Arts and Style


Two theatres: Two kinds of family portraits

Par Alidor Aucoin le 6 mai 2009

MichaelSutherlandYoung.jpgFamily values are at the heart of Over the River and Through the Woods, Joe DiPietro’s heartwarming intergenerational comedy at the The Segal Centre for the Performing Arts until May 10. It’s a slight play, normally dinner theatre fare, but, like a plate of delicious pasta, the Segal’s production is hugely satisfying.  It appeals to anyone who has ever found themselves caught between the demands of their increasingly dependent childish parents and grandparents, and their own, ever demanding professional obligations.


Par Alidor Aucoin le 6 mai 2009

amadeus.jpgBenoit McGinnis fait une impression inoubliable sous les traits de Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dans la brillante adaptation qu’a faite René Richard Cyr de la pièce Amadeus, de Peter Shaffer. La pièce est à l’affiche du Théâtre Jean Duceppe jusqu’au 21 mai prochain.


Par Alan Hustak le 6 mai 2009

Mavis Gallant has spent a life time doing what many writers can only dream of – living in Paris and consistently crafting some of the finest short stories in the English language that have been published for six decades in the New Yorker. Reading Going Ashore, the thirty or so recently published short stories that Gallant wrote early in her remarkable career, not only demonstrates how durable her work has always been, but also serves as a reminder of just  how important  the art of the short story remains to those who make their living as writers.  In a digital age that threatens the survival of newspapers and mass circulation magazines, renders the novel impotent and makes biography almost irrelevant, the short story might be the last salvation for those who care about literate expression. 

Anchor turned author

Par Alan Hustak le 6 mai 2009

Former Pulse News anchorman Bill Haugland, who retired three years ago as one of Montreal’s most familiar and trusted  faces on television  will undoubtedly add to his considerable fan base with his first novel, Mobile 9.

Age of arousal

Par Alidor Aucoin le 9 avril 2009

Arousal.jpgSexuality is turned up full throttle in The Centaur’s lavish production of Age of Arousal, a stylish, often outrageous and sometimes tedious take on how women relate to one another, and how a man can poison that relationship.  Linda Griffith’s feminist play about a group of sexually repressed  “new age” women in Victorian London, is inspired by George Gissing’s The Odd Woman, the 19th century novel which deals with the fate of emancipated women in a male-dominated society...


Par Jessica Murphy le 9 avril 2009

John Lennon and Yoko Ono created a brand of fame 40 years ago that remains strikingly contemporary – shades of which can be seen in both the earnest activism of U2’s Bono to the self-obsessed flashbulb frenzy surrounding today’s vapid starlets...

Regurgitating the 60s

Par Alidor Aucoin le 9 avril 2009

It will be 40 years in May since John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their bed -in for peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Apart from 60-something fans wrapped in the reassuring womb of nostalgia, why should anyone care?  Lennon has been in his grave for almost 20 years and at the age of  75, his moody widow’s  contribution to peace is to run around the world handing out pretentious little rubber stamps that bear the message, Imagine Peace...

The New Republic and the Mind Minus Imagination

Par David Solway le 9 avril 2009

 I don’t know about The New Republic. Occasionally an excellent writer, say a Paul Berman or an Adam Hirsch, will embellish its pages and generate a certain positive impact. But its measured tones and prudential camber, giving the impression of considered good sense, is largely deceptive. A vital element seems lacking. Beneath the ostensible judiciousness and studied objectivity there is a curious feel of waffle, an haut goût of empty sophistication, of something not quite kosher...


Par Alidor Aucoin le 19 mars 2009

St-Patrick-002.jpgCan there be a more dazzling art exhibition around than the Claude Tousignant retrospective at the Musée d’art contemporain? 





Let us Prey: One Twisted Sister.

Par Alidor Aucoin le 19 mars 2009

You’ve got to have doubts about a  production of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt at the Centaur until March 29 that reduces a complex, engrossing 80-minute play to little more than a war between the sexes...

Compelling “Tryst”

Par Alidor Aucoin le 19 mars 2009

British playwright Karoline Leach’s unsettling romance, Tryst, running at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts until March 29 is a compelling , heartbreakingly  superb evening of theatre.  It’s the story of a Edwardian gigolo, a charming rake with the rather suspect name of George Love (C. David Johnson)...

