Sarah’s Weekend List, March 17-19

Montrealers will mark the city's 198th St Patrick's Day Parade, back in full force this Sunday! PHOTO: Peter McCabe
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

Welcome to St Patrick’s Day Weekend! The Soulanges Irish Society holds its parade on Main Street in Hudson, Saturday, 1-5pm. And the famous 198th Montreal parade kicks off Sunday at noon from Ste-Catherine and du Fort, headed eastward to Phillips Square. Keep an eye open for Grand Marshal Tim Furlong and his bride, Kim - set to be married by Chief Reviewing Officer Sterling Downey during the Parade!

Music on Friday: Minnesota pop singer Ber, 8pm at Bar Le Ritz PDB. Durham, Ontario’s own hip-hop star Freddie Dredd, Le Studio TD, 8pm. 

Music Saturday: singer-songwriter Carlie Hanson, 7pm at Bar Le Ritz PDB. Nigerian Afrobeats scenester Wizkid, Bell Centre 7:30pm. English singer Elderbrook, 8pm Corona Theatre - followed by a DJ set at 11pm at Newspeak. “Lo-fi” prince Keshi is at MTelus, 8pm. 

See two big movies with their music performed live: Daniel Craig’s third outing as James Bond in the moody Skyfall, where 007 chases villain Javier Bardem around the world for valuable hard drives. Thomas Newman picked up a BAFTA for this score. And then, relive the magic of dinosaurs resurrected in Jurassic Park. At Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier: Bond goes down Friday, 7:30pm, and the trip back in time is Saturday, 7:30pm. Produced by Toronto-based Attila Glatz Concert Productions. 

Montreal Symphony Orchestra presents a playful program for kids in Pinocchio. Compositions include Bizet, Debussy, Gounod and Kosma will be brightened by on-stage actors. For kids aged 5 to 12. At Maison symphonique, Sunday, 2pm. 

Also for the kids, aged 3 and up: Salle Claude-Léveillée hosts Piano public, a rendez-vous with a jazz pianist and two contemporary and hip-hop dancers. Sunday, 11am and 2pm. 

Paul Looks for Happiness is a two-part play for kids and families about that eternal search for that happy feeling. This bilingual puppet show musical is from the brain of physician-musician Dr Paul Rossy! At the Centaur, Saturday, 4pm and Sunday, 2pm. 

Montreal playwright Rahul Varma first wrote his Counter Offence some 30 years ago, and the tale of domestic unrest amid simmering racial tension is getting a fresh airing by Teesri Duniya Theatre. Shazia is stuck in an abusive marriage to Shapoor, and things grow increasingly complicated when a police officer, social worker and local activist get involved - and a body turns up. Until April 2 at The Segal Centre Studio.

Also at the Segal: previews begin Sunday for English, a new, award-winning play getting its Canadian premiere. Writer Sanaz Toossi invites us into a classroom in Iran, where four students are learning English from strict but loving teacher Marjan. English grapples with identity, language and assimilation in this very relevant play. Before Sunday’s 1:30pm preview, I will be sitting down with artists for Sunday @ The Segal, where we will discuss the under representation of artists with Middle East and North Africa heritage. Join us at 11am, with free coffee and treats! Or join online from The Segal’s social pages. 

Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre’s French-language Vertip spotlights an ancient form of Slavic puppetry. A Mile End puppeteer who performs out of a community centre basement has to confront prejudice and intent when someone points out the antisemitic tropes embedded in one of his star characters. Friday, 7pm and Saturday, 4pm  at the Maison internationale des arts de la marionnette in Outremont. 

Lakeshore Light Opera returns to the stage with Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. The cast - 30 volunteers strong, with an orchestra of 18 professional musicians - bring to life a Venetian swapped-at-birth tale. Marco and Giuseppe are best pals, learning to be gondoliers, until they discover that a distant king is dead - and one of them is his heir. But which one? The Gondoliers opens Friday at the Vanier College Auditorium, running until Saturday. (All proceeds go to the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation.) 

Montreal Strip Spelling Bee is back! Think strip poker but with really hard, really long words.  Contestants don’t pay cover, and they get a free drink! You can sign up in advance at The Slinky Shakes & Kinky Snakes Edition of the Bee is Saturday, 9pm.

