While always lively in any season, Montreal truly springs to life this week with outdoor activities, including the return of the city’s food trucks, hockey playoffs, a new Cirque du Soleil show, cutting-edge art, live music, and more…
(step into spring) The warmer weather urges foodies – and anyone who loves a good meal – to put on our walking shoes and get outdoors because Montreal’s food trucks are back May 1 to October 5 at 15 sites around Montreal. This Friday, from 4-11 p.m., find several of the trucks at the Olympic stadium esplanade for First Fridays, serving up pulled pork, burgers, gourmet creations and more. And on Sunday on the Esplanade, dance with the entire family to live African music. Swing to the sound of music down at the Quartier des Spectacles’ 21 Swings interactive installation and see the large-screen video projections of Wall-to-Wall on several screens throughout the downtown core. Or find a new favourite author at the 16th edition of the Blue Met Festival, to May 4, featuring readings, discussions, book launches and workshops with writers from 15 countries. And the spring season fires up Montreal’s intense playoff hockey spirit: this week, the Canadiens meet the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Second Round Series, playing live May 6 and 8 at the Bell Centre and on television screens in watering holes city-wide.
(circus, theatre & dance) Cirque du Soleil’s newest show, Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities, turns time and space upside down in a steampunk circus of spectacular proportions, all barely contained in the blue-and-yellow-striped big top in the Old Port of Montreal. Award-winning playwright Yaël Farber directs 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, to May 3, while beloved musical-comedy 2 Pianos 4 Hands returns to Centaur Theatre to May 25, and contemporary British play Top Girls lights the stage at the Segal Centre, to May 18. Persephone Productions lifts the curtain on Montreal-centric, witty romantic comedy Strawberries in January, to May 3 in Parc Lafontaine. And Australian theatre artist Shane Adamczak presents his acclaimed black comedy Trampoline at MainLine Theatre, May 7-17. In dance, nudity is beautiful and powerful in French choreographer Oliver Dubois’s work for 18 dancers, Tragédie, to May 3 at Place des Arts. Dancers randomly appear at Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme choreographed by Louise Lecavalier – and free music concerts appear too, May 2-7, as part of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival.
(art & history) Two new interactive shows take visitors back in time without leaving the city: the wondrous Cave of Lascaux exhibition at Montreal Science Centre unearths colourful cave paintings created 20,000 years ago by our Cro-Magnon ancestors, while Pointe-à-Callière Museum’s Pirates or Privateers? lets kids try on the swashbuckling life of both pirates and sailors of New France in the late 17th to early 18th century. Back to the present day, Japanese artist and electronic musician Ryoji Ikeda explores complex data, sound and digital video in exhibition C4I at the Musée d’art contemporain beginning May 6. Jake & Dinos Chapman’s newest provocative show, Come and See, sprawls across DHC/ART’s two spaces in Old Montreal, and the Phi Centre teams up with The International Digital Arts Biennial and Montreal Digital Spring for Correlate / Corréler, Concordia University’s Department of Design and Computation Arts annual exhibition, May 2-3, the new ÆLAB video projection show, beginning May 5, and an exhibition of work by artist Robyn Moody, entitled Power 2: Heart Lake as seen through the eyes of Manley Natland. And the International Weird Collage Show comes to Montreal gallery Espace MASSIVart, featuring high-level experiments in collage art.
(live music) Friday night brings Californian indie-folk duo The Milk Carton Kids to the Corona Theatre, and singer-songwriter Stu Larsen drops by Cabaret du Mile-End. Meanwhile, at Place des Arts, the Orchestre Métropolitain, with maestro Tateo Nakajima, plays J. Strauss’s Tales from the Vienna Woods and more, and at La Sala Rossa, Montreal choir Choeur Maha celebrates spring in Montreal with songs by Arcade Fire, Kate McGarrigle, Leonard Cohen, Lhasa de Sela and more. Across the street at Casa del Popolo, Montreal riff-heavy rockers The American Devices play instrumental versions of their most convoluted songs, and Toronto’s all-girl cover band Hervana play the music of he music of Nirvana at the Playhouse. Saturday night Clark, Lapalux and guests spread the electronic-music love at SAT, French rocker Johnny Hallyday returns to Montreal at Place des Arts, and the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra explode in a whirling dervish of music, dance and circus at Sala. On Sunday, May 4, the infamous M.I.A. raises the roof at Metropolis, while Bombay Bicycle Club stirs up fun at Corona, and Connan Mockasin plays his brand of psych-pop-rock at Cabaret du Mile End. On Monday, May 5, the sultry voice of Lana Del Rey fills the Bell Centre, while at Sala Rossa, Innovations en concert presents Inuit throatsinger Taqralik Partridge, violinist/electroacoustician Guido Del Fabbro and more. New Zealand indie-rock duo Broods flies into Il Motore on May 6, while on May 7, City and Colour bring joy to fans at the Bell Centre and Matador Records artist Ema plays beguiling and brilliant songs from her new album at Il Motore. And on May 8, Neko Case gets under our skin in the best of ways at Theatre Corona, Angel Olsen weaves an astounding songwriting spell at Il Motore, and the 19th Montreal Chamber Music Festival opens at St. George’s Church.
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