Archive for June, 2009

Jazz fest starts with free Stevie Wonder concert

Stevie Wonder (photo courtesy of Montreal Jazz Fest)

Stevie Wonder (photo courtesy of Montreal Jazz Fest)

In case you miraculously haven’t heard about it by now, Stevie Wonder is coming to the Montreal Jazz Fest this year! His free concert, tonight at 9:30 at the GM stage (corner of St-Catherine and Jeanne-Mance), kicks off the festivities, and approximately 100,000 people are expected to attend.

As the Gazette reports, despite the fact that only 8,700 people attended his Bell Centre performance back in 2007, tonight’s concert is on everyone’s to-do list. If you’re planning on going, I’d advise you to get there early to grab a seat or a section of land to stand on. Otherwise, you may be hearing Lil’ Stevie from several blocks away.

For more Jazz Fest programming, check out their website at, and for a quick hit of Stevie Wonder, check out this YouTube video of “For Once in My Life.”

Favorite Restaurants

As I was walking around today looking for a place to eat, I thought it would be an interesting idea to poll people as to what are their favorite restaurants in Montreal.  So for the following categories what is your favorite place.  I’ve added my own favorites in parenthesis.

Beer (Biere et Companie)

Breakfast (Jardin Nelson)

Burgers (Les Belles Soeurs)





Crepes (Jardin Nelson)






Greek (Ouzeri)

Indian (La Taj or Gandhi)




Mexican/Tex-Mex (Cafe de Matéo)

North African


Pizza (Miss Italia)


Poutine (Ma’ame Bolduc)


Ribs (Bofinger)







So what are your favorites?

Filthy, Funny and Perverted Variety Hour, June 16-20

filthyIt’s not at the Fringe festival, so you may not have heard about this one, but you definitely should! Theatre Ste-Catherine presents The Funny, Filthy & Perverted Variety Hour tonight through June 20 at 264 Ste-Catherine East. Doors open at 9:30 PM, show starts at 10 PM according to the website (although the Theatre’s website says the show starts at 8 PM—confusion!).

Performers include a variety of acts from burlesque, circus, comedy, music, sketch and stand-up genres, and the line-up changes every night. Hosts and hostesses include Eric Amber, Christophe Davidson, Seska Lee & Miss Sugarpuss. Performers tonight include Amanda Connell, The Dan D Lyons, Scarlett James, Lola Lamb, Seska Lee, Michael Lifshitz and Miss Sugarpuss. Check the show’s website for upcoming line-ups!

Hot Summer Guide, despite continuing cool temps

Though it may not feel like it yet, with temperatures only in the low-twenties (that’s Celsius, for you crazy Yanks), summer is upon us. While the solstice isn’t until June 21, and you may stil be sporting a jacket in the evenings, Montrealers are gearing up for bigtime parties in this town of neverending festivals.

Wondering what to do with your bad self? Never fear! The Montreal Mirror’s Hot Summer Guide is online with plenty of festivals to check out. The Fringe Festival is just beginning this evening with their free opening night party, and shows get started in earnest on Friday. Also happening in June:

So what the heck are you waiting for? Get out there and get festive!

Fringe Festival starts tomorrow, runs June 11-21

Fringe 2009 logo (via

Fringe 2009 logo (via

The annual St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival kicks off tomorrow night with an opening night party featuring the United Steel Workers of Montreal and Lake of Stew. Entry to the event is free, and the location is out in the open at Parc des Amériques. The party starts at 7 PM, so be there or be square!

“What the heck is a Fringe Festival?” you may be asking. As per their website, these are the four founding principles of all Canadian Fringe events:

1) No Artistic Direction. Artists are selected by lottery.
2) No Censorship. Artists have complete freedom to present ANYTHING.
3) Accessibility to artists. Anyone can apply to the lottery.
4) Accessibility to audience. Ticket prices are kept low and 100% of the ticket price is returned to the artists you see on stage.

Additionally, many of the Fringe shows are, as implied by the festival’s name, really out on the fringes of society—whether in terms of performance material or good taste. Fringe shows often push the boundaries of what we conceive of as typical theatrical performances, and can range from dance to musical performances to lectures to stand-up comedy to drama to audience participatory events and more. There are, truly, no limits on Fringe events beyond a performer’s imagination.

For more information on all of the Fringe shows (which run from June 11-21), be sure to check their website at, or head on down to the beer tent and check out the action!

Free performance of Lucia di Lammermoor at Place des Arts

In case you’re wondering what to do with your Thursday night, here’s a suggestion: the Opéra de Montréal is offering free admission to their latest performance of Lucia di Lammermoor. Granted, you’ll have to provide your own folding chair or blanket, as the freebie seats will all be outside (at Esplanade de la Place des Arts), but for those who can’t afford $46+taxes for even the cheapest nosebleed-section seats indoors, this is a pretty sweet deal.

The show starts at 8 PM, and according to their Facebook page, 33,000 people attended last year! You’ll definitely want to get there early to snag the primo spaces, especially as there’s construction going on in the area that could tie you up.

For more information on Lucia di Lammermoor, composer Donizetti, or to buy tickets to other performances, check out the Opéra de Montréal’s website (bilingual), or join their Facebook group (only available in French).

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