Sarah's Weekend List, June 24-26
The fireworks are back! The International Feux Loto-Québec returns to La Ronde with a patriotic program called Je Me Souviens, by GFA Pyro. With fireworks cued to the tunes of Marie-Mai, Leonard Cohen, Coeur de Pirate and more. Grab yourself a ticket, or watch from across the river. Saturday, 10pm - rain or shine.
Celebrate St Jean Baptiste with the installations at the Défilé Stationnaire at the Quartier des spectacles, on de Maisonneuve between Sanguinet and St-Dominique, Friday and Saturday, 11am to 11pm. Or take in your local neighbourhood party on Friday… find yours here.
Yum! The Grand PoutineFest has arrived in Chateauguay. With over 20 poutines to choose from (including the limited burrito poutine!) and a variety of family-friendly fun. (Shoutout to the organizers for offering up recyclable, reusable and compostable containers.) Friday to Sunday, starting at noon, at 151 Rue de Ville-Marie.
The Insectarium is inaugurating its new pollinator garden through to July 3. Check out plants that encourage pollination, nestled between art installations. Access to the garden is free, but you’ll need to buy a timed-entry ticket for the newly-renovated Insectarium.
The Old Port plays host to the 2022 Groupe Copley Montreal World Triathlon Championships with junior and elite competitors facing off, until Sunday.
Charlotte Cardin continues her mini-residency at MTelus, with shows at 8pm Friday through Sunday.
And several songstresses are coming to town: grunge rocker Indigo De Souza visits L’Escogriffe with Rachel Bobbitt, Friday at 8pm. Alabaman indie singer Waxahatchee performs at Corona, Saturday 8pm with OHMME. American Pop-R&B singer Ambar Lucid hits up Le Ministere, Saturday 8pm.
The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre returns with its first, big post-2020 musical: Abraham Shulman’s fable, The Sages of Chelm. The notoriously silly townspeople of Chelm encounter star-crossed lovers and a case of mistaken identity. Directed by Trevor Barrette with an energetic all-ages community cast, in Yiddish with English and French supertitles. Until Sunday.
Also at the Segal: the English translation of the remarkable Camille: The Story, an immersive, multi-sensorial experience designed for people with visual impairments. (But of course - anyone can attend!) Audience members, six at a time, are blindfolded and expertly guided through the story of a friendship abruptly coming to a close. Director Audrey-Anne Bouchard (who herself has a visual impairment) weaves a story with infinite care and poetry. Until July 3.
Final chance to catch up with ups-and-downs of the Testa family. The chronicler of Ville-Emard Vittorio Rossi picks up the thread of the Italo-Montreal clan in his new play, Legacy, set several years after his original play, The Chain. Whispers of corruption have imperiled the family’s landscaping business. (Rossi not only wrote the play, and stars in it, too!) Legacy has just opened at Leonardo da Vinci Centre. Until Sunday.
Double with Joey Elias and Derek Seguin at the Summer Comedy Blockbuster, Saturday at 8pm, upstairs at Cafe Cleopatra.
Another former Montrealer headlines the Comedy Nest this weekend! The deliciously funny Ali Hassan performs Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm.
On the bill at Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room this weekend: Minx Arcana, Genie Emerald, Booty Jones and Ava Lure. Shows Friday and Saturday.
New movie this weekend: Baz Lurhmann’s colourful Elvis biopic struts into theatre with Austin Butler as The King himself, and Tom Hanks as his interfering manager.
On streaming: Netflix has just added the sixth and final season of darkly theatrical gang drama Peaky Blinders. Musical Sing 2, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Oscar-winning international hit Drive My Car arrive on Crave Friday.
And the West Island Black Community Association marks 40 years of Black excellence, advocacy and community work with an all-ages event at the Marcel-Morin Community Centre in Pierrefonds. Food, music and celebrations to honour WIBCA volunteers past and present. Saturday, noon to 6pm.
A new immersive show about the life and work of an iconic Mexican surrealist has just opened! Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon is in a similar vein to the recent Monet show: a big airy space filled with colourful, dynamic projections. At the Arsenal Contemporary art Gallery until July 24.
The Innocent is your guide to the fantastical world of Charivari in Kooza, Cirque du soleil’s first big show under the big top in Montreal since 2019. At the Old Port until August 14.
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.
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.
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.