Un Poyo Rojo

Un Poyo Rojo

Centaur Theatre

September 24-29 2018

What words can I use to critique a show that has no spoken words? The play is performed by Luciano Rosso and Nicolas Poggi entirely in mime. The laughs abound throughout the entire performance which takes place in a gym locker room where two men vie for each other’s attention. Un Poyo Rojo has performed to sold-out audiences for over ten years in Argentina. In 2015 the show set out to conquer the rest of Latin America and Europe as it began its first world tour.

Luciano Rosso, trained in five styles of dance is a true star in his own country. Nicholas Poggi is a choreographer and performer who uses his body’s elasticity as a scenic medium and the two mesh magically throughout this pantomime as they demonstrate their prowess at dance and gymnastics.

Congratulations to the director, Hermes Gaido, a celebrated stage director, graduate of the Buenos Aires Art Academy.

I recommend this play to anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

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La Villetta

Restaurant Trattoria

La Villetta

1898 Thimens

Ville St. Laurent, QC

Sunday was Shirley’s sister’s birthday and a group of ladies organized a surprise birthday party at the above-mentioned establishment. Naturally, I accepted the invitation to be the only man in the group.

Apparently the restaurant is normally closed on Sunday, but because of some smooth-talking by Evelyn Wolfson, the owner Johnny Insogna agreed to open the doors for this special occasion. Then he called in veteran server Elizabeth who I have watched perform at the Brown Derby, Snowdon Deli, Pam Pam, Continental, and Pumperniks over several decades.

Because the doors were not locked and the windows were not covered, two men walked in unaware that there was a party in progress. Johnny, always the conscientious businessman, figured why not. He’s here, the chef is here, and Elizabeth is here so he seated the two new arrivals who ate quietly, paid their bill and left as quietly as they arrived. Johnny’s mother and business partner (who is presently vacationing abroad) ought to be proud of him.

Kudos to all concerned, the food preparation, and the service was first-class. Shirley had the Eggplant Parmesan which she savored ($17) I ordered spaghetti Carbonara ($16) which was the closest I would get to simulating bacon and eggs. (For me this party was breakfast) Probably this was one of the best tasting pastas I have eaten, and I ate to the last strand and did not need a Doggy Bag.

Shirley and I will certainly return to try other dishes on the Dinner Menu but I suspect I will have difficulty getting her off the Eggplant.

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Mad Monk Cafe

Mad Monk Café

“It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”

Madison Baptist Church

Friday Sept. 20, 2019

Another Mad Monk Café event took place this evening at 7:30 P.M. in front of, as always, a packed house. Deacon George performed a medley of songs about trains on guitar and vocals accompanied on bass by Phil Peters. Of course, along with the music came a history lesson and a lot of background on the origin of the music. They played songs written by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Roger Miller, and CCR to name but a small sample during the two sets played between 7:30 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. For those who have never been to a Mad Monk Café concert, keep an eye on this blog to be informed about future shows. Admission is always free as are the refreshments, home-baked cakes, coffee, tea, and juice. Mad Monk Café is on the corner of Madison and Monk in NDG.

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By Rabiah Hussain

A Silk Road Institute Production

Sept. 19 – 22      25 – 28

Centaur Theatre

Another opening, but not just another show. This is an amazing tale of two friends, second-generation immigrants coming of age in an era right out of today’s headlines. Playwright Rabiah Hussain doesn’t miss a beat in her provocative script and the delivery of same by Amena Ahmad as Safa, and Sundance Nagrial as Aisha, never falters throughout the 90-minute performance. The two blend with an intensity that will have you laughing at their comedic moments, and bring you to tears with their more serious dialogue. No spoilers in this review. All I can say is don’t miss seeing it and be sure to tell your friends.


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Mad Monk Cafe

Mad Monk Café
 takes place this Friday SEPTEMBER 20th at 7:30 pm. Deacon George and Phil Peters will present “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”, songs about, you guessed it… Trains – and yes, we’ll do the title song.  Doors open at 7:00 pm. As always, admission and refreshments are free of charge. Mad Monk Café is on the corner of MADison and MONKland in NDG, H4B 1G8.  

Shirley and I will be there. Hope you are too.

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Diz Bagels

6160 De La Cote-Saint-Luc


Most days I leave home without eating breakfast. I stop for a bagel with cream cheese and a medium coffee at Diz. What a treat at $3.00 tax incl. (I remember when it was $2.00) I used to think it was only between 7:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. then I discovered it was until 11:00 P.M.
There are always bagels going in or coming out of the oven and it is always fascinating to watch the process. They also sell bread, cakes, and pastries, dairy and deli products, party sandwiches and prepared salads and ready to eat delicacies.
The staff is all friendly and courteous, but I do wish to acknowledge being served by one person who appreciates my sense of humor. His name is Max and I warned him about this BLOG. I hope he reads this.