Pour que les Lumières ne s’éteignent pas

Par Pierre K. Malouf le 19 mars 2009

Philippe Val est directeur de  Charlie Hebdo, heddomadaire satiriste français dont la réputation  s’est étendue à toute la planète après la publication, le 8 février 2006, des douze caricatures de Mahomet qui avaient paru pour la première fois le 30 septembre 2005 dans le journal danois Jyllands Posten.  Objet de poursuites de la part de la Grande Mosquée de France, de l’Union des organisations islamiques de France (UOIF) et de la Ligue Islamique Mondiale pour « injure publique à l’égard d’un groupe de personnes à raison de leur religion », Charlie Hebdo sortit vainqueur d’un procès qui fut tenu les 7 et 8 février 2007,  jugement confirmé le 12 mars 2008 par la cour d’appel...

Pour débusquer les préjugés

Par René Girard le 19 mars 2009

Cet ouvrage constitue l’une des meilleures démonstrations à l’effet que les préjugés entretiennent l’absence de démarche intellectuelle face aux fausses représentations du monde.  En d’autres termes, il s’agit de montrer en quoi consiste l’abdication pure et simple de la raison devant tout ce qui est présenté comme étant à croire sans examen, et aussi comment les pensées humaines sont, en quelque sorte, embarrassées par les préjugés qui remplacent souvent le manque d’éducation...

Buried Child was best of Segal series so far

Par Alidor Aucoin le 26 février 2009

DSC_6619.jpgThe National Art Centre’s production of Sam Shepard’s loopy nightmare, Buried Child at the Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre was a thriller that walked a tightrope between  the real and the surreal...



Oscars – The First Reality Show

Par Sharman Yarnell le 26 février 2009

From a dark eyed boy scrounging off the streets of India and a baby born an old man, to a shamed American president, a martyr of the gays rights movement, and, finally, a young man's love affair with an SS concentration camp guard. Now that's pretty eclectic!..

Shirley Valentine

Par Alidor Aucoin le 5 février 2009

Shirley_valentineBW.jpgShirley Valentine, at the Centaur Theatre until February 22, is a harmless feminist fantasy about a middle-aged housewife who skips out on her husband on two week Aegean holiday to find her self...




Peace for Piaf

Par Sharman Yarnell le 5 février 2009

She was born in Belleville, Paris in 1915 and died at age 47 in 1963. Little did she know the lasting affect that she would have on generations of music devotees the world over.  She was once the most highly paid star in the world, but when she died, much of her savings had been spent on alcohol and a drug habit...

Le Bon Prof

Par Louise V. Labrecque le 5 février 2009

Le Québécois David Solway, écrivain anglophone et poète reconnu qui s’est notamment mérité en 2004 le Prix littéraire de la ville de Montréal, est l’auteur de l’essai sur l’éducation Le bon prof.  Dans ce livre, on entre en conflit frontal avec la « nouvelle vérité ».  En effet, en plein « renouveau pédagogique », voici un ouvrage qui décape, littéralement, et nous sort de ces tristes zones embourbées jusqu’au cou par le prêt-à-penser de la pensée unique...

King Jack

Par Alidor Aucoin le 15 janvier 2009

As  one of Canada¹s richest industrialists and media barons, a biography of John Wilson McConnell, the President of St. Lawrence Sugar Refineries who once owned Holt Renfrew and the Montreal Star newspaper is certainly  long overdue...

The Childrens’ Theatre turns 75

Par Sharman Yarnell le 15 janvier 2009

When I interviewed him at a Montreal Actra Awards ceremony, William Shatner recognized a number of Montreal theatre icons as being instrumental in creating a strong foundation for his career in acting...

Nous sommes tous Kafka

Par Louise V. Labrecque le 15 janvier 2009

On commence à ouvrir les yeux lentement sur les vrais rapports qui lient l’auteure à Kafka, et cela, dès la première page.  Les métamorphoses, c’est bien connu, s’opèrent lentement, de fil en aiguille ; mais pas ici.  C’en est presque frustrant, car déjà on sait que le suicide, réellement la mort, est imminente, à la toute fin...

