Sarah's Stay-at-Home Weekend List, May 8-10
Mother's Day is going to be different this year: maybe you've been cooped with your kids or your mom for weeks, or you can't even remember the last time you embraced. Remember that shops will still be closed on Sunday, so if you have not picked up something nice yet, make sure to do so! Whether you can serve Mum brunch in bed, or can do a breakfast drop-off, maybe consider trying Chef Ricardo's recipe this week: buttermilk waffles. And make sure to tell your mother figure you love her!
Cabaret Berlin, a real-life venue in the Village, hosts an underground '80s new wave dance party to kick off the weekend. DJ Davidé provides the music, Bunnyguts offers up the visuals and "virtual barman" Coffin Joe hosts the Zoom room chat. Dance along to Rewind: 80's New Wave Virtual Dance Party Friday starting at 9pm.
Actor Andy Serkis, who memorably gave voice and shape to the sneaky Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, is live-reading Tolkien prequel The Hobbit online right now for charity. It's expected to last 12 hours!
And the stars of the Harry Potter movie series have started reading chapters from the first book for you to listen in. To kick if off, Harry himself (Daniel Radcliffe) reads Chapter One, The Boy Who Lived, where a magical orphan comes to live at an ordinary home on Privet Drive. (I'll remind of this online game I shared last week: Hogwarts Digital Escape Room.)
The Centaur has postponed the production of Fences, August Wilson's play about a black man in 1950s Pittsurgh who aspired to be a pro baseball player before having to settle as a garbageman. (The set is actually still up at the theatre right now.) But even though the show will not go on, artistic director Eda Holmes speaks with director Mike Payette and actor Quincy Armorer about the production, online Saturday at 2pm. Tune in on Facebook or YouTube, and take part by asking a question.
The National Theatre School held a virtual graduation for the class of 2020 last weekend. Students had to scramble to put their final projects online instead of at Monument-National Theatre downtown. Catch The Game, about a pair of siblings who grow up playing the iconic N64's Super Smash Brothers. Performed on Zoom with audience interaction, face filters and greenscreens, the show is now online. As is i am entitled to rest, a fairy tale-inflected meditation on the relationship between mothers and daughters. The School (NTS) is also putting up online courses about the many disciplines within theatre, available to all. Also check out Art Apart, the program supporting creators during this pandemic.
Montreal indie sketch troupe Commotion Theatre presents the latest episode of Night Slime, a sketch show inspired by the '90s era public access TV talk shows. Friday at 10:30 pm
My pal Mart hosts a pub quiz for the Burgundy Lion restaurant group, Sunday at 8pm.
Bird Protection Quebec is leading virtual birding 'field trips' every Saturday morning. You don't have to go anywhere...just record which birds you see from home, then share your findings online. They recommend birding from 7am to noon. Register at birdprotectionquebec@yahoo.
How about learning a new instrument, or polishing your skills? Fender Guitars has made guitar, ukulele and bass lessons free for the first million users over the next three months. Check it out here. And thank you to listener Mark, who sent in this resource for the erstwhile uke players out there like myself: the Ukulele Orchestra in Lockdown.
If the outside world is too scary or not scary enough, consider this Sunday evening activity: Festival de la bete noire hosts Live Screaming Sundays. Tune into live horror stories, and consider submitting your own poem, fiction, story or music to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monthly storytelling series Confabulation has shelved their live shows, so intead, theya re collecting stories from Montrealers about isolation. The stories are not from what's going on now, but memories about illness, being stranded or just feeling alone. You can submit a story yourself: it must be two to five minutes in length, and filmed at home. Email them to Storiesinisolation@
Up for some bricolage? Consider making a rainbow to put in your window... it's the cool kid thing to do to encourage our first responders and health workers, who are working to keep us safe and healthy.
Catch up on some great Canadian movies like Bon Cop, Bad Cop or The Trotsky, with a 20-movie list here. Or delve into the American Film Institute’s list of 100
The Segal Centre is using Facebook to keep in touch. They are streaming daily dance classes at noon, Monday to Friday. And band leader Nick Burgess hosts a Broadway Happy Hour on Thursday and Saturday at 5:30pm. Request your fave show tune in the comments!
The Montreal Museum of Fine Art is making new content available each day on social media, like videos, podcasts, quizzes: find the morning update on Facebook or Instagram. On Fridays, they are sharing a new art-therapy activity on their Facebook, devised by the museum's art therapist, Stephen Legari. And visit EducArt, a free online resource that draws links between 350 works of art in the Museum's collection and subjects like math and social sciences. There are 75 videos featuring local luminaries like author Kim Thuy.
A bevy of other Canadian museums are putting their offers online: Winnipeg's Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau are making their works and exhibits available online. The Calgary Zoo is also sharing their Panda Cam, where you watch their two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, frolic for a few hours every day.
International museums like the Louvre, the Sistine Chapel, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the British Museum in London and the Hermitage Museum are also online. The Metropolitan Opera has a nightly stream. And visit Yayoi Kusama's mesmerizing Infinity Mirror installation.
And if you're looking for something different visit Open Culture, a fantastic website that lists dozens if not hundreds of free books, audio books, movies and online courses. The selection here is a mix of the classic, indie and the offbeat. Pick up a Jane Austen novel, watch the original A Star is Born or browse through videos of poets like Maya Angelou reading their work.
With libraries closed, consider finding out if your local branch allows for ebook downloads. With my membership at the Bibliothèque nationale, I have thousands of books, audiobooks and sheet music compilations at my fingertips through an spiffy app called Libby.
And remember: take care of yourself, and others! Get plenty of sleep, eat well and focus on what you can control in this crisis. Donate to your favourite charity and food bank, call your mom, give meditation a go. Stay home, stay safe!