Sarah's Weekend List, August 28-30
The Jazz Fest presents Jazz in the Street, a live pop up music this weekend featuring the Urban Science Brass Band, a Montreal collective that brings infuses jazz and hip hop standards with the energy of a New Orleans marching line. The Festival will reveal event details via social media daily... looks like they will pop up on Wellington Street in Verdun on Friday! Performance run to Sunday.
Final weekend for a delicious dinner at a scrumptious price: 10 Old Montreal restaurants are taking part in the summer edition of Happening Gourmand. Choose a brunch table d'hôte option at $17 or the dinner option at $25 at restaurants like Maggie Oakes, Méchant Boeuf, Taverne Gaspar, BEVO, Brasserie 701 and more. (The dinner option is available until 7:30pm.) You can also stay in and order via Doordash. Until Sunday.
Montreal writer Heather O'Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals) has updated Macbeth with Pop Montreal for a "grand, wild, shoe-string budget theatrical happening" this weekend in the Plateau. Shakespeare's story about the natural world undone by the actions of an evil power couple is appropriate for our pandemic-cursed times. This version of the Scottish play will be performed on the back of a pickup truck, complete with music, trees and a smoke machine. And there is a gender-flipped Lady Macbeth played by the talented Dakota Jamal, and O'Neill herself will play one of the witches. Saturday at 7pm, in and around St Viateur Street in Mile End.
Speaking of theatricals, Tableau d'hote Theatre presents En Pointe, a series of 10-minute episodic plays, all set in Pointe St Charles at different, secret locations. Writer and director Mathieu Murphy-Perron weaves in repeat characters, all people emerging in various states of quarantine. They reveal the location the day of by email and on social media. Masks are required, and if you can bring a chair if you need. Free, but donations are encouraged. The fourth episode is Sunday at 3pm. And Snowglobe Theatre presents Sam Shepard's True West, livestreaming from the homes of the actors on Zoom. Two brothers, stuck at home, compete to pitch a screenplay to a Hollywood producer. Saturday and Sunday, 8pm.
I also learned this week that the massive Edinburgh Fringe Festival is online! Check out livestreams and prerecorded shows; some are free, others pay what you can. There's Van Gogh Yourself, where you can create art with the great artist, or Contestants, please go the Die(ry) Room, an interactive online murder mystery! Visit EdFringe.com.
One of my favourite events of the late summer is back, but virtually. The public market at Pointe-à-Callière Museum brings the 17th century to life, with re-enactments of life in old Montreal, with music and demonstrations and vendors hawking baked goods, wine and more. With a mostly virtual presentation this year, there will be videos and lectures online about skills and traditions from the Indigenous and colonial communities, as well as a quiz Sunday on Facebook Sunday at 7:15pm. But it's not just online... if you happen to be in Old Montreal this weekend, you might spot a spontaneous performance at Place Royal, today through Sunday.
Scores of new movies are coming to cinemas after a drought: Christopher Nolan's time-bending Tenet, Russell Crowe's Unhinged, and Bill and Ted go on another excellent adventure, nearly 30 years after they travelled through time.
For some cinema off the beaten path, The Fantasia Film Festival continues virtually this weekend. A pair of adult siblings watch their father's breakdow, which appears to mirror strange natural phenomena in horror thriller Block Island Sound; it streams Friday night. There is also comedy, like #SHAKESPEARSSHITSTORM, in which the Bard's The Tempest is reinvented with with Prospero as a mad scientist bent on revenge... whales, laxatives and opioids to follow, Saturday at 9:30pm. The fest runs until September 2.
Saturday is Record Store Day. Head here to check out local events in Montreal.
A new comedy festival gets its start this weekend. The Montreal Comedy Series presents live shows with distancing and hygiene measures. Over 100 comics will perform over nine days, at spots like Brass Door, Rosewood, McKibbins and McLean's. Catch the Comedy All-Stars, including Daniel Tirado, Andrew Albert and Bruno Ly at Peroni, 1155 Metcalfe, Friday at 9pm.
A new improv show capitalizes on Zoom's ability to change your background to anything. Catch the premiere of The Backdrop, Friday at 8pm on YouTube.
At the SAT, special programming Saturday! Starting at 5pm with a natural wine and barbecue soirée, followed by the projection of the Berlin Pop-Kultur 2020 and then then finale of the Domesicle music series , with Never Apart programming in DJS Mdubulo, Nana Zen and Gayance, and VJs Jason Voltaire and BunBun. Attend in person, 9pm to 2am, or stream on Zoom. or you can enjoy at home or at the theatre. The SAT has also reopened its delicious Labo Culinaire, if you are peckish. You also have until Monday to see the SatFest, a series of immersive digital shorts.
The Planetarium has a new photo exhibit that shows the planet in all its wild and natural beauty. Origins features captivating images of earth by Olivier Grunewald, blown up so you can see all the glorious details. You can check it out in person, or online! A virtual visit is available here. You also have the option to check it out in virtual reality. And if the Perseid meteor shower captured your imagination, the Planetarium has several long-running immersive shows about space.
Hot girl summer? How about A Summer of Beethoven! On Fridays, the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal starts streaming parts of the great composer's eight symphonies, as recorded at Bourgie Hall. It costs $15, and you can stream it for 48 hours starting at 2pm.
Great news we learned this week: the Biodome is reopening August 31. But if you're itching to learn something, why not visit one of its neighours:the Botanical Gardens and the Planetariuam are open, with kids 17 and under getting in for free until the end of August. Visit the greenhouse collections and check the blooms of the week. (It's strongly recommended to get your timed tickets online.)
And at the Old Port, paddle boat rentals, the zipline and the pirate ship have been available for the past few weeks. Now they are joined by SOS Labyrinthe, with 2 kilometres of winding paths to get lost in. (New this year: a disco zone!)
The Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur has been presenting recordings of original dance works themed around solitude every Sunday. This time, choreographer Daina Ashbee and composter Alejandra Odgers have teamed up, with Benjamin Kamino dancing and Caroline Séguin providing the music.
If you were jazzed about the third and final Mars rover launch this past Thursday, visit the Montreal Science Centre, which reopened last week. They have a show on now called The Journey to Space. Look for the Apollo mission space helmet, and a glove used by Neil Armstrong himself while training for his moon mission.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a new show: Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants includes 500 paintings and works from a private collection. Escape from the everyday with lush, colourful works by Money, Seurat, Pissarro and Degas, to name just a few of the artists. And a new public art piece inspired by the Signac show is now available for viewing. Sailboats, created by Collectif Escargo, uses linear flower gardens and shimmering paint to evoke the seascape. See it on Du Musée Avenue. And take a cheap, family-friendly walking tour of the Museum's 30-item sculpture garden. Reserve your spot here. They last an hour and take place on Saturdays, 10:30am and 12:30pm, until September 27.
The McCord Museum has a retrospective of the work of cartoonist Serge Chapleau, a talented counterpart to Aislin in franco circles.