Sarah's Weekend List, May 7-11
Despite some public reservations from Saturday Night Live cast members, the megarich, polarizing space-rocket-flamethrower-
Gorgeous views and photo opps abound as the cherry and magnolia trees are blooming at the Chinese and Japanese pavilions at the Botanical Gardens. The Space for Life complex is open, including the Biodome, Botanical Gardens and the Planetarium, but make sure to reserve and buy your ticket in advance.
Learn something about science, and have fun with your kids, too on Family Science Day. McGill Outreach groups are teaming up with the 24 heures de science to offer lessons and demostrations on coral, neurochemistry, moon craters, diversity in science and lab tales on the occasion of the university's bicentennial. Check out the activities for Saturday here.
The Grand PoutineFest Anjou returns for second helpings (in other words, a second edition!), offering up over 20 poutine options from six food trucks, in a drive-thru format at the Galeries d'Anjou parking lot, along with live entertainment This weekend, until Sunday, and May 13-16. Proceeds benefit the Amino Fondation.
Friday is the final day to take in La Pizza Week, with over 100 local restaurants offering up delicious pies for you to order in, and vote your favourite online. Fiorellino in Outremont is serving up cacio e pepe pizza, Les Trois Brasseurs has an onion soup reduction on a pizza crust, called a "onion soup pizzacacia", Fungool Pizza in NDG presents Le Reuben, smoked meat on top of a "Detroit-style dough" and Melrose in Little Italy is putting chicken and avocado on their pizza dish.
And another food event of sorts: Alain Creton, owner of Chez Alexandre on Peel, is leading an 'open house' event Saturday to advocate for the safe reopening of restos. Eateries like Chez Alexandre, Jardin Nelson and Joe Beef, to name a few, on streets like Crescent, Peel, Laurier, Bernard, Ontario, Duluth and neighbourhoods like Old Montreal, Little Italy, Griffintown, will be offering surprises and gift vouchers to passeresby, Saturday from noon to 2pm.
The Segal Centre presents Every Brilliant Thing, its first live, in-person show in over a year! Originally a Edinburgh Fringe play, this simple but heart-rending show introduces you to an adult (Daniel Brochu) throwing back to their childhood, when they discover their mother is fighting depression. Determined to help her, he begins listing all the 'brilliant' things that make life worth living, including ice cream and the colour yellow. Until May 16.
Outgoing Geordie artistic director Mike Payette directs Virgina Wolf, a kid-friendly spin on the story of the famous author and the sister who cared for her. Young Virginia is in a 'wolfish' mood, feeling out of sorts, and sister Vanessa works to improve her spirits by transforming their space. This online show spotlights mental health and young people, and the importance of care and patience. It starts this weekend, with dates for May 15-16, as well.
Dance partners and real-life couple Daphnée Laurendeau and Danny Morissette perform On the Matter of Flowers, a medley of contemporary dance choreographed by four (!) different artists. And what's lovely, this Mother's Day weekend, is that Daphnée is expecting... this will be her final performance for a while. See them live Agora de la danse, until May 8, and online May 14-21.
Actress Audrey Hepburn shares a birthday with Trudie Mason, May 4! The stylish star of Breakfast at Tiffany's led an interesting life, from growing up in Nazi-occupied Europe to becoming a trend-setting Hollywood gamine and eventually, a celebrity goodwill ambassador. Netflix has a documentary about her life, simply titled Audrey.
Made-in-Quebec feature Sortez-Moi de Moi (Way Over Me) is the first-ever French series on Crave, The psychological thriller introduces you to Dr Justine Mathieu (Pascale Bussières) and the first responders who transport troubled patients to her, including David. The latter is struggling with a bipolar episode, and yet Dr Justine is attracted to him.
Listener Keith recommended Modern Love on Amazon Prime last week, with eight half-hour episodes, each featuring a different romance.
And a TV show recommendation from my parents, Linda and Normand: the fourth and latest season out now of Shtisel, a Yiddish-language about an ordinary, observant Jewish family living in a Haredi neighbourhood in Jerusalem. It's soapy, but super relatable - and utterly addictive.
Hot Mamas! Burlesque: a plethora of burlesque dancers from Montreal, Ottawa, Sherbrooke, New York City, and as far as Buenos Aires and Mexico City will take part in a Mother's Day spectacular, for a good cause! Headliners are Montreal's own Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière (pictured above) and Foxy Lexxi. Half of the proceeds go to the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal. Friday, 8pm.
Sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage's Hump Film Festival has returned with a latest round of 'Best Of' from his annual DIY erotica series. Dates until May 29.
Acclaimed Quebec circus troupe Les 7 Doigts shot and filmed a performance last September in Montreal that is now available to fans at home. En Panne envisions an absurd dystopian future where there are no public gatherings or theatres, forcing artists from different walks of life to reunite underground - sound sorta familiar? The creators say they wanted to play with the concepts of 'aristocracy, poverty, power and pleasure' in this covid-inspired romp. The French-language version is available for now, with the English-language one soon to come. (You have a month to view after buying your ticket.) Get a taste of En Panne here. Runtime: 56 minutes.
Pointe-a-Calliere Museum's new show is Italian Montréal. Drawing on loaned treasures from local families, the show touches on culinary traditions and how first-generation families fared after arriving in the city. A quarter of a million Montrealers count themselves as having roots from Italy! (While you are there, visit A Railroad to Dreams, all about trains!)
In the Old Port, the Voiles en Voiles adventure park features archery, aerial circuits, inflatable games. And MTL Zipline and The Observation Wheel in the Old Port has reopened, open daily 11am to 7pm. (Each carriage is cleaned after use.)
OASIS immersion is a new, 'touchless', next-level experience on the ground floor of the Palais des congrès. There are 105 laser projector, 119 surround sound speakers and a LED lighting setup. You begin in the Anticipation Room, proceeding through a set of different rooms and wind down in the Decompression Chamber. Current exhibitions include: stepping into the worlds of pianist Alexandra Stréliski, and astronaut David Saint-Jacques's recent trip to space. There is also a tribute to hygge, the Danish tradition of finding coziness in the everyday. Each visit is about 75 minutes.
Consider checking out a museum, now that they are open to the public: 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 Landscapes and other shows.
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 bliessing 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. The Louvre has also just put its over 480,000 items online. From the world's most-visited museum, check out the antiquities to Islamic art to medieval decorative arts, to modern sculpture and beyond.