Sarah's Weekend List, April 30-May 2

The first-ever Pizza Week includes Ristorante Pomodoro in Little Italy, which is offering up a margherita pizza. PHOTO: La Pizza Week
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

Gifted cello player Yo-Yo Ma performs live in a show that looks back to his early days, as it's been 50 years to the week since he played his debut recital at Carnegie Hall. See him play Bach's Suite No 2 for solo cello, among other pieces, Saturday, 2pm. 

Over 100 restaurants are participating in the first-ever La Pizza Week, from the people who brought you Poutine Week. Order in, and vote for your favourite online. Fiorellino in Outremont is serving up cacio e pepe pizza, Les Trois Brasseurs has an onion soup reduction on a pizza crust, called a "onion soup pizzacacia", Fungool Pizza in NDG presents Le Reuben, smoked meat on top of a "Detroit-style dough" and for something more traditional, Ristorante Pomodoro in Little Italy features a margherita pizza (see above). Until May 7.  

The Segal Centre presents Every Brilliant Thing, its first live, in-person show in over a year! Originally a Edinburgh Fringe play, this simple but heart-rending show introduces you to a man (Daniel Brochu) throwing back to his childhood, when he discovers his mother is fighting depression. Determined to help her, our seven-year-old narrator begins listing all the 'brilliant' things that make life worth living, including ice cream and the colour yellow. I'll be hosting a panel about the show's theme of mental health and wellness for Sunday @ The Segal, free this Sunday at 11am on The Segal's Facebook and YouTube pages. Please join us!  

Gorgeous views and photo opps abound as the cherry and magnolia trees are blooming at the Chinese and Japanese pavilions at the Botanical Gardens. (A planned protest near the Olympic grounds might dissuade you from visiting on May 1, though) The Space for Life complex is open, including the Biodome, Botanical Gardens and the Planetarium, but make sure to reserve and buy your ticket in advance.  

Literary arts fest Blue Metropolis launches virtually on Saturday with over 50 events with 200 artists, in a variety of languages. Explore the narratives of the Jewish and Palestininan communities in Israel, and efforts to bridge their differences, on Sunday, 1pm for the Gabriel Safdie Event. And Montreal publisher Linda Leith discusses her memoir about books about life around the world, The Girl from Dream City, Sunday at 2pm. Until May 2.

Netflix has a new series inspired by the true story of the first non-Japanese samurai, a black slave who arrived in Japan hundreds of years ago. Oscar nominee Lakeith Stanfield is Yasuke, a skilled, outsider warlord who is trying to leave his violent past behind. That is, until he has to rescue a little girl sought after by mysterious forces.

Kate Winslet stars as a grizzled detective haunted by a cold case in her hometown outside Philadelphia, in Mare of Easttown, now on Crave. For a funnier turn, the absurd feature comedy Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar places buddies-in-real-life Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo as Midwestern gal pals who go on vacation, while falling into a plot.  

On the docket at the Grand Ole Opry: country stars Priscilla Block, Home Free, Ronnie Milsap and Dylan Scott. Saturday at 8:30pm. 

Country singer Thomas Rhett tries out new songs from Country Again: Side A, as well as fan favourites in One Night Only from Nashville, Friday at 8pm. 

Boston rockers Dropkick Murphys release their new album, Turn Up That Dial, Saturday at 8:30pm. 

Arnie Zwaig, who talks money with us every morning at 6:20am, recommends the Berkshire Hathaway Annual shareholders meeting, livestreaming on Yahoo. See Warren and Buffett and Charlie Munger share their thoughts on the markets and the economy. Saturday, 12:30-5:30pm (meeting starts at 1pm). 

Sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage's Hump Film Festival has returned with a latest round of 'Best Of' from his annual DIY erotica series. Catch the shows this weekend, Friday at 11pm and Saturday at 9pm, with dates until May 29. 

Friday is the final day to catch urban art fest Art souterrain. This edition plays with the notion of time under its theme of 'chronometry'. Check out the visual art pieces in a 4-kilometre route that starts at Palais des congrès, onto the Centre de Commerce Mondial, Place Victoria and finally, the Jacques-Parizeau building. Map here. The festival also has an online component. Until April 30. 

Acclaimed Quebec circus troupe Les 7 Doigts shot and filmed a performance last September in Montreal that is now available to fans at home. En Panne envisions an absurd dystopian future where  there are no public gatherings or theatres, forcing artists from different walks of life to reunite underground - sound sorta familiar? The creators say they wanted to play with the concepts of 'aristocracy, poverty, power and pleasure' in this covid-inspired romp. The French-language version is available for now, with the English-language one soon to come. (You have a month to view after buying your ticket.) Get a taste of En Panne here. Runtime: 56 minutes.

Pointe-a-Calliere Museum's new show is Italian Montréal. Drawing on loaned treasures from local families, the show touches on culinary traditions and how first-generation families fared after arriving in the city. A quarter of a million Montrealers count themselves as having roots from Italy! (While you are there, visit A Railroad to Dreams, all about trains!)

In the Old Port, the Voiles en Voiles adventure park features archery, aerial circuits, inflatable games. And MTL Zipline and The Observation Wheel in the Old Port has reopened, open daily 11am to 7pm. (Each carriage is cleaned after use.)  

OASIS immersion is a new, 'touchless', next-level experience on the ground floor of the Palais des congrès. There are 105 laser projector, 119 surround sound speakers and a LED lighting setup. You begin in the Anticipation Room, proceeding through a set of different rooms and wind down in the Decompression Chamber. Current exhibitions include: stepping into the worlds of pianist Alexandra Stréliski, and astronaut David Saint-Jacques's recent trip to space. There is also a tribute to hygge, the Danish tradition of finding coziness in the everyday. Each visit is about 75 minutes.

Consider checking out a museum, now that they are open to the public: you pick your entry time in advance, so visits are socially distanced. Demand is high as well, so you will want to select your date in advance. Visit the McCord for the Dior haute couture show (today is the anniversary of the debut of the New Look!) or the MAC for Des horizons d'attente, its bundle of recently acquired works that address today's sense of malaise. The Museum of Fine Arts presents Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and other shows.

And if you don't want to leave the house, several museums are still offering virtual shows... including the MAC, which has updated and expanded their sensational exhibit on Leonard Cohen, A Crack in Everything. Cohen gave his bliessing for the show, which features pieces inspired by his life and work, back in 2015, and it went on display around the time of passing in 2017. The show has been enriched for online viewing, available until February 2024. The Louvre has also just put its over 480,000 items online. From the world's most-visited museum, check out the antiquities to Islamic art to medieval decorative arts, to modern sculpture and beyond. 


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