Written by Catherine-Anne Toupin

Translated by Chris Campbell

Directed by Andrew Shaver

With Susan Bain, Mathew Kabwe, and Adrianne Richards

Continuing thru March 29

This jewel of a play is a reviewer’s nightmare. Almost anything I could tell you about this Hitchcockian drama would be a spoiler. All I can safely say is that the audience is kept in suspense t


Written by Catherine-Anne Toupin

Translated by Chris Campbell

Directed by Andrew Shaver

With Susan Bain, Mathew Kabwe, and Adrianne Richards

Continuing thru March 29

This jewel of a play is a reviewer’s nightmare. Almost anything I could tell you about this play would be a spoiler. All I can safely say is that the audience is kept in suspense until the end. What I am able to say is that there is excellent acting on the part of the three characters. The original play was written in French and I am glad Catherine-Anne Toupin had it translated so that English language theatre could share the enjoyment The creative team is to be complimented for the sound and lighting. The set and costume design deserve kudos. So much is achieved using so little. I recommend it as an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.


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Main Steakhouse and Deli

Main Steakhouse and Deli Revisited

The Main Steakhouse

3864 St. Laurent Blvd.

Montreal, PQ.

Gone are the days when the late and great Peter ran the operation and had to count on the overflow from “the place across the road”. Several changes of ownership have taken place in the past few years, all for the better. The quality of the smoked meat has vastly improved on one side of the street and some say lessened on the other. Shirley and I went back tonight so that I could have a liver steak (charcoal-broiled) accompanied with pickle, Coleslaw, and French Fries for $12.95 garnished with steak spice, fresh garlic, and fried onions. Shirley had a smoked meat sandwich medium and piled high, so high that she took half home for later ($9.25). We also bought Coleslaw to take home, it is among the best. The French Fries as well were above average, a result of trying more than one type of potato looking for the right one. The service was excellent, as always, and I look forward to many more visits in the future. Especially when the terrace opens in the Summer.

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Aux Vieux Duluth

Revisited Again

Au Vieux Duluth

1997 boul. Marcel-Laurin

Ville St. Laurent, PQ.

Once again we returned to the place where there is never a parking problem and the greeting is always cheerful. Of course, it helps that the menu is always appealing and the preparation is consistently good. Tonight I enjoyed Filet of Dore with garlic butter and accompanied by rice, roast potatoes, and salad. Shirley had the chicken brochette. Our friend Gloria left a plate that formerly held chicken brochette, rice, roast potatoes, and salad empty. Our other friend, Ken managed to do the same with a hamburger steak smothered in onions and gravy and the usual trimmings. We didn’t bring wine, but it is permitted and in fact, encouraged. We were ably served by Sandra who did all the right things at the right time. I was amazed as I watched her carry the meals of a party of four to their table. I would have needed to do that in four separate movements. That’s why she is multi-talented and provides a different persona by day and by night, while I am a unilingual journalist who can only watch and critique. It is nice to know that the quality of the food is constant and I look forward to our next visit.

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Roger Stone

They sentenced him to 40 months in prison for all charges against him.

Don’t worry about him. He will do some time in a “resort” prison complete with a golf course till Trump pardons him. As of now, Roger Stone has walked out of the courthouse pending a possible appeal. Meanwhile, in the real world, a man sits in prison for the past 38 years for stealing nine dollars. Willie Simmons, a 62-year old Black man from Alabama, has been behind bars for the last 38 years for stealing $9. He was convicted of 1st-degree robbery and was sentenced to life without parole in 1982 due to Alabama’s Habitual Offender law. He already had 3 prior convictions.

Simmons was only 25 years old when first convicted; he is now 62 and has been on his own since 2005. He is serving time in a prison called Holman, which is known as one of the most violent prisons in the United States. When he was first convicted, Simmons was addicted to drugs, but overcame his addiction and became sober while in prison 18 years ago. Now, he says he simply “tries to stay away from the wild bunch.

In an interview that has gone viral, he explained what happened the day he stole nine dollars. He explained, “I was just trying to get me a quick fix.” He had wrestled a man to the ground and taken the money from him, before police officers a block away arrested him. His trial lasted only 25 minutes and the attorney who was appointed to him did not call on any witnesses. Furthermore, though all of his prior violations were non-violent, the prosecutors did not offer him a plea deal. He shared, “They kept saying we’ll do our best to keep you off the streets for good.” The law was simply dead set against him from the beginning.

Earlier this week Trump went on a binge pardoning many of those that didn’t deserve a pardon but someone like this unfortunate victim of the U.S. military and God knows how many others were overlooked.

The halls of justice where all the justice stays in the halls and out of the courtroom.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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