Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Cote Saint-Luc Dramatic Society

May 30 to June 17 2018

Harold Greenspon Auditorium

 

Due to being out of the country or being out of the province for my partner and me among other previous commitments, we didn’t get to see this show until closing night. Fortunately, my revue was not necessary to fill the auditorium for every performance of its three week run. The word of mouth was phenomenal with praise for the cast that drew standing ovations. I have nothing but praise for the entire cast and production team, but I would be remiss if I didn’t single out Jeanne Motulsky and Nicole Arrage whose beautiful voices draw you into the story from the opening notes, and Sam Boucher in the lead role shows promise of a great future in theatre. Kudos as well for the band under the direction of Nick Burgess, choreography by Alexia Gourd, and directing by Anisa Cameron. Andrew Lloyd Webber would be proud of you. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor Mitch Kujavsky, you have succeeded in your effort to bring world class entertainment to Cote Saint-Luc. As they say in Jerusalem, “Next year in Cote Saint Luc.”

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Mad Monk Cafe Johnny Cash

On Friday night in the basement of a church on the corner of Madison Ave. and Monkland Street in NDG, a crowd began to assemble just before 7:00 P.M. and by 8:00 P.M. the room was filled to capacity. The reason, A Deacon George concert at the Mad Monk Café.

Deacon George and Carole Pellatt owned the night on Friday at the Mad Monk Café. The two guitar players played off each other and performed song after song in a tribute to Johnny Cash. They alternated between Cash’s oldies and his songs in his later years. They featured songs by Nick Lowe, Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryll Crowe, John D. Loudermilk, and one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs, Bird On A Wire. The audience was treated to exceptional guitar harmony and in between, a running narrative on the life of Johnny Cash provided by Deacon George and a continuous video on the screen. Hats off to the wonderful men and women who do all the work setting up this event.  Placement of tables and chairs, preparation and serving beverages and homemade cakes, and generally making everyone feel comfortable and welcome. Mad Monk Café has been the best kept secret for seventeen seasons. But it won’t be a secret for much longer.

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Journey To Broadway

The Lyric Theatre Singers

Journey To Broadway

14/15/16 June 2018

DB Clarke Theatre

 

No surprise that Bob Bachelor and Cathy Burns have once again delivered an outstanding musical evening which culminated with a well deserved standing ovation and numerous curtain calls. The 38 voices blend beautifully while the choreography and the staging flow effortlessly throughout the performance. It is difficult to name any single performer when there were so many great moments, but one that stands out is that of Will Fech in the Titanic medley. In fact, the Titanic Medley was beautifully choreographed and staged and is one of the highlights of the show. Another personal favorite of mine was the Cell Block Tango from the musical, Chicago. The entire cast deserve kudos for making the journey to Broadway such a pleasurable one. Continuing to June 16 and not to be missed.

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Soccer or Sucker?

FIFA announced Wednesday that the joint bid between Canada, the United States and Mexico for the 2026 Soccer had triumphed over Morocco’s games.

 

 

Montreal has budgeted 69 million dollars towards this event. How many people living in poverty could be fed with 69 million dollars?

 

 

Quebec has set aside up to $300 million to replace the stadium’s roof. How many homeless people could be housed with $300 million? The stadium should have been demolished decades ago and $300 million dollars could have been spent on building low cost family dwellings.

 

Perhaps there are spinoff benefits to the hotel and restaurant industries but what does that do for the have-nots?

 

In British Columbia cooler heads prevail. British Columbia’s government is standing by a decision that will leave the province on the sidelines when the World Cup comes to Canada in 2026.

Vancouver had an opportunity to join Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton as a potential host, but the North American bid committee was forced to move forward without the West Coast city in March after failing to reach a deal over the anticipated cost of the tournament.

At the time, the province said it wasn’t willing to “write a blank cheque to FIFA.”

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G7 Conference

Think about this:
 
The cost of the royal wedding was 45 million dollars.
 
The cost of the upcoming G7 summit will be $650 million.
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Hosanna

Centaur Theatre Company

 

Hosanna

 

By Michel Tremblay

 

Directed by Mike Payette

 

Centaur Theatre Company never disappoints.  Hosanna delivers 90 continuous minutes of riveting dialogue mostly between two characters and at intervals, by the lead character alone, reminiscing. The action takes place in an apartment above a pharmacy inhabited by Hosanna, played by Eloi ArchamBoudion and his/her live-in boyfriend Cuirette, played by Davide Chiazzese. Hosanna, a hair dresser by day and a drag queen by night is in a relationship with Cuirette, a biker with nothing much to offer other than his love for Hosanna. She is going through a period of doubt as to her appeal, once a beautiful Cleopatra and now a rapidly aging cross-dresser. The dialogue, written by Michel Tremblay in French was subsequently translated to English in 1974. It featured the same cast and creative team as the current production and received four Montreal English Language Theatre Awards:

 

Outstanding Independent Production and Outstanding Director, Mike Payette

Outstanding Supporting Performance, Davide Chiazzese

Outstanding Lead Performance, Eloi ArchamBoudoin

 

Continuing thru June 10 and not to be missed.

