November is often an under-appreciated month – not quite fall, not quite winter – but in Montreal there’s way too much going on to let the month just pass you by: this week, see hometown hero Georges St-Pierre at UFC 154, amazing new documentary films, opera, circus, theatre and world-class dance, and even do some shopping and music show hopping…
(sports fans) Thousands of Mixed Martial Arts fans fill the Bell Centre this Saturday night for the UFC 154 Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit fight. Whether you’re going to witness the welterweights yourself or not, our Montreal fight-fan recommendations are sure to keep you strong (and well fed). Or you could just go see comedian Joe Rogan, sometime live color commentator for UFC – he’s at Metropolis on November 16. Meanwhile, out on the ice, Montreal’s Stars, defending Clarkson Cup champions, play world-class women’s hockey against the Boston Blades – both teams boast Olympic national players who play a fast, technical game – plus, proceeds from this Saturday’s game and silent auction (plus cupcakes!) go to breast cancer on November 17 at Étienne-Desmarteau Arena.
(on stage spectacle) On Saturday night, the Opéra de Montréal closes the velvet curtains on Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, featuring Germany’s bass-baritone Thomas Gazheli and soprano Maida Hundeling at Place des Arts. A circus like no other, Montreal-based international circus troupe 7 Doigts de la Main’s Séquence 8 not only impresses with acrobatics and endurance, but with great storytelling, a witty sense of humour and, yes, coolness, at La Tohu circus centre to November 17. And Broadway pizazz whisks into town with the award-winning stage musical Mary Poppins, at Place des Arts, November 21-25.
(dance & theatre ) Canadian (though New-York-based) choreographer and Baryshnikov disciple Aszure Barton returns to Montreal with two pieces for several dancers: Busk and her newest piece Awáa, presented by Danse Danse at Place des Arts. Meanwhile, Montreal choreographer Frédérick Gravel blends live rock music with wild, emotive dance in his Usually Beauty Fails, a look at beauty, love and relationships – November 16-17 at Place des Arts. Choreographer Peter Trosztmer brings powerful and eccentric EESTI: Myths and Machines back November 16-18 at Monument-National, part of the Tangente program. And at the Centaur Theatre, see Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, set in Boston’s working-class Irish “Southie” neighbourhood, to December 6.
(movie lands) New documentary film tells it like it is at RIDM, Montreal’s premier international documentary film festival, at the Cinéma Québécoise, Excentris and Grande Bibliothèque to November 18. This weekend see Room 237, a mind-bending trip through conspiracy-like theories on Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece The Shining, a short film by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee) called Mekong Hotel, Argentinian filmmaker José Luis García’s The Girl from the South, a search through North Korea for a one-time peace activist, spend some harrowing time aboard a massive industrial fishing vessel out at sea in Leviathan, and see what love might or might not be in Florian Habicht’s Love Story – see the fest’s full schedule online. And starting November 22, Image+Nation celebrates 25 years of bringing LGBT films from around the world to Montreal, sharing stories on screen with film professionals and film fans alike.
(pre-holiday shop) Before holiday shopping stress really hits, treat yourself (and if gifts happen, they happen, right?) this weekend in Montreal in different ways. While Montreal’s holiday craft and artisal fairs don’t kick off until later this month, this weekend’s Expozine is well worth a visit – after all, it’s one of the largest small press fairs in North America, where authors, artists and zine makers impress live and on paper – November 17-18 at Saint-Enfant-Jesus Church (5035 Ste-Dominique). That’s just around the corner from prime designer shopping avenue Laurier, in the Outremont neighbourhood, where hot winter fashion and gourmet food and drink make for an enlivening shopping experience.
(festival sound scene) New local and international bands keep rocking the city at music festival M for Montreal. On Friday, November 16, see local (and well beyond) faves Plants and Animals at the Corona Theatre and Bran Van 3000 at L’Olympia. On November 17, see Iceland’s much-loved Of Monsters and Men at Metropolis, get a full sonic deal with dramatic, psychedelic rock stars Yamantaka//Sonic Titan and more, at Sala Rossa, while across the street at Casa del Popolo is Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Man Forever, Goose Hut and friends, dance it up to the synthesizer pop of Mozart’s Sister and Cadence Weapon at Il Motore, and get your brain shaken up with the great Death Grips and Mykki Blanco at Theatre Corona. A diversity of world music makes up Mundial Montreal, closing on November 16 with klezmer-hip-hop entertainer Socalled making the party happen with Elisapie at Cabaret du Mile-End.
(more music) Who’s in town this Friday but Bob Dylan and his band, playing songs old and new (including from his new album Tempest), with former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, November 16 at the Bell Centre. American punk rock stalwarts Dropkick Murphys drive hard into town on November 18 at Metropolis, while rapper A$AP Rocky follows their lead, though in his own way, to Metropolis on November 20. And on November 21, pop-rock fan favourite Metric is joined by Stars at the Bell Centre.