Last month, I told you that fall was the perfect season to see the symphony. I was totally right. Based on the overwhelming success of that prediction (as judged by me), I’m here with another confidant autumn call: this is also the perfect time of year to go see a play…
The theatre scene in Montreal is as thriving as, well, all of its other thriving arts scenes. The reasons are clear: this is a city filled with creative, artistic people and, equally important, educated, open-minded and up-for-anything audiences. I won’t pretend to know a ton about the theatre, but I do know that a great, well-acted play is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a night out on the city. It’s a movie IN 3D. (A quick note: this is an English website so we’re focusing on Anglo theatre. But if you’re adventurous, or have a patient, bilingual friend, do try to take in some of the city’s excellent French Theatre.)
MAINLINE THEATRE: The home of Montreal’s wild (and wildly successful) Fringefest, Mainline Theatre, as always, has a bunch of stuff on tap. They have Simonsmith Theatre’s “Hope in Chaos”, an insider’s reflection on what it was like to be at Ground Zero immediately after 9/11. After that, they present “Dark Owl” which focuses on the dark ties than bind a small-town New Brunswick family. And finally, almost as if to lighten the tone of the previous two plays, they follow those up with the Fringefest fave “Jesus Jello: The Miraculous Confection“, which takes a humorous run-up to the holiday season.
CENTAUR THEATRE: One of, if not the, best place to see English Theatre in Montreal. If you move quickly, you can still catch the Joel Miller-directed, Vittorio Rossi-written “Paradise by the River”, which tells the tale of Italian-Canadian immigrants in Montreal and the effect of war-camp internment on their families. After that, they move on the one-and-only “Don Quixote“, Cervantes’ rollicking tale of a gentleman and his faithful sidekick and their travels in a world going mad (or travels in a world WHILE going mad). For those keeping score, Don Quixote is generally agreed to be one of the greatest works of fiction ever written.
SEGAL CENTRE: There’s only one play left in the Segal Theatre’s fall lineup, but it’s a good one. Director Marti Maraden tackles “Blithe Spirit”, one of wickedly witty Noel Coward’s most wildly successful wartime plays. It tells the tale of novelist whose contact with a medium invites the unwelcome presence of his ex-wife into the house. Committed theatre fans will want to check the Segal Centre’s Sunday Salons, which take place on the second and third Sunday of the month and allow the audience to participate in in-depth conversations about the play.
THEATRE SAINTE-CATHERINE: The little theatre that could always boasts an interesting, eclectic lineup. Like the clowntacular “The Lost Thoughts of Louch the Clown”, a bilingual mix of cabaret and circus starring Just For Laughs and Cirque de Soleil veterans. Or just show up any Sunday night to see their wildly unpredictable but always entertaining Sunday Night Improv.