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Cabaret Blues

Mad Monk Café

Friday April 27, 2018

 

Curious to find out more about a concert I read about on the Internet, I wandered into a church basement on the corner of MADison and MONKland.  (Thus the name) It was opening night of the season and performing would be Deacon George, no stranger to Montreal audiences at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and jazz crooner Chris Thomas. The promotional material mentioned, as always, admission and refreshments are free. So I thought to myself well they will probably pass a hat and expect donations. Well my first surprise was the wide selection of refreshments offered which consisted of home baked cakes, coffee, tea, juice, and water. My second surprise was when they announced that this was something that they had been doing for 17 seasons. And my third surprise was when they said they did not expect any cash donations. That was something you could do at Sunday service if you chose to.

 

Cabaret Blues featured the songs of Bessie Smith, Nat King Cole, Josh White and many more. The two men alternated singing while Deacon George accompanied on guitar. One of my favourite tunes was sung by Chris. It was a Mills Brothers composition titled Till Then. Originally recorded by the Mills Brothers in 1944 it reached number 5 on the R&B charts and 41 on the Pop charts. It was re-recorded in 1954 by the Hilltoppers and made it to 80th spot on the Pop charts. Many of the Bessie Smith songs preceded the recording industry and were sold as sheet music.

 

The near capacity audience was treated to a concert rarely heard in this era of electronics, and it was only due to previous commitments that I had to leave after the first set. I look forward to the next time.

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From Monica’s Blog

Ready To Go with The Filthy Radicals!!Do not miss The Filthy Radicals at the Pouzza Punk Rock Fest in Montreal! The…

Posted by Veronica Monica's Music Blog on Saturday, April 14, 2018

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Fight On!

Infinitheatre presents

Fight On! Part One

 

An epic fictional historical recounting of the settlement of the Canadian West!

April 10 to 22 2018 Espace Knox 6215 Godfrey Ave. NDG

 

Another opening, another show. But not just an opening and not just a show. In the words of the Writer/Director, Guy Sprung, this is a workshop. They are exploring the text, the staging, and how to tell a huge story by integrating video, sound, music, masks, the audience itself, and Cree and Mohawk into the dialogue. In my opinion they have succeeded on all levels. Notably, the staging is sheer genius. Impossible to do at any other performance venue in Montreal, the action takes place on both ends of the theatre, as well as in between the two halves of the audience. Taped and live video as well as scrolled text not the least of which was authored by Drew Hayden Taylor in the form of counter blogs, make this two and a half hour play keep on giving. The use of masks makes this troupe of nine actors seem to be playing thirty parts. The story encompasses the invasion and occupation of the land belonging to the indigenous people by European settlers, the Indian Act 1876, residential schools, and right into the current headlines with the pipeline controversy. Each and every actor in this play deserves accolades, but I need to single out the performance by Daniel Brochu who plays the lead, Francis Jeffery Dickens. Dickens, third son of Charles Dickens, was in the North West Mounted Police from 1874 to 1885. This two and a half hour production will leave you wanting more, and more you shall get, next year when part two will be staged. Continues till April 22 not to be missed.

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The Daisy Theatre

The Daisy Theatre

Created and performed by Ronnie Burkett

Music and lyrics by John Alcorn

Centaur Theatre

February 20-March 24, 2018

 

Ronnie Burkett designs and makes all of his puppets. He first discovered puppets at the age of seven, by fourteen he was touring his own shows and today, he is an internationally renowned puppeteer.

 

Fortunately for Mr. Burkett he has so many different puppets and way too many routines to do in one show. This gives him the ability to perform night after night and change the show to suit his audience while keeping it fun for himself. One could probably see the show on more than one occasion and catch parts they hadn’t seen before.

 

He knows the pulse of the city in which he is performing and is up to date on local issues.

The material is definitely for adult audiences only and is a welcome throwback to the days when we took our children to see Punch and Judy. However, this is not your parents’ puppet show.

 

The laughter is non-stop and the audience is encouraged to participate. There are no sacred cows as The Daisy Theatre takes politics, religion, and lifestyles head on. For the best part of two hours we are entertained by little puppets and amazing dialogue. Opportunities like this to watch inanimate characters come to life in a setting as intimate as the Centaur Theatre don’t come along often. Enjoy.

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