With spring in full bloom this week in Montreal, both indoor and outdoor entertainment options appropriately abound, from puppetry that astounds the eyes to live music that moves the body, plus a festival of Quebecois culture, a science show about Star Wars, dramatic world-class dance and theatre, and an art fair that gathers most of Montreal’s galleries in one place…
(star wars science) Psychology and human identity are at the heart of Star Wars: Identities, a brand new exhibition starting April 19 at the Montreal Science Centre that gets us to delve deep into the (however fictional) minds of the movies’ characters. Legit science is paired with an impressive array of Star Wars props, costumes, models and artwork from the Lucasfilm Archives, including Anakin’s full-sized Podracer.
(multi-talented Montreal) A visit to Montreal isn’t complete without taking in some Quebecois, French-language cultural fare. Festival Vue sur la relève makes that easy, with music, theatre, dance and more throughout the month at venues around town. April 13-14, see dance from choreographer-dancers Gibson Muriva, Tomomi Morimoto and Maria Isabel Rondon and more at MAI. On April 13 there’s music from Maxime Robin and Phano & Associés at Casa del Popolo and more music on April 19 from Klô Pelgag, Raphaël Freynet and Simon Kingsbury at Lion d’Or. And starting April 18, the multi-lingual Blue Metropolis Literary Festival brings writers of all kinds to town for readings, workshops and more.
(pulling strings) Only true puppetry pioneer and dramatist Ronnie Burkett could pull of a puppet show about the apocalypse. But his one-man multi-puppet spectacle Penny Plain is nothing less than a dark comedy thriller about a blind girl, her dog and humanity’s survival as the end of the world nears. Burkett’s Theatre of Marionettes shows never fail to impress and inspire adults and kids alike – at Cinquième Salle in Place des Arts, April 12-21.
(world dance) Young French choreographer Mourad Merzouki and his Compagnie Käfig blend hip-hop, samba, electronic music and more, April 13-14 at Place des Arts, presented by Danse Danse. And later in the week, April 19-21, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens presents a program of solo, duet and group pieces from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with music ranging from Nina Simone to traditional Indian.
(comedy & drama) In Old Montreal, the Centaur Theatre puts on Pulitzer-winning Lynn Nottage’s ragtime drama Intimate Apparel, to April 29. Provocative drama Blackbird challenges definitions of love and the law, at Les Ateliers Jean-Brillant, April 11-15 and 18-22. And three of Montreal’s funniest people – Walter Lyng, Kirsten Rasmussen and Massimo – join The Laugh Pack stand-up comedy night at the Segal Centre on April 19.
(art abundance) Papier12, Montreal’s answer to NYC’s Armory Show, exhibits thousands of art works from hundreds of artists represented by galleries in Montreal, Quebec and Canada – and almost all works are for sale, April 13-15 at Quartier des Spectacles. Over at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is new 3-D installation/projection Fragmentation, based on scenes from a performance lipsynch directed by Robert Lepage. Also featured at the museum is exhibition Lyonel Feininger: From Manhattan to the Bauhaus. And art, multi-media and performance meet in Festival Temps d’Images, now in its 7th year of hosting local and international artists for two weeks of at Usine C – April 19, Japanese artist Hiroaki Umeda combines dance, music and video in double-bill Haptic and Holistic Strata, and Montreal sound artist Martin Tétreault performs Points, lignes avec haut-parleurs, while installation work populates Usine C’s common areas.
(live music) The weekend starts off with dance beats by Bavarian Bass Boys of Schlachthofbronx and Poirier, at le Belmont. Chicago rockin’ blues guitar man Buddy Guy comes to Metropolis on April 14. Also that night, Montreal ska-punk masters The Planet Smashers bring on the Stomp Records Spring Tour with Big D & The Kids Table, The Beatdown and more, at Club Soda. Brilliant Montreal musician and songwriter Patrick Watson takes over the Corona Theatre, April 15-17. Irish-Glaswegian indie rockers Snow Patrol turn up the temperature April 16 at Metropolis. Bryan Adams plays hits old and new and in between at the Bell Centre, April 17, while that same night, popular and fun-loving Acadian hip-hop group Radio Radio party at Club Soda. And on April 18, North Carolina folk rock band The Avett Brothers shine at the Corona Theatre, while The All-American Rejects are at Le National.