Or you can strip and sing at Bareoke, at Café Cleopatra, Saturday at 9pm. 

MainLine Theatre also hosts live drawing session Dr Sketchy Montreal. Eldritch Mór is the model for a tarot-themed afternoon. Saturday, 2-5pm. 

They’ve booked deliciously funny AND half-Irish Derek Seguin to headline St Pat’s Weekend at the Comedy Nest with support from Simone Holder, Asseem Halbe, Morgan Oshea and more… Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm. 

At Montreal Improv in St Henri, check out Troubadour Friday at 10pm… where a musician inspires improvisers with their performance, banter and lyrics. Jazzy-blues trobairitz Lou Laurence (vocal style described as “a blend of Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin and Billie Holiday) will perform with her ukulele. Other shows through the weekend, with a performance by the St-Henri Jazz Society Sunday, 5pm.

Fairmount Theatre hosts Fangirl Fantasy, a dance party which will juxtapose the music of two well-known pop star exes, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Saturday, 9pm. 

Energy is the big theme at The Wiggle Room. On the bill, burlesque dancers Roxy Torpedo, Clara Develours, Tristan Ginger and Zyra Lee Vanity. Hosted by Wiggle owner, Frenchy Jones. Friday and Saturday, 9pm.



Take in brunch or dinner in a heated, geodesic dome - with a great view - on the rooftop Hotel William Gray in Old Montreal. Their “Winter Terrasse” is segueing into sugar shack season, with apple and Sortilège whisky cheesecake on the menu! Reserve your dome in advance - minimum of four guests, to a maximum of eight. Also in Old Montreal: dinner and brunch deals at Happening Gourmand! The 15th edition features 11 restaurants in Old Montreal offering table d’hôte menus for brunch and dinner. Sup at restos like Kyo Bar Japonais, Maggie Oakes, Méchant Boeuf and Jacopo. Brunches are on offer weekends, starting at $22. For dinner, choose a three-course menu at the following price points: $32, $42 or $52. Until April 2. 

Last weekend to to visit Toward Freedom at Plateau art gallery Projet Casa. The show, curated by Mojeanne Behzadi, draws inspiration from the ongoing women-led protests in Iran as well as other protest movements. The exhibit is not long, but it packs a punch with its visual and audiovisual displays. Until March Sunday. 

Illumi – Dazzling World of Lights in Laval relaunches tonight, just in time for spring break! Walk or drive through 19 universes along a 3-kilometre walk, and be dazzled by 25 million LED lights!  If you have been to past Illumis, this one will have new tableaux to check out - like the dinosaurs! Until April 9. 

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has just launched Parall(elles), a look at the influence of female designers from the mid-19th century to today. 

Lasting Impressions wraps you up in various iconic scenes painted by the artists both in and adjacent to the Impressionist movement. Get cozy with Renoir’s luncheon guests and idle with Georges Seurat’s park-goers, while enveloped in a French soundtrack ranging from Debussy to Piaf to Aznavour. The first half is a primer to the artists, highlighting lesser-known women artists. After an entracte, you don yellow 3D glasses for the full immersive effect. Seating is arranged like a bistro, complete with a simple menu and wine list. At Espace St-Denis, now until April 24!

The Van Gogh - Distorsion immersive walk-through show returns from its COP15-Christmas break as of Monday. Experience 225 of the iconic artist’s works in this three-gallery show, set up in the OASIS immersion space at Palais des congrès. 

Get moving and go for a walk, skate, toboggan or cross-country ski… check out which parks have recently maintained hills, trails and skating rinks at the City of Montreal’s portal

Two places to lace up your skates (whether you rent or bring your own): The skating rink at Esplanade Tranquille is in its second season! This is on Ste Catherine, near Place des Arts.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains displays over 350 artifacts from the band’s days touring and recording… from audio equipment to cover art to set pieces. The show made a splash at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2017, and has been touring the world - now it’s your turn to discover the story behind the music! Opens Friday at Arsenal Contemporary Art Gallery in Griffintown, until April 2. (Hear Andrew’s chat with album cover designer and exhibit founder Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell here.)