Spring is here in Montreal, bike lanes are wide open and parks are filling up even on weekdays, but nights are still cool, so we’re heading indoors to see puppet shows that even adults will love, hip-hop inspired dance, dark drama, the always fun Harlem Globetrotters, live music, art and more…
(outdoor action) April, despite varying temperatures, still means springtime in Montreal, which also means official biking time in the city. With more bike paths opening every year and more locals and tourists choosing two wheels over four, Montreal is becoming a cyclist hot spot. Montreal Buzz’s Bike Guide gives an overview of bike paths, bike rental places and the city-wide bike system, Bixi. This week’s forecast of sunny days calls for packing a mid-day picnic and biking to Parc LaFontaine, Parc Jeanne-Mance or even a ride up the Mountain (the trail isn’t bad; it just takes time).
(puppet master) True puppetry pioneer and dramatist Ronnie Burkett ’s 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 Place des Arts, April 12-21.
(theatrical thoughts) Pulitzer-winning Lynn Nottage’s ragtime drama Intimate Apparel dances circles around subjects of women, power, race and class status, at the Centaur Theatre 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 adored Toronto improv comedy troupe Sex T-Rex get physical with a few Montreal comedy-theatre stars from troupes Uncalled For and The Bitter End in Callaghan! An Action Movie Live on Stage!, April 6-7 at MainLine Theatre.
(dance delights) Hip-hop, samba, electronic music and more merge as Danse Danse presents new dance pieces from young French choreographer Mourad Merzouki and his Compagnie Käfig, April 12-14 at Place des Arts Theatre Maisonneuve. Choreographer Catherine Gaudet creates corporeal waves of varying emotion in duo Je suis un autre at Theatre LaChappelle, to April 7. And Rhizome Productions presents the poetry, dance and audio-visual art of Para Quedar / pour rester humain, April 6-7, and Paloma Martinez’s Aparaciones Mexican-rooted dance piece, April 10-11, at MAI .
(ballistic b-ball) Montreal may not have its own basketball team, and we may not even have baseball anymore (many, myself included, still hold out hope for its return, Expos or no Expos), but we always welcome a visit from the world-famous, high-drama, higher-comedy basketball wizards the Harlem Globetrotters. Get in on the team’s sweet b-ball skills and full-court antics at the Bell Centre, April 6. Or if hockey’s more your game, stick around as the Montreal Canadiens take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 7 at the Bell Centre.
(abstract art) The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art opens its new A Matter of Abstraction exhibition on April 11, featuring over 100 works, spanning 70 years, from the museum’s massive collection. Earlier in the week catch triple exhibition – Ghada Amer, Valérie Blass and Wangechi Mutu – and on the evening of Friday, April 6, see Montreal band K.A.N.T.N.A.G.A.N.O., with bar service starting at 5 p.m. (admission free with museum ticket). Meanwhile, gallery Parisian Laundry shows new portrait work by Janet Werner in a series of semi-distorted figures on large canvases, fittingly called Earthling, to April 28. And, for soccer fans especially, see Zidane: A 21st Century Portait, only until April 14, at Galerie de l’UQAM.
(many musics) The weekend starts off heavily awesome with Mastodon at Metropolis on April 6. On April 7, things get lighter with The Ting Tings at Le National and Say Anything at Theatre Corona. Experimental free-jazz (the good kind) Ballister come in from Chicago to play Casa del Popolo, while North Carolina indie-folk-rock band Lost in the Trees plays Il Motore, both April 7. The 60-strong Montreal Gospel Choir sings April 8, while later in the week, guitarist and singer-songwriter Greg Lake, formerly of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson, plays solo April 12-13, both at Le Gesu. Pop singer Dev heats up Theatre Corona on April 10. And Pop Montreal presents Montreal singer-songwriter Caroline Keating, plus opener Philémon Chante, April 12 at Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste.