At the centre of the week ahead is Montreal’s favourite holiday: Halloween! Some have futilely argued with me that Halloween isn’t actually a holiday; they are wrong. Just like any other holiday worth its salt, Halloween has traditional costumes (witches, the living dead, sexy kitties), special dishes (candy), and time-honoured rituals (treat or treating, dance parties, making out with masked strangers). And this week, Halloween is celebrated from Friday night to Monday night! And in between, catch some live music, theatre, dance, a new movie and life-altering art…
(night terrors) Oh, we do love Halloween in Montreal. With parties – especially Saturday night – at every place under the moon. Halloween stalwart The Rocky Horror Picture Show goes down – in a live theatrical production! – at the Rialto Theatre, October, 29–31, and the results of the 48-Hour Horror film festival screen on October 29 at Blue Sunshine. Plus burlesque-like Blood Ballet Cabaret on October 30 at Belmont, Live Band Karaoke at La Sala Rossa on October 31, and a ghostly Haunted Tour up Mount Royal, beginning at 8 p.m. at Barfly, also on October 31. If you don’t have a costume yet, try a costume store like Malabar (5121 Parc) or Image In (34 Mont Royal East), any dollar store, or just buy some cheap black eyeliner and get all evil on yo’ face.
(danse macabre) Dancer and movement artist Stéphane Gladyszewski immerses us in intensely emotional corporeality in his Corps noir ou l’inconscient convié, a multi-media dance creation, part of Festival ArtDanthé at Theatre LaChapelle, November 2–4. The choreography and amazing dance talent in Sylvain Émard’s newest creation Fragments: Volume I captivates at Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts, to October 29. And if you’re looking for high drama and ballet bombast, Les Grands Ballets has just the ticket: choreographer Peter Quanz’s full-length, two-act ballet, Rodin/Claudel, at Place des Arts, also to October 29.
(film fantasies) Montreal’s LGBT-focused Image+Nation film fest runs to November 6, featuring over 125 feature, shorts, documentaries and, yes, musicals! And, because apparently Montreal can’t get enough of film fests in the fall, our very own celebration of all things French and filmic, Cinemania, begins November 3 for 10 days of films from cinema greats and up-at-comers, at the Imperial Cinema (1430 Bleury). And, in celebration of International Animation Day, learn more about the history of animation at the National Film Board’s Get Animated mini-festival, with screenings, workshops and talks at the NFB’s Cinerobotheque, to October 30.
(surround screen sound) While Montreal has been host to a brilliant and eclectic arts community since its urban beginnings, the city’s technological leanings have been slower in their notoriety. But with Montreal’s success in the video game industry and high-tech start-ups, the truth is coming out: we’re secretly a bunch of techy nerds, but, you know, the cool kind. And cool stuff like the Satosphere, a 360-degree immersive sound-and-video theatre at the Society for Art and Technology is proof. Now operational, the Satosphere is host this week to Six mil Antennas, an experimental film and audio creation that integrates coding, design and photography, October 27–28. For that matter, there’s also J.E.U.X., a transdisciplinary event that blends video games with round-table discussions and art, at Eastern Bloc, November 3–5, 6:30 p.m. each night, free.
(freshly painted) Artists challenge concepts of gallery space as non-profit arts organization Cease brings together five great Montreal-based art entities – En Masse, DÉCOVER Magazine, MASSIVart, and Papirmasse – for Cease It 2, a site-specific, multi-media installation art project featuring the work of 17 artists, at the two-level Fresh Paint Gallery. Exhibition opening party is October 28, show runs to November 26. And The Musee d’art Contemporain’s Quebec Triennial 2011 weekly free performance features Karl Lemieux on November 2 (a Wednesday, also the museum’s weekly no-entrance-fee evening). Check out great work by contemporary Quebec-based artists and afterwards, step outside and watch the blue spotlights of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s art installation at Quartier des Spectacles.
(devilish drama) Plays within plays, dramas within dramas – it’s the stuff of life and TV sitcoms, and it’s hilarious as long as you’re not directly involved. Theatrics and comedy abound in Ferenc Molnar’s The Play’s The Thing, by Ferenc Molnár, the story of two playwrights, a young composer and love gone awry via communication breakdown, all set in an Italian castle – at the Segal Centre, October 30 to November 20. Enter the unconscious mind of a newspaper humour columnist in Pierre-Michel Tremblay’s dark comedy Coma Unplugged, produced in English by Talisman Theatre, to October 29 at Conservatoire d’art dramatique et de musique (4750 Henri-Julien).
(animal instincts) Most of us don’t hang around with horses regularly – we might pass them in the car as they graze in a field somewhere, being all majestic and stuff, but up-close-and-personal horse time isn’t an everyday occurrence. That’s okay though: feed your inner horse lover at Odysseo, the newest horse-fantasy live spectacular from the creators of Cavalia, to October 30, in Laval. And animal life and metaphor come alive in amazing performer Cat Kidd’s funny, emotional, brilliant show Hyena Subpoena, set in South Africa’s Kruger Park and in fact-meets-fiction memory, at Les Ateliers Jean Brillant (661 Rose De Lima), to October 29.
(night of the living music) Start your Halloween weekend with the psychedelia of The Australian Pink Floyd, a quadraphonic, 3D stereographic spectacle, October 28 at the Bell Centre. Or if all the Halloween-party hype is too much for you, turn to a soothing night of music instead. On October 29, Indie-folk duo The Civil Wars play sweet sounds at church-turned-cultural-venue Gesu (1200 Bleury), and Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls bring their style to the already stylish Corona Theatre (2190 Notre-Dame East). Meanwhile, The Slackers chill out at Cabaret Mile End (5240 Parc). On Sunday, October 30, Selena Gomez teen pops it up at the Bell Centre. On Halloween actual, October 31, gloom and doom descends on Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent) with A Winged Victory For The Sullen, featuring members of Stars of the Lid. And fittingly named, sort of, Holy Ghost is resurrected at Le Belmont (4483 St-Laurent). November 1 sees psych-metal Danava at La Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent) and UK hip-hop producer Star Slinger at Il Motore (179 Jean Talon W.).