Sarah’s Weekend List, November 3-5
Calling foodies: MTLàTABLE launches today! Over 125 Montreal restaurants have signed up to offer limited-time prix fixe menus, with three or four courses. The price points are $38, $53, $63 and $83. Feast on chicken and waffles at The Blind Pig in HoMa, parmesan pesto gnocchi at vegan hotspot LOV McGill or seafood jambalaya at Restaurant Kamúy near Place-des-Arts. Or head to the restaurant list to locate your next meal by cuisine, neighbourhood and price point. Until November 19.
Find your next great read, meet your fave author and learn about the book business at the Read Quebec Book Fair. The eighth edition will include author signings, hybrid literary programming and tables and tables of new books. Local cartoonist Billy Mavreas will lead workshops for kids, including making comic books, drawing monsters and creating postcards to the future. Grab a free coffee Saturday morning as you browse the sales tables, or catch the finalists of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Spoken Word Prize perform Friday, 3pm. The fair goes Friday and Saturday, 11am to 6pm, at the atrium of the McConnell building at Concordia University.
Imago Theatre launches their season with The Retreat, Gabrielle Chapdelaine’s freshly-translated work about a wellness retreat in Montreal that turns chaotic when a participant arrives - but forgets to ditch her cellphone. Imago’s new artistic director Krista Jackson takes the helm on this production. Swing band Les Royal Pickles provides the score, and then performs a short concert after the curtain falls. Until November 6 at Bain Mathieu. Tickets are pay-what-you-think.
Ojibwe writer Drew Hayden Taylor’s alterNatives is a comedy of manners at a dinner party that puts Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians on a collision course over moose roast and meatless lasagna. Our hosts (an Anishinaabe writer and his non-Indigenous lit prof partner) welcome their friends, including Indigenous activists and two PC vegans. At The Centaur until Sunday.
Beautiful: The Carole King Story is a jukebox musical that chronicles Carole’s turn from student to songwriter to superstar, and her emotional and personal journey along the way. Tess Benger is charismatic and energizing as Carole. The run has already been extended after record sales, now until November 12.
Friday’s music picks: Depeche Mode, Bell Centre at 7:30pm. Aussie ska-funk band The Cat Empire is at MTelus, 8pm. Blonde Redhead at Le Studio TD, 8pm. Guest conductor Elim Chan joins the Orchestre métropolitain for a mixed program of Rimski-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Peter Eötvös’s percussion-happy Speaking Drums and Anna Clyne’s melancholic This Midnight Hour.
Saturday’s music picks: Dan Mangan at Le Studio TD, 8pm. The Kiffness at Ausgang Plaza, 8pm. Nelligan at Salle Pratt & Whitney in Longueuil. The Orchestre philharmonique and Choeur des Mélomanes team up to perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Maison symphonique, 7:30pm.
Sunday’s music picks: British power metal band DragonForce parties at MTelus at 6:30pm. Songwriter to the stars turned rocker LP at Place Bell, 7pm. Gayle at Bar Le Ritz PDB, 7:30pm. Gino Vanelli will delight fans with orchestral compositions of some of his greatest works. He’ll join the Orchestre Philharmonique de Québec and conductor Alexandre Da Costa for this special show, 3pm at Maison symphonique.
Arab World Festival of Montreal du Monde Arabe hosts a series of concerts. Franco-Algerian group Koum Tara merges traditional chaabi sound with contemporary tastes, classical string arrangements and jazzy aspirations, Friday, 8pm at Cinquième Salle. Singer Miray Dahab delivers her spin on classic Arabic songs, Sunday 5pm at Salle Claude-Léveillée. The Festival continues until November 11.
Nuits d’Afrique kicks off a series of weekend mini-festivals this month. Les Cabarets Acoustique begins with acts from Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Morocco all weekend at Club Balattou. Menfi BB Nzuimanto and his Beyond a Crew perform Friday, 9pm.
British choreographer Akram Khan re-imagines young Mowgli of The Jungle Book as a climate refugee trying to survive on the streets of an ‘urban jungle’ where animals reign. Khan, who himself played Mowgli at the age of 10, sees the story as a reminder that humans are ‘guests on this planet, like all other species.’ Friday and Saturday, 8pm at Théâtre Maisonneuve.
Get cozy at Hurley’s Bar on Crescent with The World's Smallest Comedy Night. Friday, 8pm.
At Montreal Improv in St Henri, check out a variety of shows, including Jason Grimmer’s Films in Focus, in which critic Benji Manking reviews wacky ‘movies’ made up on the spot by improvisers. Friday, 8pm.
Halloween is NOT over at The Wiggle Room! The Horror-Lesque has a seductive but scary bill: Joy Rider, Yaya Havana, Yikes Macaroni and BonBon Bombay, with hosting by owner-performer Frenchy Jones. Friday and Saturday at 9pm. And on Sunday, the B.O.O.B.S. Collective presents Spooky Sunday, with Tootsie Blue, Kyky De La Vega, Freya Moon, Ophelia Rass, Fleur du Mal, Malinka Molotov and Sasha Desir, with hosting by Just Horny. Sunday at 9pm.
Cavalia’s Illumi – Dazzling World of Lights in Laval has returned, with the option to walk or drive through 19 universes along a 3-kilometre path, and be dazzled by 25 million LED lights! Open until early January.
A new museum has opened in the heart of downtown: Centre des Mémoires Montréalaises promises to capture the city’s history and citizens. Check out the vintage neon signs at the entrance, and look for the colourful balls that once decorated Ste-Catherine in the Gay Village. There are two exhibition up now: a lookback at the 90 years of Le Chaînon, the women’s shelter and resource centre, and Détours, which focuses on hidden corners of the city. Located at 1201 St Laurent.
The Infinite virtual reality experience returns to Montreal at a different location, with new, immersive footage shot from the International Space Station. Over the course of an hour, the exhibit puts you shoulder-to-shoulder with astronauts like David Saint-Jacques, taking you through their day orbiting the Earth. A jaw-dropping V-R treat! At 2 de la Commune Street West in the Old Port. Until November 12.
Place des Arts opened 60 years ago this week! The sprawling complex looks back on its long history with a new exhibition, An Artistic Journey, with images from major performances and first-hand stories. At the Espace Culture Georges-Émile-Lapalme.
The McCord Stewart Museum’s excellent and informative Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience. The show profiles the 11 nations living within the borders of Quebec, with testimonies and carefully curated objects.
The very popular Bébé symphonique show has just returned to the Planetarium! This multisensory show is designed for kiddos up to 18 months of age, with adapted sound levels and swirling images of the stars. The 33-minute show is paired with the educational short film, Stardust. Though this weekend is booked, start making your plans to see this popular show before it ends December 17.