. Friday and Saturday, 8 and 10:30pm.  

At Montreal Improv in St Henri, check out a variety of shows, including variety show Funny Business, Saturday at 7pm, with hosts Walburt “Wally” Whimsie and Barnaby “Barnacle” Barnes. 

Browse books, graphic novels and zines at Expozine, which will platform over 250 publishers and artists. Saturday and Sunday, 11am and 6pm at St-Arsene Church, 1025 Belanger in Rosemont. 

Artist Sonia Bazar explores the people and history of a quiet Jewish cemetery using hauntaing photography, textiles and sculpture. Back River is at the Museum of Jewish Montreal, until March 3. 

It’s Winter Wonderland at The Wiggle Room! On the bill: Lily Monroe, Roxy Torpedo, Clara Develours and Enshantay, with hosting by owner-performer Frenchy Jones. Friday and Saturday, 8pm. 

And on Sunday, Cirque Céleste presents a Spicy Showcase of their burlesque and circus students, Sunday, 7:30pm. 


The Arsenal Contemporary Gallery in Griffintown hosts an immersive show that takes you inside the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral. Consecrated nearly a thousand years ago, the impressive Medieval church was nearly lost during a brutal fire amid restoration in 2019. This show takes you into the history of the Cathedral, and its rebuilding process. Until December 30. 

Cavalia’s Illumi – Dazzling World of Lights in Laval has returned, with the option to walk or drive through 19 universes along a 3-kilometre path, and be dazzled by 25 million LED lights! Open until early January. 

A new museum has opened in the heart of downtown: Centre des Mémoires Montréalaises promises to capture the city’s history and citizens. Check out the vintage neon signs at the entrance, and look for the colourful balls that once decorated Ste-Catherine in the Gay Village. There are two exhibition up now: a lookback at the 90 years of Le Chaînon, the women’s shelter and resource centre, and Détours, which focuses on hidden corners of the city. Located at 1201 St Laurent. 

Place des Arts opened 60 years ago this year! The sprawling complex looks back on its long history with a new exhibition, An Artistic Journey, with images from major performances and first-hand stories. At the Espace Culture Georges-Émile-Lapalme. 

The McCord Stewart Museum’s excellent and informative Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience. The show profiles the 11 nations living within the borders of Quebec, with testimonies and carefully curated objects. 

The very popular Bébé symphonique show has just returned to the Planetarium! This multisensory show is designed for kiddos up to 18 months of age, with adapted sound levels and swirling images of the stars. The 33-minute show is paired with the educational short film, Stardust. Though this weekend is booked,  start making your plans to see this popular show before it ends December 17.