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Shimmering Lights Presented

On Wednesday night September 11, 2019 at approximately 7:00 P.M. an overflow crowd of people gathered in the basement of Le Centre Du Sablon in Chomedy, Laval. The common factor that brought these people together was that they all suffered pain in their daily routines. They were here to attend a lecture on pain management presented by Dr. Yoram Shir of the Montreal General hospital Pain Clinic. Dr. Shir talked about the research being done to discover the source of chronic pain and the hopes for the future discovery of non-pharmaceutical treatment of same. Dr. Shir offered to respond to questions from the audience as he presented his powerpoint presentation rather than wait till the end for a Q & A session. Many of the questions revolved around the use of cannabis for pain control. There are many variables involved in the consumption of cannabis such as type of product and method of administering same. It was a most interesting evening and as always the Ladies of Shimmering Lights donate all the profits from their events to the Shriners’ Hospital for Children.

Following the presentation, coffee was served as well as an elaborate table of baked goods made by the ladies. I must admit I suspect some of the baked goods contained cannabis as I watched members of the audience walk to their car without their walker. (Just joking)

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Marathon Souvlaki

Here is further proof that some things never change.
Established in 1977, Marathon Souvlaki has been serving the best souvlaki for 42 years and is proud to remain a family-owned business.

With three locations, Montreal, Dollard des Ormeaux, and Laval I have eaten on occasion in Dollard, on many occasions at the Decarie Boulevard location in Montreal, but it has been at least fifteen years since I have eaten at the original location, in Laval. Tonight I had an appointment in Laval at 7:00 and I didn’t want to have to deal with the usual traffic, so we drove out early and went for an early dinner at the Notre Dame St. restaurant.

Shirley and I ate the 1 stick chicken souvlaki plate, hers with Marathon salad and rice, and mine with Greek salad and a half and half potatoes and rice. The quality and the quantity of food were more than adequate and the service was first class. To give credit where credit is due, our server, Angelo was able to cope with my weird sense of humor and still deliver perfect service. Thanks also, to John, who was working in a different area of the restaurant, but still took time to kibitz with us. We will do this again.

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A & W Restaurants

While visiting my daughter in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, I wandered over to the commercial area and discovered an A & W restaurant that serves breakfast 24 hours a day. Tailor-made for a sleep late guy like me. They make a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a bun that makes the competitors’ version pale by comparison. The sandwich can become a trio by adding fries or hash brown potatoes, and a cup of always fresh coffee for about $7.00.

On my return to Montreal, I had occasion to visit different locations of A & W. One is located at 5150 Sherbrooke St. W a second one is at 5120 Queen Mary Road, there is one in the Pepsi Forum on Atwater, and one is at 7235 Saint Jacques West.
I have found all the staff at the various locations, both here and in Yarmouth to be exceptionally well trained, courteous, and efficient. However, I must single out the Saint Jacques West location for all-around service, food preparation, and cleanliness. No sooner does a table empty, and immediately someone appears to clean the complete area. There is no bigger turn-off than sitting down at a table in dirty surroundings.
My compliments to the managers and the entire staff of the locations I have had the pleasure of eating at. They are always open when I am awake and hungry, either starting my day late or on my way home after a late evening.

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Blinded By The Light

Viveik Kalra: ‘We should see brown people on screen – we exist in real life. It’s amazing that there are films like Crazy Rich Asians and Black Panther, which have killed it.
 Viveik Kalra:

If you are looking for “feel good” entertainment, this is it. Directed by Gurinder Chadha and starring Viveik Kalra this coming-of-age flick, part real-life story of British journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, part fantastic musical set in 1987 to the music of Bruce Springsteen should not be missed.

 In January the film, entered at the Sundance Film Festival sold for 15 Million dollars. It will gross more than that rapidly because the story holds your interest as you follow the adventures of a young man of Asian descent living in England and constantly being harassed by racists. He knows that his only chance of making it out of this situation is by getting an education in university and becoming a writer. Otherwise, people like his Father can only hope to find work in factories. The performance of Viveik Kalra takes you on an emotional ride.

This film is not his debut. During his first year at school, he sent an audition tape off for Next of Kin, booked the job, and agreed with his university to take time off. He played a British Muslim teenager who becomes radicalized and travels to Pakistan. Kalra was praised for his portrayal.

After seeing him on Next of KinGurinder Chadha,  got in touch asking him to audition for her new project. Kalra, by that point back at school, soon found himself requesting more time off. Then he began shooting in Luton.

As well as being about a boy trying to vault the impediments of his upbringing and renegotiate his relationship with his family, Blinded By The Light also acts as an unusual jukebox musical for the songs of Bruce Springsteen.  This film will win many awards. Probably Kaltra will win one for best actor in a lead role. Viveik Kalra is only 21 years old, and has a great future ahead of him. I pray he does not let anything interfere.

Blinded By The Light is in cinemas nationwide now

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