Archive for the ‘Art and Culture’ Category

Wine, Wine, Women and Song

The Mid-Life Crisis of Dionysus If you’re in town this month and need some cheering up from the post V-day February blahs, you really ought to go see this play, (and not just because a fellow Montreal Metblogger is performing in it – ahem). The Montreal Mirror featured it this week, and Le Quatrième absolutely recommends the musical as the perfect tonic for one’s winter blues. With original live music, song, dance, and a variety of mythical creatures The Mid-Life Crisis of Dionysus could very well be the best musical theatre production of Winter 2010!

Playing at Mainline Theatre, 3997 boul. St. Laurent every night except Sundays and Mondays until March 6th. $20 a ticket, $15 if you buy a set of four. Contact 514.849.3378 for tickets or buy them online.

Montreal Burlesque Festival, September 17-20

fundraiserI just got home from the Silk Stocking Revue, a fundraiser event for the Montreal Burlesque Festival that’s happening this September 17 to 20, and let me tell you: it’s going to kick ass!

The fundraiser was at the Opus Hotel, across the street from the Just For Laughs Museum where the festival will be happening. The performers were all fabulous, and performed a variety of different types of numbers, including some comedic stylings from Peter Radomski and a female duo whose names escape me. Even “Esther,” the girl who was cleaning up all the costumes after the ladies stripped down, was hilarious. There was a surprise out-of-town performer from Vancouver who went by the name of Bon Bon Bombay, and she really riled the audience up with her take on the Dresden Dolls’ “Missed Me,” plucking an unsuspecting man from the audience and tying him up with her scarves as she did her doll dance around him. It was definitely one of the highlights of the evening, along with the final performance of the evening by festival founder Scarlett James, who was a vision in white feathers and thousands of crystals!

If you’re hungry for more of Scarlett before September, you can see her perform at the Bal Érotique on August 14 at Club Opera, another sexy event that’s sure to whet your whistle for more! In the meantime, stay tuned for more news on the first-ever Montreal Burlesque Festival by checking their website at

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.”

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).

Montréal Museums Day

It’s Montréal Museums Day today.

Admission to over 30 local museums and public transit are both free.

Red-light rally at Café Cleopatra

redalertAs mentioned in a previous post, a coalition is forming to protest the proposed “revitalization” of the lower Main, and the destruction of Café Cleopatra and much of the red-light district. For those who are interested in supporting a more democratic approach to revamping this space, there will be a “Friends of Cabaret Cleo” rally event happening on Saturday, June 6, starting at 8 PM at the cabaret (1230 St-Laurent, 2nd floor). Attendees will be able to sign a petition (also available online and in PDF format, if you want to collect signatures beforehand), and there will be lectures, entertainment and performances, so if you can come on out, you should!

For more info on the rally, check out the Club Sin website, read Louis Rastelli’s article in the Montreal Mirror, or join the Red Alert! group on Facebook.

Dawson design show

Dawson College - interior design vernissage The interior design school of Dawson College is having their annual vernissage of the final masterpieces of this year’s graduates. Appropriately hosted in the resplendent lobby of a building designed by Mies van der Rohe himself, this is a great event for the graduates to get exposure and for the public to get a good look at what three intense years of design school can produce.

Where: 1 Westmount Square, in the lobby (metro Atwater)
When: Thursday, May 28, 5:30pm – 9:00pm *
Complimentary food & drink: yes!

Check out the Facebook invite.

* The vernissage is this evening, but the projects will be left up for the public to see all day on Friday and Saturday.

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