Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

Centaur Theatre

A theatrical adaption

Of John Milton’s Paradise Lost

By Erin Shields

Directed by Jackie Maxwell

January 14 to February 2, 2020

The Centaur Theatre began its 51st season with a bases-loaded home run. Lucy Peacock is outstanding in the role of Satan and the premise becomes the devil doesn’t need to destroy mankind, we will destroy ourselves. Innuendos, right out of today’s headlines, i.e. building pipelines, subtly hint about ways to destroy our planet.

The play which runs 2 hours and 40 minutes with a twenty-minute intermission is never boring. It continues to deliver performances that make it difficult to single out actors. They are all in sync with each other verbally and in choreographed fight scenes. The script dangles comfortably between comedy and drama. Amelia Sargisson as Eve and Qasim Khan as Adam gel as a couple and deliver some poignant dialogue after Eve gets tempted by the snake in the Garden of Eden.

The playwright nods at Shakespeare, too, when a flurry of true-believer angels put on their own show about the civil war in heaven as if they were the mechanicals in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Alain Goulem as Raphael is extremely entertaining, particularly in the second half when he directs this play within a play.

Marcel Jeannin as God the Father and Gabriel Lemire as God the Son deliver good dialogue about a punishing God vs. a loving God.

 Patrick Emmanuel Abellard as Michael, Rebecca Gibian as Uriel Michelle Rambharose as Gabriel, Julie Tamiko Manning as Sin, and Jake Wilkinson as Death, complete an excellently cast production.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

A & W Revisited

I have written about this restaurant chain more than once in the past. Every time I visit I always find the frontline staff friendly, inviting, and pleasant. Today was no exception as Shirley and I went to the 5150 Sherbrook St. W. location. We were greeted by Eric in the traditional “Bonjour, Hi.” He patiently took our orders and apologized for needing about three minutes to make fresh coffee. He then offered to bring the coffee to our table when it was ready.

It is my belief that most people that frequent A & W drink cold beverages so it is not unusual that there would not be a pot of coffee sitting around in the afternoon and the fresh coffee is well worth a few minutes wait.

Whoever does the training for the staff of these franchises deserves praise. The quality of food, the value, and the cleanliness are praiseworthy and it is for those reasons A & W restaurants are eliminating some of the competition and I highly recommend them as the fast-food leaders.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Ordinary People

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau said on Oct. 9 that if re-elected prime minister, his government would lower taxes for the “middle-class” to save an average family almost $600 annually.

Unfortunately M. Trudeau does not know the definition of “middle class” and uses it as a simile for ordinary people.

The true definition of middle class describes the segment of the population that is financially comfortable in a range below the wealthy and above the “have-nots”. If M. Trudeau measures a person’s worth by their possessions he is sadly mistaken. The actual “middle-class” does not need to save almost $600 annually. It is the people living at or below the poverty line who need his tax breaks, not the “middle-class”. The middle class is elitist. If we are to judge a person by their possessions, then we could say that a person who owns a home, an automobile, and a well-furnished home is “middle-class”. The reality is that these people have credit debt which includes a lengthy mortgage, a car loan for 24 to 60 months, and furniture that may have been bought at one of the big box stores with no money down and no interest for one year.

This segment of the population that M. Trudeau refers to as “middle-class”, I will refer to as “ordinary people”. These people live basically from paycheque to paycheque and pay their bills on time. Consumer laws make it compulsory now for the banks and credit card companies to divulge the amount of interest on every statement, and it is not unusual for a statement to say that making a minimum payment on the amount owing could take 15 years to pay the balance. These are issues that do not affect the “middle-class” M. Trudeau. Instead of lowering taxes to save an average family $600 annually, let’s look for a way to guarantee no child will go to bed hungry, and provide shelter for the homeless. The middle-class will look after themselves.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Kam Do Restaurant

971 Decarie

Ville St-Laurent QC.

Cuisine Chinese, Cantonese, Szechuan, Sushi Maki.

Nothing fancy. Simply good food at extremely reasonable prices. Frequented mostly by locals who live in the area, but I have traveled cross town for years to enjoy their General Tao Chicken. The open kitchen emanates cleanliness. With plenty of metered parking spots, there is rarely a problem of where to park. For those that live in the area, there is delivery and I always see take-out orders lined up waiting to be picked up. Tonight I ate my usual combo of General Tao Chicken with rice and a can of Coke ($9.00) and for an additional $1.50 I changed the steamed rice to fried rice. Although that dish is my favorite the menu provides dishes for every taste. Lots of choices from the various cultures for meat lovers or vegetarians. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

New Years Eve Party

What better way to bring in the new year?

Great food, vintage wine, and live entertainment.

I would expect an event of this type anywhere in Montreal, Toronto, or New York City would have a $150 ticket price. And rightfully so. However, Playground Poker is providing all this for a mere $39.00 per person. Don’t delay as tickets will be selling out quickly.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Candlelight Christmas 2019

The Lyric Theatre Singers

Candlelight Christmas 2019

Loyola Chapel

Concordia University

December 5, 2019


Every year I review the Candlelight Christmas featuring The Lyric Theatre Singers directed by Bob Bachelor, and every year it becomes easier because they just keep getting better. 


This latest ensemble consists of forty great vocalists and six talented musicians who can not only perform but also radiate confidence.

