Sarah's Weekend List, February 19-21

Check out a free light show in tribute to Black History Month, at the Segal Centre. In partnership with Black Theatre Workshop. PHOTO: Leslie Schachter
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 sarah.deshaies@bellmedia.ca

A virtual unknown before frothy Regency rom-com Bridgerton landed on Netflix Christmas Day, Regé-Jean Page is now gearing up to host Saturday Night Live. Page played the mysterious, complicated Simon Bassett, Duke of Hastings - so I'm expecting to see his dashing looks and British accent to pressed into service, along with a Bridgerton spoof. Puerto Rican megastar Bad Bunny is the musical guest. Saturday, 11:30pm. 

Igloofest continues its night series of free electronic music sets. (Though it won't be the same, not freezing in your one-piece snowsuit!) Each set will be broadcast on Facebook, Twitch and YouTube from different locations in Montreal. Tune in Saturday to see Quebec artist Jacques Green live at the Old Port (where Igloofest is usually held).

Dustin Lynch, Jon Pardi, and Lainey Wilson perform at The Grand Ole Opry, Saturday at 9pm. 

Two Montreal artists, electro-pop singer Maryze (now famous for rating icicles) and Polaris honouree and metal-rap sensation Backxwash, join Indigenous-led rock band Zoon in the Wavelength Winter Festival. Never heard of this event? Well, it's based in Toronto... but two of the sets were recorded at indie Montreal venues La Sala Rossa and The Diving Bell. (Represent!) Saturday, 7pm. 

Haitian-Montrealer Maky Lavender is a rising name in Quebec hip-hop, having released three (!) albums in 2020, including At Least My Mom Loves Me. He performs from Ausgang Plaza, backed up by five musicians. Catch the webcast for $10, Friday at 8pm. 

Montreal's Black History Month TD Series continues, with a mix of official programming this weekend, including a panel about wellness and empowerment, arts-focused Fade to Black Festival and Calculating Your Net Worth, a talk on personal finance. Massimadi Festival highlights Afro-LBGTQ+ cinema with its online 13th edition. The selection includes features and short films, like One Life to Blossom, a recent doc about a Black trans artist and activist trying to live her dream, and the acclaimed Keyboard Fantasies, about composer Beverly Glenn-Copeland and the cult following he attracted in his 70s. 

The Segal Centre and Black Theatre Workshop have teamed up to visually pay tribute to Black History Month. Liberation's Radiance is a free, nightly light show projected from inside the Segal (pictured above). Lighting designer Tim Rodrigues (an artist-in-residence at BTW) has designed a shimmering, green-and-blue lightshow intended to evoke the path to liberation, and the people who've walked it in the past and those who do so today. Take it in, from outside, from 5:30 to 7:30pm, daily until February 28. And catch up the weekly conversations with local Black artists that accompany the event. 

Several museums re-opened their doors this month, as part of Quebec's gradual de-confinement plans. 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 Landscahpes and Pointe-a-Calliere's train-themed A Railroad to Dreams.

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 blessing 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. 

I'm devouring Search Party, an acclaimed four-season series newly arrived on Crave. New Yorker Dory (Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development) has a sweet but dopey boyfriend and great pals , but she's directionless. When an acquaintance from college vanishes, Dory finds herself drawn to solving the mystery, and in the meantime stumbles onto a private eye, a cult and a wild real estate broker. 

Three new British items on Prime: It's A Sin is receiving plaudits for its depiction for joyous, free-wheeling gay life in London right as the AIDS crisis was unfolding. It lands Friday. Did you love Scandal? Canadian Anna Paquin is part of a team of top-level female public relations pros, or 'flacks', who handle their rich clients' problems with gusto. Her character, Robyn, is Flack's central heroine an American in London who takes the edge off by partying into oblivion. And Rosamund Pike stars in new movie, I Care A Lot. She's received a Golden Globe nod for her work as Marla, a lawyer who connives to rob her wealthy clients after she gets them institutionalized. Yikes!  

Horror theatre Festival de la Bete noire presents a range of online shows, from ghost stories to spooky audio dramas, to darkly delicious burlesque and a love story from Japan. I'm keen to check out Home Theatre Production's choose-your-own adventure game, Only Footprints. Here, a bloodthirsty killer is after you... and you can play through several different scenarios! (Local drag diva Uma Gahd plays through the game in a livestream on Saturday.) Bete noire continues until Sunday, but you can stream each show until March 15, at $5 a pop.  

By the way, "Popcorngate" has had me craving popcorn, so here is my recipe (taken from a cookbook ages ago)... for about a third cup of kernels. Combine 2 tablespoons unsalted butter with 1 tablespoon honey in a bowl. Microwave until melted, then stir in one teaspoon of sriracha sauce (or to taste). I use an air popper, and drizzle the sauce over the popcorn as it comes out, so as to layer the sauce, and then salt generously and shake, shake, shake. 

The Observation Wheel in the Old Port has reopened, open daily 11am to 7pm. (Each carriage is cleaned after use.)  

Dan Savage's Hump Film Festival offers homemade films d'amour, with streaming events through March 6. 

Cavalia's Illumi has been extended until March! Drive through a colourful, 3-kilometre labyrinth, starting with spooky skeletons, meandering through pleasant forests to icy fields and a spooky town. Your drive includes a stop with food trucks at the midpoint. It's kitschy, but fun for kids and anyone who just really needs a safe adventure outside the house. In Laval off Boulevard des Souvenirs, until March 6.

Tiny Plateau arthouse Cinema Moderne is still releasing new content. Check out the full list here.   

And if you're looking for something different visit Open Culture, a fantastic website that lists 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.

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