Sarah's Weekend List, January 22-24
Missed the primetime inauguration special from Wednesday? Catch up with host Tom Hanks, Foo Fighters, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend, Kerry Washington and Bruce Springsteen here. (The inaugural ceremony with the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris itself is also online - I want to watch writer Amanda Gorman deliver her poem!)
Donald Trump may have left the White House, but some of the comedy inspired by his years in office are available to stream: comedian Sarah Cooper made a name lipsyncing some of his most bizarre statements, and it helped land her a sketch show on Netflix. And Crave has Our Cartoon President, a spot-on satire of the Donald and his colleagues and family, from Ted Cruz and Besty DeVos to Javanaka to Eric and Don Jr, to name a few.
Last chance: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has online tours of its five current exhibitions. Marvel at the ongoing Post-Impressionist show, and check out the brand new Jean-Paul Riopelle show, which focuses on his connection to Canada's arctic and its people, from the comfort of home. Until Sunday.
Centaur Theatre has the 24th edition of its Wildside Festival, with short, experimental theatre performances. Learn more about cultural appropriation in The White Cabaret, and revisit a classic piece of feminist Quebec theatre in the surreal Night Cows. A rising Montreal designer presents Black Balloon: Leila, blending the myth of Joan of Arc with a dreamy alternative landscape. And 453 St-François-Xavier is an audio tour of the theatre's future self. The festival is online, on-demand and entirely free, until January 31st.
Learrn to perfect the grazing board (a more glorious way to nosh!) with The Wandering Chew. The Jewish food history group presents a Zoom workshop to celebrate Tu B'Shevat, a festival that celebrates environmental awareness and trees! Montreal foodie Ksenia Prints walks you through roasted grape and goat cheese crostini, olive and fig tapenade, and herbed barley salad. Sunday, 12:30-2pm.
Want to tour the home of the King from your own castle? Take an online tour of Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis. Elvis expert Angie Marchese walks you through the museum, the Meditation Garden and the Lisa Marie jet. The January tour is sold out, so you'll want to book you in advance for February 25 and March 25. Thought cheaper and easier than a trip to Memphis, it will cost you $98.50 US.
Rufus Wainwright continues to plumb through his back catalogue, this time playing his album All Days Are Nights, Part 1. Wainwright notes that the album came out around the death of his mother, folk star Kate McGarrigle, and he calls it 'maybe my most challenging album.' Friday at 5pm.
Improv darlings Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood present an all-new show, Stream of Consciousness, from their homes and on Zoom. And yes – they do need suggestions from the audience! The upcoming shows are Sunday, 8pm, and next weekend, January 30 at 8pm.
The Grand Ole Opy returns, with Keb' Mo', Magie Rose, Zach Williams and Devin Dawson. Saturday, 8:30pm.
Two shows I'm enjoying on Crave: Two Weeks to Live is a new, sharply funny and absurd comedy about a young woman (Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones) who is raised by her prepper mother in a cabin in the woods... trained to hunt and survive, but doesn't know how much a sandwich is worth or how to walk in heels. When she escapes, she encounters two young brothers who convince her the world is about to end... spurring her to commit vengeance. And Los Espookys is a Spanish-language comedy about a ragtag group of horror fans who get hired to stage hauntings and kidnappings; totally weird but oddly warm, it also features a recurring cameo with Fred Armisen and Carol Kane.
Find out what the fuss is about: Bridgerton, Netflix's frothy Regency-era romance based on novels by Julia Quin, has just been renewed for season two. Executive produced by the great Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal), Bridgerton features a diverse cast, lush (if not a smidge anachronistic) costumes and plenty of parties. Daphne is one of the eight, alphabetically-named Bridgerton brood, and as a debutante of high birth, needs to make a profitable match but also wants to fall in love.
Black Theatre Workshop launched its new season with a reading last week of Lydie Dubuisson's new play Sanctuary, about a teen girl figuring out her identity and future as she engages in conversations with her family and G-d in a church. Stream on BTW's Facebook and YouTube.
There is fun to be had outdoors while you respect the 8pm curfew. Toboggan or cross-country ski on Mont-Royal. The Jardin botanique has opened its winter gardens for free entry. Walk or cross-country ski every day, from 7:30am to 5pm. Parc Jean Drapeau is open for winter exploration with a refrigerated rink, open sliding area as well as cross-country and fat bike trails. Don't miss the ice-climbing wall! There will also be rental equipment available, including skates, skis, fat bikes, snowshoes, with items free for those under 18.
The third episode of Trudie Mason's retro podcast, The Mighty 800, has now dropped: revisit the 1998 Ice Storm, and view images from our history. As one of our listeners texted, "very touching."
Tiny Plateau arthouse Cinema Moderne is still renting out films on its site, with new flicks out this month. Check out Brandon Cronenberg's new body-snatching thriller, Possessor.
The Cité-Mémoire project in Old Montreal is a series of visual projections that cover various parts of Montreal's history, including Expo 67, Angélique and Joe Beef. All you need is to download the app so you can hear the audio narrations that accompany the different projections (and to navigate to the displays). The projections start at dusk and continue until 11pm, Wednesday to Sunday.
Explore McGill and get a thrill with a virtual escape room compiled by the university's librarians, archivists and game developers. A mysterious poisoner is on the loose, and you have to track them down! Starting at the pathology lab, then solving puzzles (based on McGill and Montreal history) all over campus. You can play Raising Spirits with a browser. The game got a fresh update this week! For ages 12 and up.
The Royal Montreal Regiment and Le Royal 22ieme Regiment look back on the October Crisis through the eyes of soldiers deployed after the kidnapping of James Cross. This virtual exhibit is geared to students and teachers, but anyone can check out The October Crisis 1970 online.
Other things you can do online that will be more enriching that scrolling endlessly through your Instagram feed...a bevy of 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 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.