Sarah's Weekend List, July 30 - August 1

Wild castaways ready to entertain you in the Old Port, part of a pop-up circus show called De mille feux. PHOTO: Cirque Éloize
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.


Want a shot before climbing aboard the Monster? La Ronde hosts a vaccination site Saturday and Sunday. 

Acclaimed company Cirque Éloize presents free outdoor performances in Old Montreal. Catch the wild castaways who emerge from within a pink box in De Mille Feux. Every Friday, 5pm to 8pm, Saturday, 11am to 7:30pm and Sunday, 11am to 5pm, until August 15, upon which Les 7 Doigts presents Brume until September 5. 

While you are in the Old Port, how about grabbing some poutine? The travelling  Grand PoutineFest has set up shop near the Clock Tower, Take your pick from over 20 poutines and groove to live DJs. Until Sunday. 

And the circus fun continues at La Tohu's ongoing Les week-ends cirque. This Saturday and Sunday, take in L’après-midi tombe quand tes biscuits se ruinent by La Croustade, Tupituqaq by Inuit circus group TUPIQ ACT and Les échappés by le collectif Les échappés. The venue also offers 'picnic bubbles', a sit-down meal you can grab before or after the show. Until August 29. And Aux balcons Saint-Michel unleashes acrobats and other performers into the streets of La Tohu's neighbourhood, with pop-up performances every weekend, until September 6. 

The West Island Blues Fest is hitting the road this summer! The fun begins in Dollard des Ormeaux, with a show Saturday, 3pm at Westminster Park featuring Brian Greenway of April Wine and Sunday 3pm at Lake Park, featuring Justin Saladino.

Montreal actor and playwright Arthur Holden has many credits to his name, including a long run as Mr Ratburn in beloved children's animated series, Arthur. We learned this week that the upcoming 2022 season will be its 25th and final run. But Holden still has plenty to celebrate, with his new play, Beloved: a play in three waiting rooms, read aloud at The Summer Playwrights Festival at the Road Theatre Company in Los Angeles. A married couple facing the financial ruin of their small business have even more to worry about when their teenage son is accused of committing a transgression in his high school English course. Holden and a few dozen other writers were selected from over 600 submissions of new work, so there are other shows to check out as well if you need a good dose of theatre. Online on Friday, 9pm.  

It's a wonderful time to be filmmaker Tracey Deer! The TV show she co-created, Mohawk Girls, is getting picked up by NBC's Peacock streaming service. (Shades of Sex in the City, with four twenty-something Mohawk women exploring love, culture and identity.) Tracey's latest opus is Beans, which recounts the 1990 Oka Crisis through the eyes of a 12-year-old Mohawk girl. That's how old Tracey was during the Crisis, the very summer she decided to become a filmmaker. Beans, which was filmed in Kahnawake, Oka and Kanehsatake, is now in theatres, and there are two outdoor screenings coming to the LIVART venue downtown August 3 and 12. 

POP Montreal is filling the weekend with free music in the Mile End, for MDP at Entrepot 77. Catch musicians Glowzy, Laroie and Raccoon Saturday night (doors at 5:30pm). DJ Poirier spins a set on Sunday, 1 to 4pm. And the doc Camp Rock will be screened at a picnic fundraiser for Rock Camp MTL, Saturday 1 to 4pm. Located at 77 Bernard East. 

You may have heard of Juneteenth in the United States, but August 1 marks Emancipation Day, when the Slavery Abolition Act went into effect across the British Empire. (Yes, slavery existed in Canada!) Earlier this year, the House of Commons voted to officially recognize the day, and call upon Canadians to use the time to reflect and act on anti-Black racism, as well as recognize and celebrate our Black communities. A jam-packed concert at the Corona Theatre begins at 4pm, including musical group Rara Soley and poet Heraul Alphone Jr. And a symbolic march 'in the name of the ancestors who set foot on Montreal soil' takes off at 6pm from Place d'Youville in Old Montreal. Organizers include the Cote Des Neiges Black Community Association and POP Montreal.

New movies this week include Disney's Jungle Cruise, another family fare based on an amusement park ride. The Rock and Emily Blunt team up as Frank Wolff and Dr Lily Houghton. She needs him to guide their party down the Amazon in his rough-and-tumble boat, in search of a magical tree that has enormous powers. 

Want to go to space, for a fraction of the cost and without any air sickness or g-force? The Phi Centre presents The Infinite, a brand new show at the Arsenal gallery in Griffintown. Would-be astronauts strap on virtual reality headsets, then walk into a cavernous room. But what your eyes see is a slightly smaller version of the International Space Station. Stepping aboard, you reach out to activate capsules that bring you elbow-to-elbow with actual astronauts, like Quebec's own David Saint-Jacques. In these 360-degree capsules, the space travellers explain how they work, eat and exercise 400 kilometres from home. Since it's the Phi Centre, the VR show is then complemented by two immersive art projects inspired by the themes at hand. It's a vivid, thrilling and educational adventure - no spacesuit required - brought to you by a collaboration with NASA, the ISS National Lab, Time Studios and Montreal outfit Felix & Paul Studios. Appropriate for ages 8 and up.

Electronic music producer Maxime Dangles and visual artist Dylan bring the sea to you in Écosystème. This immersive journey started with a team of marine ecology researchers, and evolved into an imaginative, atmospheric exploration of life underwater. At the Satosphere until August 21. 

New on streaming: I've started The White Lotus on Crave. A week at a luxurious Hawaiian island resort unfolds, with privileged guests wreaking havoc on each other and the hapless staff. All seems peaceful and calm, until it isn't. The dialogue is sharp, the acting is top-notch and I can't wait to watch the drama unfold. 

And on Netflix: Sexy Beasts is a new dating show that is, if not memorable, definitely meme-able. Think The Masked Singer meets Love is Blind, as participants have their features completely obscured by extensive prosthetics. Each episode, one protagonist chooses from three "beasts" who compete with winks, chemistry and earnest charms. I greatly enjoyed James the toothy beaver picking from a leopard, a zombie and a pixie, and Kariselle, a "psychopath" panda eager to settle down - but will she choose the tin man, alien or a bull? 

Netflix, which has mined observant Jewish storylines for fictional hits like Unorthodox and Shtisel, adapts the theme to reality TV with My Unorthodox Life. Meet Julia Haart, a mom-of-four who grew up in a cloistered Jewish community in New Jersey. She eventually left her community after her divorce, remarried and forged a glamorous career in fashion. She and her children remain close, and share how they now navigate mainstream life while preserving connections to their community, faith and family.  

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