The vocal harmonies are faultless as Bob Bachelor directs his singers whether it is a cappella or with the orchestra. It is apparent that many hours of rehearsal go into this annual event, and that the performers are passionate about their art.

 As for the soloists, my favourite, as she was last year, is Katherine Fournier. This talented soprano never fails to please. She was at the top of her game when she performed Cantique de Noel, and later in the program she blew the roof off reaching notes during a medley that I didn’t catch the title of. I fail to understand why this woman with a voice of gold has never reached out to shows like The Voice where we could share her talent with the rest of the world when not in rehearsals for Candlelight Christmas. Another highlight of the evening was the performance by two students from Face School, Laure Boissinot and Alden Wyatt-Vedady who sang In the Bleak Midwinter.

In the music department, kudos as always to Chad Linsley on piano who plays tirelessly and never misses a note. (Even without a page-turner). Peter Colantonio on percussion and keyboard rounds out the rhythm section. Robin Best on Harp and Sheila Hannigan on Cello both performed admirably and ever-present and on point was Tim Malloch on Flute.

The evening concluded with a Sing-Along and a few extra surprises.

Continues December 6, 8:00 P.M.

          December 7, 4:00 P.M.

December 8,  1:30 P.M.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Little Dickens

Centaur TheatrePresents

Ronnie Burkett’s

Little Dickens

November 19 – December 15, 2019

If you missed the 2018 Daisy Theatre production Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes, don’t get left out this year. The 2019 version opened tonight to a sold-out house as they presented a new take on an old classic, A Christmas Carol. As was his previous production, this puppet show is adult content. Ronnie Burkett builds his marionettes and brings them to life in a show that runs two hours and never gets boring. In fact, those of us who know some of the characters from last year have adopted them as favorites. The transition to characters from the Dickens’ novel is easy for Burkett who seems to have as much fun “working” his marionettes as we get as an audience looking in.
The show opened tonight for a 26-day run and has already been extended for six additional performances till December 21. Montreal theatre audiences are very fortunate to have this play in the Christmas season. Give yourself a gift and book your tickets while they are available.

Posted in General | Leave a comment


Topline: The French luxury group LVMH, controlled by billionaire Bernard Arnault, has scooped up the heritage American jeweller Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion, making it the biggest luxury brand acquisition ever and adding to the firm’s portfolio, which includes Louis Vuitton and Sephora.

  • The acquisition, confirmed by LVMH on Monday, is the biggest yet by Arnault, Europe’s richest person.
  • LVMH will acquire Tiffany for $135 per share in cash, for a total of $16.2 billion—almost $2 billion higher than the initial bid that LVMH made for the luxury jeweller in October. Tiffany will sit among LVMH’s 79 brands, in its watches and jewellery division.
  • The deal will strengthen LVMH’s position in North America and build on its foundation in the jewellery market.
  • The deal is expected to go through in the middle of 2020, LVMH said. Shares of the Paris-based fashion house were up 2% on Monday morning, while Tiffany shares were up 6% in premarket trading.
  • Arnault said of the move: “We have immense respect and admiration for Tiffany and intend to develop this jewel with the same dedication and commitment that we have applied to each and every one of our Maisons.”

The largest luxury goods deal to date gives LVMH’s billionaire owner Bernard Arnault a bigger slice of one of the fastest-growing upmarket sectors.

Founded in 1837, it employs more than 14,000 people and operates about 300 stores – 12 of them in the UK.

TLVMH has 75 brands, 156,000 employees and a network of more than 4,590 stores. Its other brands include Kenzo, Tag Heuer, Dom Pérignon, Moet & Chandon, and Christian Dior.his company.

Tiffany & Co.

 The reason I wrote the preamble above was to show the narrow-mindedness of the

OQLF and the ridiculous request to have business owners post their brands on outdoor advertising.

In time the OQLF will probably object to the following on the On-Line shopping site


Posted in General | Leave a comment


Quebec‘s language watchdog, the Office Québécois de la Langue Française, wants the retailers to change their signs to either give themselves a generic French name or add a slogan or explanation that reflects what it is they’re selling.

I have an excellent suggestion for a slogan to reflect what the OQLF is selling. It is selling discouragement to mainstream companies to invest in this province. There are ample opportunities for them to open in friendly, welcoming, environments in the other nine provinces of Canada. Why invest in a market where you need to beg for permission to conduct business in one of the official languages of this country? Signage aside, instructing future retailers to greet their customers bilingually is going a little too far. I don’t think a merchant in France would say, “Bon Jour, Hi.

I have editorialized in the past that there are much better ways to use the budget of the OQLF that would better mankind. The alternatives would make this province a better place to live.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Ladies of Soul

Playground Entertainment presents

Ladies of Soul

A tribute to Motown Legends

Friday, Nov. 22, 2019

Under the Big Top

Another overflow audience to witness an over the top performance by a bevy of gorgeous, talented ladies stylishly dressed, vocally perfect, belting out hit after hit of Diana Ross and the Supremes for sixty-five minutes. The dance floor was happening and the audience was game to sing along. High energy flowed from the trio of singers as well as from the quartet of musicians on guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard.

After the ladies thanked the audience and left the stage, the band continued to play a musical interlude following which the ladies returned to the stage after a complete wardrobe change and performed a medley of Motown hits by Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, The Pointer Sisters and, Mary Wells and others.

As is the policy of promoting local talent, the show opened with the always entertaining duo of Less Than Four.

Posted in General | Leave a comment