Sarah's Weekend List, November 5-7
Happy Diwali! Don't forget to vote and rewind the clocks one hour before bed Saturday... or Sunday morning.
After paying homage to Leonard Cohen with their blowout Dance Me, the Ballets Jazz Montreal draws inspiration from another Montreal singer-songwriter as they celebrate their 50th year. Fifteen songs from Patrick Watson's cinematic catalogue score new show Vanishing Mélodies, their first live performance since the pandemic. We meet a woman in a trenchcoat, stranded at a bus stop, trying to make sense of her memories. The company's 14 dancers are swathed in earth tones, executing a complex contemporary ballet choreography. (Here's a little preview) At Théâtre Maisonneuve (Place des arts) Friday and Saturday evening, plus a Saturday matinée.
Comic wits Bowser & Blue, Josh Freed and Terry Mosher aka Aislin assemble once more for their cathartic, topical new show, Four Anglos Surviving the Covid Apocalypse. After their sold-out debut at Theatre Lac-Brome last weekend, the show comes to Montreal's Centre St Jax Centre, 1439 Ste Catherine W). (Coincidentally, the venue is a church where Aislin was baptised!) Shows Friday and Saturday, and November 10-13.
The Boss's saxophonist Jake Clemons plays with his band, at L'Astral Saturday, 8pm.
Main dive bar Barfly celebrates 25 years with a big show, Dan Laj and the Looks and Les Envahisseurs. Saturday, 8pm.
Music explores Constantinople present In the Footsteps of Rumi, a musical tribute to the prolific 13th century poet, who penned words of wisdom in both Arabic and Farsi. Saturday, 8pm at Bourgie Hall.
The Segal relaunches its open mic The Broadway Café in-person. And amid the fun, there will be a minute of silence in tribute to Romy Bonnier, the young Montrealer slain last month. She was a gifted singer and had performed at the event. Saturday, 8pm.
Mohsen El-Gharbi shares the tragicomic tale of his family history in Omi Mouna, a fantastical encounter with my great-grandmother. Mohsen has toured his one-man show extensively in French, but he has entrusted English-language premiere to Infinitheatre. Likewise, this is the company's return to live theatre as well as the first presenation under newly-minted artistic director Zach Fraser, who descrie the show as a perfect way to return to in-person performances. At Kin Experience (397A Ste Catherine W) until November 14.
The 8th edition of the Montreal Vegan Festival returns online with workshops and talks, covering topics like the ethics of hunting and fishing, innovations and challenges in the fashion industry and decolonizing the vegan movement. Cooking demos include a pecan apple tart recipe from a new vegan French patisserie, Zébulon. Online Saturday.
The pride of Brantford, Ontario Graham Chittenden headlines The Comedy Nest, Friday and Saturday.
French film fest Cinemania presents a wide range of feature and short films, including Memory Box, a Lebanese-Canadian show about a single mother in Montreal whose past is unlocked by the arrival of a mysterious box. It screens at Cinéma du Musée and Cinéma Impérial. Or stay home to stream Ladies of the Wood (Au coeur du bois), a documentary about sex workers who are based in Paris's bois de Boulogne, until Saturday at 6am. Cinemania continues until November 14, with online screenings until November 21.
Kieran Culkin of Succession fame (brother to Macaulay) and Ed Sheeran hit up Saturday Night Live.
Final weekend to see the Phi Centre's The Infinite 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. Until Sunday.
One-man show Every Brilliant Thing returns after a spring run at the Segal and Hudson Village Theatre, with the first preview this Sunday afternoon. We meet the Narrator as a child whose mother has been diagnosed with chronic depression. They are determined to make her realize how much life has to offer, so they begin to compile a list of Brilliant Things, like roller coasters and ice cream. Audience participation makes this a surprising and interactive experience. Until November 14.
The McCord Museum is marking its 100th anniversary by launching free admission for 100 days, until January 19. Check out the tribute to cartoonist Serge Chapleau and the enlightening Indigenous Voices of Today.
Pointe-à-Callière has just launched a new show chronicling the history of circus, 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.
The Montreal Science Centre has reopened! Learn more about our evolution in Human, the moon in Water in the Universe and the process of invention in Fabrik - Creativity Factory. The 3D IMAX theatre is also open, with Superpower Dogs 3D delving into the work of rescue canines.
The Biosphère on Ile Ste Helene has finally reopened, joining the Space of Life constellation that also includes the Biodome. With the recent "red alert" climate report from the UN, the Biosphère's mission is as urgent as ever: to educate Montrealers about the environment and how best to care for it.
It was a hot week! Cool off at Below the Ice with Mario Cyr, a new immersive walk-through exhibit by Cirque Éloize. You will journey north to follow Cyr, a documentary filmmaker, to nearly inaccessible spots in the Canadian Arctic. Marvel at the polar bears and narwhals and walruses, and learn more about what a precarious position their environment is in. At the Éloize Studios In Old Montreal, at 417 Berri.