It’s a pumpkin party with Pépo the Pumpkin, Esmeralda the Friendly Witch and Marie the market gardener.
The city pulls out all the stops for Halloween, with wild and eerie entertainment and parties all weekend, while still attending to another of life’s necessities: food, courtesy of TASTE MTL. Once Halloween ends, the food fun continues along with innovative theatre, dance, art and live music…
(restaurant hopping) Montreal holds its own version of restaurant week with TASTE MTL, November 1-11, inviting over 100 restaurants to prepare affordable 3-course meals, giving culinary tours around the city, and offering wine tastings, cooking classes and workshops with master chefs and gastronomy experts. Restaurants Tasso, Au Cinquième Péché and Le Continental on St-Denis Street even host Opéra de Montréal singers on select evenings, and, as an enticement to sample restaurants on Mont-Royal Avenue, on the evenings of November 1-2 and 8-9 see several hundred candles light up in an art installation outside Mont-Royal metro station.
(fright nights) Halloween happens all weekend in Montreal, so expect to see costumed hoards aplenty. Celebrate the season outdoors at the Montreal Botanical Garden, where the Great Pumpkin Ball and the Insectarium’s Spiders Unmasked shows entertain all day, or go on a ghost tour of the city with Fantômes Montreal. Of course, night time is when the real Halloween scares starts, whether at the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Cinéma Impérial, a night of neo-burlesque at the Wiggle Room, at the adults-only haunted house FIN: The Only Haunted Theatrical Experience In The City at Theatre Ste-Catherine, or one of many Halloween parties city-wide, including an audio-visually immersive electro-dance party at the Satosphere and Speakeasy HallowSwing with live band and stage shows at Lion d’Or.
(dancing days) One of Canada’s most acclaimed and interesting choreographers, Marie Chouinard presents two recent contemporary dance pieces: the visual-art-inspired Henri Michaux: Mouvements and Gymnopédies, set to the music of Erik Satie, to November 2 at Place des Arts. Witness the history of tango in the fast and fancy footwork of the new Tango Fire show at Place des Arts, November 6-7. And more contemporary dance comes from Montreal choreographers Emily Gualtieri and David Albert-Toth, of Parts + Labour Danse, inspired by Eugene Ionesco’s Theatre of the Absurd, at Monument National, to November 3.
(theatre & culture) Science and the money-minded politics of GMO farming hit the stage in playwright Annabel Soutar’s Seeds, a courtroom drama and social satire about Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser’s real-life fight against the Monsanto corporation, on at Centaur Theatre to November 24. See carefully-crafted one-person shows like Andrea Stanford’s Verbal Diary-Ah: Confessions of an awkward teenager and Kirsten Rasmussen’s UnLOVEable, at Mainline Theatre, November 6-9. And the Festival du Monde Arabe, to November 9, features unique shows spanning the many sounds and art forms of the Arab world, including Andalusian music, Montreal’s oud masters, mezzo-soprano Fairouz Oudjida’s opera of the desert, as well as dance, film screenings and several free events – from a guitar-sanza duo to the Sattvika dance troupe – at Espace Georges-Emile Lapalme in Place Des Arts.
(art & history) The past, present and future of North American Aboriginal art and culture intertwine at new exhibition Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, featuring inspired painting, photography and multimedia work, at the Musée d’art Contemporain – on Friday night, check out the Nocturnes concert event with artist-musician Jackson 2Bears, Inuit DJ madeskimo and throat singer Sylvia Cloutier. The long history of creative life in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood is on display at the Pointe-à-Callière museum’s Lives and Times of the Plateau exhibition, while the sounds of 16th-to-18th-century Venice accompany music-themed paintings, instruments and even a gondola, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. And the Galerie de l’UQAM shows new portraiture paintings by Janet Werner that tackle the complexities of beauty, desire and subjectivity.
(live music) Wear a costume or don’t, but be sure to dance as hip hop, rock and techno collide at the Ed Banger Records 10th Anniversary Tour, featuring Breakbot, Busy P and a DJ set by Justice, at Metropolis on October 31. On November 1, take a costume cue from legendary new wave, proto-punk band Sparks, playing songs old and new at Le National. On Saturday, November 2, Matthew Good strums up solid, poetic rock songs at Théâtre Corona – then things get heavy with Welsh metal band Bullet For My Valentine at Metropolis, but lighten up with lauded all-lady Weezer cover band Sheezer and Lederhosen Lucil at Il Motore, while Minneapolis pop-rock band Poliça plays Cabaret Mile-End, and Montreal’s Braids keep the party going at SAT. Tuesday night sees Brooklyn’s (non-Halloween-related) Holy Ghost! bring synthpop tunes to Le Belmont, plus the return of indie-rock stalwarts Sebadoh to Il Motore. Smile and dance along to the pop-soul stylings of Britain’s Jessie Ware at Théâtre Corona Virgin Mobile on November 5, and on November 6 hear the activist-minded words and music of Rwandan-Canadian rapper Shad, and the rock sounds of Hannah Georgas and We Are The City at Théâtre Corona. Loudness abounds as none other than My Bloody Valentine gather their fan-base on November 6 at Metropolis. And on November 7, the American-folk-rock of Twin Forks settles in at Cabaret Mile End.
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