Sarah's Weekend List, January 28-30
Walk or drive through Cavalia’s magical Illumi circuit in Laval. If you caught the show last year, it’s nearly entirely a brand new show, with many new ‘universes’ to discover, like the candy blizzard, giant puppies and kittens, an Aladdin-inspired palace and a ‘submarine tunnel’. Until March 13.
Doesn’t it suck when your live pandemic comedy gets relegated to streaming… because of the pandemic? But Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman (Jewish Montrealers behind YidLife Crisis webseries) have pivoted to turn their new show (intended to be performed this month, live) to a virtual, one-hour format. Catch YidLife Crisis: Pandemish, available on demand this weekend. Jamie and Eli turn their shtick towards processing the grief and absurdity of this pandemic, with a love letter to their hometown. Available until Monday, 5pm.
Fans of Downton Abbey don’t have to wait for the second feature film in March to get their Fellowes fix: his new show The Gilded Age debuted this week. See New York City in the 1880s, with its denizens, both filthy rich and dirt poor, living through a shifting period of time. Old-money Knickerbocker Agnes is keen on gatekeeping the new-money upstarts across the street, the Russell family. Happily, this period piece is not just a tale of upper crust…it includes stories from the lower classes and that of an prosperous Black family, whose exiled daughter, aspiring writer Peggy, teams up with Agnes’ niece, Marian, to pursue love and success. On Crave.
Also new to Crave: W. Kamau Bell’s four-piece exploration of the man once known as America’s Dad. We Need To Talk About Cosby tangles with the tarnished legacy of Bill Cosby, now that his longtime, predatory behaviour has been exposed.
New on Netflix Friday: Kristen Bell stars in new satire series, The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window. The lengthy titles winks at its target (female-led trendy thrillers like The Woman in the Window). Bell is Anna, a sad woman who brightens up when she spies a new neighbour moving in… until she *thinks* she witnesses a brutal murder.
And there are two additions to Netflix’s travel and food canon, in case you’d like to virtually sail away: daring food dishes in Heavenly Bites: Mexico and travelogue Midnight Asia: – Dance – Dream
Still a few more spots available Friday and Sunday if you want to see The World of Yousuf Karsh: A Private Essence before it wraps up at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The great photographer's widow Estrellita has gifted 111 gelatin silver prints to this exhibit, including notable portraits of Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, as well as images of everyday people, like steelworkers and photographers. Until Sunday.
With a cheeky name and a heated patio, Cinquième Vague is the only place in town to nab a sit-down meal (at least this weekend). Tables seat four at a time, and you can nosh on jerk chicken, smores and codfish accras, and sip on mulled wine, ti-punch and spicy hot chocolate. Located on the terrasse of Quartier des spectacles eatery Kamúy, at 1485 Jeanne-Mance. Until March 5.
While you’re there, take in the 12th edition of Luminotherapie now lighting up the Quartier des spectacles with cool installations, like Impulse (the lit-up seesaws) and Mathias Gmachl's giant wooden whale, Echoes - a voice from uncharted waters. Until February 27. In the same area, Cyrielle Tremblay's illustrations 100% Chance of Snow is being projected on the BanQ, UdeM building on President-Kennedy and outside the St Laurent metro station. Look up and delight in the colourful snow plows, hedgehogs and winter walks.
Final weekend: meet Montreal Symphony Orchestra's new music director Rafael Payare in a free, streaming rendition of Brahms' symphony no. 1 (along with Berlioz's Le carnaval romain). Free, until January 31.
Also free to view: Orchestre Métropolitain's director Yannick Nézet-Séguin performs the piano in Mozart's luminous Concerto No 12. The show also features Brahms' third symphony and opens with Castro D’Addona's Diversity.
The Opéra de Montréal presents two performances available to rent online, Bizet's Carmen and Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.
Very fun pair coming to Saturday Night Live: Willem Dafoe takes on hosting, while Katy Perry does musical duties. Saturday, 11:30pm.
Museums in Quebec remain open, with reduced capacity, and happily, there is a range of exhibits for viewing in Montreal. Starting with Pointe-à-Callière It's Circus Time! Over 350 objects will explore the 200-some year history of the art in Quebec, through costumes, props, training equipment and more.
It's free to visit the McCord Museum until Wednesday, where you will want to check out the new show Parachute: Subversive Fashion of the '80s. It's a moody, bold look at the style and messaging of the decade through the stylings of Parachute, a made-in-Montreal label created by a British fashion designer and an American architect. Their concept stores were soon found in New York and Los Angeles, and their creations were in demand from the likes of Madonna, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie! And don't miss the harrowing Indigenous Voices of Today, which highlights the voices of people from different Indigenous communities. The show both reveals the craftsmanship of every day traditional objects like waterproof parkas and sewing tools, then explores the exploitation and oppression of Indigenous families and land, then finishes with realistic questions about reconciliation.
Monet - Dr Mitch-approved! The people who brought you the Van Gogh immersive experience now shift their attention to one of the most iconic of the French Impressionist painters, with Imagine Monet. Now on at Arsenal Gallery in Little Burgundy, it's like taking a bath in works by Claude Monet (1840-1926). The roughly 35-minute show introduces you to his work, and then you are immersed in his iconic water lilies and Japanese footbridge scenes, as well as rich snapshots from nature, beaches and busy French streets and ports. A meditative visit with one of the greatest painters. Until February 27.