Take a break in Montreal this week with days dedicated to amazingly affordable fine food, high-flying and inspiring on-stage entertainment, international film and art, family-friendly sounds of science, and lots of great live music…
(fantastic food) The food-centric week begins on Friday with an array of gourmet food trucks – from tacos to crepes to hamburgers – set up for your culinary pleasure at Montreal’s Olympic Park. For sit-down meals, check out Montreal’s TASTE MTL Restaurant Week, ongoing to November 11, with gourmet prix-fixe menus – from $19 to $39 – at some of Montreal’s best fine-dining restaurants. Choose by cuisine or discover new parts of the city by choosing by neighbourhood: spend an evening in Old Montreal, the next one at a restaurant downtown, in the Plateau or Mile End, Outremont, the Village or Griffintown.
(life on film) Film festival season continues in Montreal with the French-language – English subtitles usually included – Cinémania, to November 11, with features, shorts, retrospectives (including an extensive one on Sandrine Bonnaire’s films), presentations and Q&A sessions, and more. Among the many films, see Cinémania’s opener, an official Cannes competitor, Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone, starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts in a story of a former boxer, his son and a woman coming to terms with a life-altering disability. And on November 7, doc film fest RIDM begins its reign of real life representations, with films from around the world, including Peter Mettler’s The End of Time, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Mekong Hotel, a series of 15 favourite docs chosen by 15 members of the film community, and much more.
(circus & theatre) Circus shows in Montreal are always an adventure of some kind, but that adventure is guaranteed to be thrilling and heartfelt with inventive and talented Montreal-based international circus troupe 7 Doigts de la Main – their latest show, Séquence 8, is chock full of stunning acrobatics and ensemble work, big laughs, great music and a love of circus arts and audience connection, at La Tohu circus centre to November 17. In theatre, Black Theatre Workshop extends its successful run of Harlem Duet, an award-winning play that spans Shakespeare’s Othello and the sentiments of Martin Luther King in a story of the struggle to gain true equality in North America. And Persephone Productions presents Shakespeare’s classic of classics Hamlet at the Calixa Lavallée Théâtre in Parc Lafontaine, November 1-10.
(beautiful bodies) International rock star choreographer Hofesh Shechter’s Political Mother is powerful, beautiful and moving – for dance fans or simply for anyone looking for a great show. With 10 extremely talented dancers and 7 musicians live on stage, Political Mother tells a story of hope in the face of tyranny – at Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts, November 1-3. In the same performative vein of dance-meets-music-meets-storytelling, Montreal choreographer Frédérick Gravel debuts his Usually Beauty Fails, November 7-10 and 14-17 at Cinquième Salle.
(east & west) The 13th Arab World Festival of Montreal entertains and informs, highlighting links between Arabic and Western cultures through music, performance, film, art and talks, to November 10. On Friday November 3, hear famed pianist Abdel Rahman El Bacha play works from Bach to Prokofiev and more, at Cinquième Salle. On November 4, hear the music of Algeria’s Hamdi Benani, at the Corona Theatre, while Zohreh Jooya and her Afghan dance ensemble captivate in a North American premier at Cinquième Salle at Place Des Arts, and up in the neighbourhood of Mile End at the beautiful Rialto Theatre, spend the evening at Goodbye To The Duels, Hello To The Duets, a concert for peace, featuring Moroccan singers Abderahim Souiri and Laila Gouchi. See the festival’s program online for full details and more.
(educational entertainment) The Montreal Science Centre gets kids and adults really listening with new exhibition Musik: From Sound to Emotion, a zone where science, creativity and entertainment meet. Learn how music affects different parts of the brain, how we experience music physically and emotionally, and get a chance to make music of your very own in the exhibition’s high-tech music lab. The exhibition is based on input from numerous scientists at Montreal universities as well as from musicians, including Montreal-based pop-punk band Simple Plan.
(joys of music) Friday night begins a week of great music with Montreal’s Esmerine, celebrating 15 years of Constellation Records, at the Musee d’art contemporain. On the other end of the show spectrum is the laser-light-show spectacular The Australian Pink Floyd Show at the Bell Centre, while Designer Drugs and Beat Market electro-rock the SAT. Saturday night cranks the decibel level with Sonar Festival on Tour, featuring Die Antwoord, Azari & III, Seth Troxler, and more dance-worthy acts, at Metropolis. Monday night sees Martha Wainwright pouring her heart out at the Corona Theatre, the sweet west-coast pop-rock sounds of Grass Widow at Il Motore, and a late night of dancing to the great Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice and more at the SAT. The week turns rock retro with Journey on November 5 and ZZ Top November 7, both at the Bell Centre. And Thursday night rules as Howl! Arts brings the great D’bi Young and Kalmunity Vibe Collective to Sala Rossa and NYC’s Yeasayer rocks Cabaret du Mile End.