Un exil à la fois intérieur et extérieur

Par Louise V. Labrecque le 18 décembre 2008

Un exilé, c’est quelqu’un qui a des souvenirs différents.  Et qui revient de loin .  En littérature, il est facile de les reconnaître, ceux-là qui bâtissent sur l’expérience passée afin de recréer la vie présente, riche et sensible.  Souvent, leur grande sagesse inspire un choix de vie, un changement de position, un peu comme le fait de changer de lunettes, ou de coiffer ses cheveux la raie sur l’autre côté...

Habs 100th

Par Alidor Aucoin le 18 décembre 2008

The Habs observe their 100th birthday, next year, but the centennial celebrations got off to a head start earlier this month...

Le festin lu

Par Louise V. Labrecque le 27 novembre 2008

Le repas est un acte social.   Il est le rituel par excellence de la socialisation, soutenu, à partir du dix-neuvième siècle, par un nouveau discours alimentaire, tout à la fois hédoniste et normatif...

Sex: Uncovered

Par Dan Delmar le 27 novembre 2008

For the last two decades, Dr. Laurie Betito has been shining a light into the dark, dirty and sometimes depraved corners of the human psyche. “Better communication, better sex,” is her motto and beginning this week, she will help take readers of The Métropolitain on a journey to new heights of sexual enlightenment.

Intimate Passions

Par Dr. Laurie Betito le 27 novembre 2008


Titanic sails again

Par Alidor Aucoin le 13 novembre 2008

A touring exhibition of artifacts from the Titanic opened this week in the old fourth floor cinema in the Eaton Centre in downtown Montreal, where they will remain until April...

Sleek Cat without claws

Par Alidor Aucoin le 13 novembre 2008

Barry Flatman  as Big Daddy, the dying patriarch of a decaying Southern family is alone worth the price of admission to the uneven production of the Tennessee Williams Classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts at the Saidye...

Bill Brownstein's 24 Hours

Par Alidor Aucoin le 30 octobre 2008

Bill Brownstein never walked into a saloon he didn’t like. The Gazette’s man about town has compiled a loving tribute to  Montreal’s night spots in 24: Twenty Four Hours in the Life of a City. His interlocking chapters convey the mood of the city through the owners, employees, trend setters, and bar flys that  he¹s interviewed in 24 different locations around town...

MCA's Sympathy for the Devil

Par Alidor Aucoin le 30 octobre 2008

On the heels of the  show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts which examines music and dance in Andy Warhol’s work, the Museum of Contemporary Art has opened a similar exhibition of its own:  Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll since 1967...

Dance for the World

Par Jesse Samuels le 30 octobre 2008

ombine your love of music and dance to help developing nations all over the world on Sunday November 2nd at the “Dance for the World” event. The “Dance”  in conjunction with CUSO and VSO form Canada’s Volunteer Partnership Fund...

Plummer shines "In spite of himself"

Par Alidor Aucoin le 30 octobre 2008

Christopher Plummer is Montreal’s greatest gift to the theatre, Canada’s own swashbuckling John Barrymore...

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Par Sharman Yarnell le 16 octobre 2008

The year was 1964. The date was February 9. It was Sunday night and everyone between the ages of 5 and 85 was glued to the old black and white television set, waiting for the phenomenon that had arrived in New York to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show...

Scorching hot

Par Alidor Aucoin le 16 octobre 2008

The hottest theatre ticket  in town these days is Scorched. Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre Company brought its stark, fluent staging of Wajdi Mouawad’s chilling  family drama,  to the Centaur Friday. As translated from its original French-version, Incendies, into English by Linda Gaboriou, directed by Richard Rose and designed by  Graham S. Thompson, Scorched is  pure, unadulterated theatre...

The 37th Festival Nouveau Cinema offers quality and quantity

Par Melissa Wheeler le 16 octobre 2008

Film festivals can be a double-edged sword. They’re great for industry to make business and creative connections, and the general buzz is welcome.  But for people who just like to see good films, they can be a bit of a nightmare. You can’t just go to see a movie: you must spend a significant chunk of time with the program to make sure you’re seeing the best the fest has to offer...

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