(spring thaw) Along with this weekend’s Easter egg hunts and Sunday brunches, from classic to scrumptious to exotic and creative, excitement permeates the Montreal air as the NHL Playoffs begin with the Canadiens playing the Tampa Lightning at the Bell Centre on April 20 and 22. Get your sugar fix until the end of the month as sugaring-off season keeps the maple syrup flowing at one of the city’s sugar shacks and make sure to try some of the city’s favourite maple treats. Go green with a visit to the Botanical Garden and the Butterflies Go Free event, and check out more than 300 electric vehicles during Journées Branchez-Vous, April 18-19 at beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau. Find something new, colourful and creative to wear for spring at Montreal designer Les Enfants Sauvage cocktail party and sale on April 18, featuring bands, DJs and fashion, at Espace Projet, 5-9 p.m. And the Philharmonic Society of Montréal heralds in spring with a choral and orchestral concert of Verdi’s Requiem at Église Saint Jean-Baptiste on April 18, while conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Orchestre Métropolitain, its Choir and acclaimed guest singers in an Easter celebration at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on Saturday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m.
(theatre & dance) Brilliant, award-winning playwright Yaël Farber directs her most recent work, Mies Julie, based on August Strindberg’s now-classic story of post-apartheid struggles of power, family and freedom in rural South Africa, at Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts, April 24-May 3. Amy Herzog’s family comedy-drama 4000 Miles tells a story of growing up and growing old, to April 20 at Centaur Theatre. Dance, theatre and contemporary art converge as Toronto choreographer-dancer D.A. Hoskins and The Dietrich Group challenge and entertain in their new, interactive show Land of F*ck, at Place des Arts, to April 19. Québec Danse and choreographer-dancer Louise Lecavalier lead the way in a free presentation called Trace Chorégraphique, beginning April 22 at Espace Culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme at Place des Arts. Jesus Christ Super Band brings the rock-opera cult classic film Jesus Christ Superstar to life, to April 20 at Théâtre Ste-Catherine.
(art & film) Wander Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles to see the outdoor McLaren Wall-to-Wall exhibition, eight video works projected onto the façades of buildings featuring excerpts from Norman McLaren’s films, a film by Kid Koala and more – and while there, swing and make music with art installation Les 21 Balançoires. Springtime is literally in the air at the Botanical Garden’s. Artist Christian Marclay’s 24-hour-long, collage-like video work The Clock screens at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal until April 20 only. Scottish artist Peter Doig paints in lush colours and warm hues in recent works on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, also host to multi-artist contemporary art exhibition 1+1=1. British artists Jake & Dinos Chapman provoke and disturb in their exhibition Come and See, originally shown at London’s Serpentine Galleries and now at DHC/Art in Old Montreal. The 30th edition of the Vues d’Afrique international film festival begins April 24, screening new films from Canada, the U.S., African nations and the African and Créole diaspora. And the Phi Centre screens films throughout the month, including Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive on April 21, Bruce McDonald’s The Husband on April 22 and Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best on April 24.
(live music) Martha Wainwright captivates at Theatre Outremont on Friday night. Get a sneak peek at the greatness of electronic music festival Mutek, with Avant_Mutek Montreal, featuring Swedish techno-house duo Minilogue and more, late into the night April 18 at Espace Reunion. Also on Friday night, S. Carey – drummer and co-vocalist of indie folk band Bon Iver, is joined by White Hinterland at Il Motore. On April 19, X Ambassadors alt-rock their hearts out, joined by Parade of Lights at Petit Campus. One of the biggest parties of the year, Bal en Blanc, holds its main event on April 20, an all-night, multi-room dance party, with DJs Hardwell, Deep Dish, Carl Cox, New World Punx and more, at Palais des Congres. Also on April 20, Berlin-based rock psychedelic hard-and-heavy Kadavar play with Sons of Huns, Cauchemar and High Spirits at Petit Campus and NYC indie-rock band We Are Scientists return to Montreal with Paws at Il Motore. Atlanta, Georgia indie-rockers The Black Lips come to Theatre Corona on April 21, with Natural Child and Red Mass, while indie-pop singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson belts out truths about life and love at Le National, and Swedish rock band I Break Horses plays soundscapes to shoegaze to at Il Motore. James Blunt croons to fans on April 23 at the Bell Centre, while Yamantaka // Sonic Titan slay in artful style, at Il Motore. April 24 brings the beats of Australian pop-rap star Iggy Azalea to Théâtre Corona, Montreal’s endearing Dear Criminals launch a new album at Cabaret Mile End, and Jessica Lea Mayfield brings her guitar and her country-rock style to Divan Orange.
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