July’s warm, sunny weather means much of the week’s activities can be found outdoors, whether in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles downtown or in the city’s biggest parks. Live music, comedy, theatre, circus and film screenings abound, keeping everyone of any age entertained…
(outdoor music & theatre) It’s showtime in Montreal’s parks this week, where all kinds of entertainment adds to the pleasure of summer evening. Parc Jean-Drapeau hosts family-friendly Weekends du Monde, July 13-14, an entertainment-packed two days of culture in the form of food, dance, music and more: don’t miss TriniDay on Saturday, music from Wesli Band and Papagroove, and Sunday’s Brazilian Summer Carnival. See romantic, fantastical comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this year’s Shakespeare in the Park production by Repercussion Theatre, playing outdoors at Jarry Park on July 13, Mount Royal Cemetery on July 16 and in Westmount Park, July 17-19. And music festival Pop Montreal puts fantastic Montreal bands on the Théâtre de Verdure stage in Parc Lafontaine: see Pawa Up First and Syngja on July 12 and Orkestar Kriminal and Karim Ouellet on July 13, 8:30 p.m.
(laugh riot) Comedy can be found all around town during the Just For Laughs festival, running until the end of July. This week, see absurd and brilliant comedian Maria Bamford, multi-faceted showcase The Ethnic Show, hosted by This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ Shaun Majumder, L.A.-based Canadian stand-up comic Ivana Shein, and the potty-mouthed, extremely-popular showcase, The Nasty Show. There’s even more comedy going on at Zoofest, a JFL-offshoot specializing in full-concept shows: see Cameryn Moore’s one-woman Slut (R)Evolution, hilarious audience-participation piece Let’s Build a Country, Jon Bennett’s Pretending Things Are a Cock, the hilarious Roller Derby Saved My Soul, U2 theatre and cover songs show All I Want Is U2, and titillating neo-burlesque shows Bad Ladies and the Detective, Candyass Cabaret, Acme Burlesque and Where Are My Socks. And for something truly Montreal, witness some of Quebec’s funniest French-speaking comedians switch to English for the Franglos Comedy Show. For showtimes, see Zoofest’s calendar.
(fantastic circus) International circus festival Montréal Complètement Cirque brings some of the best circus acts to Montreal, with shows indoors and outdoors until July 14. See: S, the newest show from acclaimed Australian troupe Circa; Fabrique Métamorphosis, an acrobatic performance accompanied by a 360-degree immersive film; Cirque Eloize’s cabaret show Music Hall de la Baronne; David Dimitri’s truly impressive L’Homme Cirque; Australian acrobatic troupe Propaganda; Cirque Céans’ inventive Croisé; and outdoor events in the Quartier des Spectacles at Place Émilie-Gamelin, where 40 acrobats perform every night in new show Babel, along St-Denis in the Latin Quarter, and at circus centre La Tohu.
(edgy film) Dedicated to horror, suspense and fantasy-genre films, especially of the underground and rare variety, with a focus on Asian film, the Fantasia International Film Festival begins its 17th edition on July 18, with opening films Takashi Miike’s Shield of Straw and James Wan’s The Conjuring. Preview the festival at Fantasia Under the Stars, a series of film screenings at Parc de la Paix, next door to art-and-technology centre the SAT, on St-Laurent near Ste-Catherine Street. Begin the nights of July 13-14 at 7 p.m. with a BBQ and music from local DJs. Films follow at 9 p.m.: on July 13, see three episodes of the 1975 Japanese sci-fi TV show The Goldorak Event and on July 14, see 1975 Italian cult film A Genius, Two Friends and an Idiot. Meanwhile, at the Phi Centre, see live tapings of Guy Maddin’s new film project Seances, as well as screenings of Room 237, a documentary on theories about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, on July 16, and Joss Whedon’s version of Much Ado About Nothing on July 17.
(live music) The Nuits d’Afrique festival continues with concerts from Maria de Barros, Balkan Beat Box, Aurelio Martinez, Abou Diarra and many more artists from across Africa and from Montreal’s African community – and starting July 18, see free shows outdoors at the Quartier des Spectacles. In a hard-rock blast from the past, Guns ‘n’ Roses returns to play Metropolis on July 14 and Alice In Chains plays there the next night. If rocking out isn’t your cup of tea, take a short drive to classical music Festival de la Lanaudière, one of the biggest classical music events in Canada, located just outside Montreal in Joliette, with shuttle service from downtown Montreal. The festival begins on July 13 with a concert by pianist Alain Lefèvre and continues until August 11 with daily concerts by orchestras, quartets and choirs. Electronic-music dance party Piknic Electronik spends all weekend at Parc Jean-Drapeau – a bonus: free entry on Saturday! On July 17, see British singer, rapper and controversial pop-culture figure M.I.A. at Metropolis. Long-awaited film Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me screens on July 13, followed by performances by Montreal band Elephant Stone, The Big Star All Star Tribute Band and Mécanik Synthétik, at Sala Rossa. Scout Niblet plays Casa del Popolo on July 16 while U.S. indie-folk noises makers Woods and Parquet Courts come to Il Motore and the wonderful Julia Holter plays atmospheric, dramatic pop at La Sala Rossa.