Sarah's Weekend List, May 13-15

All-Filipina comedy troupe the Tita Collective shine onstage at the 15th Sketchfest Fest. PHOTO: Tita Collective
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.

 

 

The 15th edition of Montreal Sketchfest Festival continues until Saturday with several groups taking to assorted stages. Check out the hilarious, award-winning Toronto-based, all-Filipina Tita Collective along with Ajahnis Charley, & Madame at Theatre Ste Catherine Friday. (The Tita crew also perform Sunday, 2pm with Fly Lady Di.) And Montreal’s own monthly show Sketch Republic is calling time after a five-year-run, bowing out with a big bash, Friday 10pm at TSC. 

The Opéra de Montréal presents The Magic Flute, until May 17. Prince Tamino and Papageno team up (with a magic flute at hand) to rescue Princess Pamina, battling dancing creatures and dragons. Barrie Kosky’s production references the silent film era with screens and projections. 

Les Amis de la Montagne celebrates Mount Royal Month with a series of discovery walks, a photo competition and more programming through May. On Saturday at 9:30 am, take in a 2-kilometre therapeutic walking tour, the Shinrin Yoku Walk: Forest Bathing on Mount Royal. 

Yum! The Grand PoutineFest is at Galeries d'Anjou, near the old Sears, with over 20 poutines to choose from (including the burrito poutine!) and a variety of family-friendly fun. Friday to Sunday, starting at noon. (Shoutout to the organizers for offering up recyclable, reusable and compostable containers.)

The Segal has just launched April Fools, an immersive rock musical cabaret created by Israeli singing sensation Keren Peles. Inspired by events in her own life, Keren spins a story about Eva, a woman who has it all - but is tempted to embark on an affair. A team of Montrealers and members from the original Israeli show have translated and adapted this for English audiences. Eva is joined by a female Greek chorus and her sexy affair partner, firefighter Daniel. I loved the music, and the pop culture touches. And don’t forget to download the show app on your phone - it adds a surprising edge to the story! Until May 22. 

Centaur presents the Canadian premiere of A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction, by Brooklyn-based writer Miranda Rose Hall. A theatre company manager has to take over the final show of her play tour after the actors back out. Naomi, played excellently by Warona Setshwaelo, delivers an indictment of overconsumption, an exploration of anguish and a dose of hope as she covers everything from the sixth extinction to kelp to motherhood. Also - the set is minimalist yet lush, complemented by a lovely lighting design. Until Sunday. 

Newbie indie company Contact Theatre launches their second musical, Next to Normal. The Pulitzer-winning 2009 Broadway rock musical features Diana Goodman, a suburban mom who lives with bipolar disorder. An exploration of mental health and how one person’s experiences affects their inner circle. Until Saturday.

Loner Carrie can’t catch a break at school, where she is bullied, nor at home, where her mom is a controlling religious fanatic. Carrie: The Musical puts Stephen King’s terrifying telekinesis tale to music, at MainLine Theatre until Saturday. 

Pop rapper-turned-singer Role Model (aka Tucker Pillsbury) hits up Le Studio TD with The Blssm, Friday at 8pm. 

Melodic hardcore band of New Bedford, Massachusetts A Wilhelm Scream hits up Foufounes électriques with Brutal Youth and FOMO, Friday at 9pm. 

English pop-R&B crooner and X Factor winner James Arthur performs at MTelus Saturday, 8pm.

Grunge-rockers The Mysterines perform at L’Escogriffe with Hipshot, Sunday at 8pm. 

Acclaimed tap dancer and Montreal native Travis Knights presents Ephemeral Artifacts, a virtuoso show chronicling his own tap journey, as well as the genre’s winding, hard-fought lineage as a black art form, from the days of slavery to vaudeville halls to Hollywood screens... to being passé? Knights tips his hat to various performers, as well as his teacher, renown dancer Ethel Bruneau, whose question ‘Whose shoulders are you standing on?’ fuels his life mission. Tickets are nearly sold out… but if you can beg, borrow or… Until Saturday at the MAI. 

The Jewish Public Library launches the Lilly Toth tiny book collection with a public event. Toth, who survived World War II by hiding her Jewish identity, left Hungary after the Revolution and went on to collect over 1,000 miniatures books. They range wildly in subject matter, from devotional texts to dictionaries, and measure a few millimetres to up to three inches in size. Register here to attend the free launch Sunday at 1pm, but a rotation of books will soon be on display at the library. 

Les Sommets du du cinéma d’animation presents student and professional shorts from Canada and beyond in a series of screenings and dialogues, until Sunday at the Cinémathèque québécois. 

Ottawa native Jen Grant headlines the Comedy Nest, Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm.

On the bill at Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room this weekend: Honey Dynamite, Rosie Bourgeoise, Madrose and Violette Coquette. Shows Friday and Saturday. 

Streaming: The Kids in the Hall end a long hiatus with a new series out Friday on Amazon Prime. And Letterkenny spinoff Shoresy arrives on Crave: Jared Keeso’s alter ego Shoresy is a gifted, trash-talking hockey player who joins the struggling AAA Sudbury Bulldogs. 

Disney kid and singer Selena Gomez hosts Saturday Night Live, with rapper Post Malone as musical guest. Saturday, 11:30pm. 

And I’ll play you out with Arcade Fire’s cover of the latest Harry Styles earworm, As It Was for BBC Radio 2… 

ONGOING

Variations Mile End is a dance school now launching a space for improv and comedy performances on the Plateau. Performer and manager Jason Grimmer launched comedy classes during the pandemic, and now students and comedy lovers can visit Théatre VME for performances. Four shows this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8 and 9:30pm. 

New feature film Peace by Chocolate tells the story of the Hadhad family, who fled Syria during the civil war, and eventually arrived in Canada in 2015. They continued the family trade by launching a chocolate factory in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The movie, directed by Jonathan Keijser, features Syrian actors (Hatem Ali, Yara Sabri) as well as a wealth of Montreal talent (Dawn Ford, Arthur Holden, Paul Van Dyck Laurent Pitre)... and a cameo by the Prime Minister. In theatres, including Cinema Forum, Cinéma du Musée and Cinéma Odeon Quartier Latin. 

The Insectarium has reopened post-renovation with a fresh look at all the creepy, crawly, pretty creatures. The team redesigned the space to give visitors an intimate look at what it is to be an insect: in the Alcoves, vibrating floors and ultraviolet projections allow you to imagine how insects feel and see the world. Visitors get to move like an insect, too, slipping through cracks or trodding on rods hanging from the ceiling. Then you get to observe bugs up close, followed by a trip through the Dome, and finally, a greenhouse-like space, the Great Vivarium, where roaming butterflies are the special attraction. 

And reminder that the first signs of spring will also be visible nearby at the Botanical Gardens, and the Planetarium and the Biodome are also open - but getting your timed ticket in advance is an absolute must! A little further away, on Ile Sainte-Hélène, the Biosphère is also open. 

At the Montreal Science Centre, explore evolution in Human or explore the process of invention in Fabrik - Creativity Factory. Plus, the movie theatre is open, so you can sit back and learn about Sea Lions and the Great Bear Rainforest - in IMAX 3D! 

Stranger Than Kindness is a new exhibition based on the life and work of Nick Cave, the  Aussie-born artist known for his deep baritone and religiously-tinged lyrics probing love, religion and violence. We start in his hometown Wangaratta, then travel to London then Berlin, then a loving recreation of his actual home office. Over 300 bits of ephemera, from lyrics to letters, books to bits of hair, bring the show to livid life. Keep your eyes peeled for an email Leonard Cohen wrote to Cave after tragedy hit his family… Cohen is one of Cave’s inspirations, and that’s partly why Stranger Than Kindness is stopping off here after its inaugural run in Copenhagen. The show opens Friday at Galerie de la Maison du Festival, 305 Sainte-Catherine. Until August 7. 

At the McCord: Piqutiapiit celebrates and elucidates the incredible craftwork of Inuit women. Montreal-based, Kuujjuaq-born artist  Niap is the driving force behind the show. We view the tools and the practical works they helped to craft, including beadwork and clothing. And there is original work from Niap, who is currently artist-in-residence at the McCord. 

Also check out the fascinating exhibit JJ Levine: Queer Portraits. The Montreal artist presents 52 intimate images of people who self-identify as queer, selected from three different series taken between now and 2006. 

Indie venue Montreal Improv is back, at its new home in St Henri. Catch one or more of the four shows up this weekend! Tickets and schedules here

Cabaret Celeste is a new show at the recently renovated Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. A meeting room has been converted to a cozy cabaret space for this Cirque Éloize production, which was cancelled hours before its original opening back in December (thanks, Omicron). Celeste draws inspiration from the astrophysical… think tarot, horoscopes, planets and deities … and it is by equal turns sensual and silly! I loved the creative clay juggling act, and the master of ceremony’s Cyr wheel act. The talented and gorgeous Coral Egan provides the vocals through a slew of pop songs, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Coldplay to Leonard Cohen. 

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents Nicolas Party: L'heure mauve, a look at the Swiss artist’s pastels, watercolours and sculptures, set against murals he’s painted in the Museum… plus with 50 works selected by Party from the Museum’s collection. The show title is a reference to ‘that fleeting moment when the fading light casts purple hues over the landscape’ - how dreamy! 

Exporail, the Canadian train museum in St Constant presents: Train, a Railroad to Dreams: A World in Miniature. It’s an homage to toy trains… so you start with the smallest of the trains, then pivot to marvel at the 50 life-size vehicles on display in the Grand Gallery. 

 

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