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Kevin Hart Montreal intimate show

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Last Sunday, I was drinking coffee and checking my e-mails when the subject “Last Chance To See Kevin Hart in Montreal” grabbed my attention.  As a loyal fan of Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival for almost 30 years, it’s not unusual for me to receive emails from them, however the festival was over and I didn’t hear anything about this show.  (This year I caught the Ethnic Show at Club Soda.)

Kevin Hart at Mtelus

When I clicked on the link, there were still seats available so I went for it.  The venue was Mtelus and this man had sold out the Bell Center in July, so I would be crazy to miss this chance.   My husband wasn’t up to it because he had to be at work early on Monday.  I was working on Monday too but I didn’t care. I asked my son if he was a fan of Kevin Hart and as a typical 15 year old, responded with an eye roll, followed by “duh” so that was it.

When we arrived at Mtelus around 08:30, we were a little confused. Ste Catherine Street was deserted except for a police car blocking the road, there was no line up at the door and there was no name advertised on the marquee.  My first thought was that I had just been scammed. Luckily there was a security guard at the door, so I nervously asked if there really was a Kevin Hart show tonight and showed him the tickets on my phone.  He nodded and opened the door.

Kevin Hart in front of 100 fans

When I saw the size of the room, I gasped and I think I said “holy shit” but I was too stunned to remember.  The woman who scanned my tickets laughed and informed me that only 100 tickets were sold. At that moment I felt like Charlie when he won the golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka‘s chocolate factory.

So we took the second table from the front and eagerly waited. Mr. Hart bounced onto the stage at precisely 09:30 and immediately filled up the room with his buoyant energy.  He began by expressing his love for Montreal and how kind he thinks we are.  And then, without missing a beat,  took a jab at our construction situation.

He kept insisting that he was trying out new material but his set was quite polished. Kevin Hart is one of the most hard-working comedians out there right now.  He was in town working on a film and was doing these last-minute pop-up shows in his “down time”.

Kevin Hart Montreal intimate show

No topic was off-limits. Ranging from his marriage and children to how he felt after recently turning 40.  Never one to shy away from the truth, Kevin got real about some personal issues and had the whole room in hysterics describing his dinner with Seinfeld.

One of my favorite bits was about one of buddies getting high at a poker game.  Each time I remember his goofy facial expressions I crack up.

He also has this delightful habit of laughing before he tells a joke, like he knows it’s going to be funny and he can’t wait to share it.

The show show ran a little longer than the scheduled time of one hour and it was obvious that Kevin was enjoying himself.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt so lucky to be witnessing such a talented comedian in such an intimate setting.

Annette Aghazarian, Montreal Times writer, meets Kevin Hart

Meeting Kevin Hart after the show

He thanked us all again and his genuine warmth was felt by all as we left the Mtelus with large dopey grins.  I turned to my son and asked; “Who’s the best mom ever?” To which he replied; “That was incredible! I want to meet him!”

Feeling a little adventurous, we turned onto Rue St Dominique behind the venue, where I spotted a large black SUV with tinted windows.

As my son approached the vehicle a deep voice shouted “step back” and I turned to see an offensive lineman sized dude who was not playing.  I stepped forward from behind a dumpster (yes I was hiding, I am too old for stalking celebrities) and using my sweetest mom voice responded; “Oh excuse us but my son really wanted to meet Kevin Hart, he’s a really big fan.”

Kevin Hart Montreal
Kevin Hart and his family enjoying LaRonde in Montreal – Photo: Karina Thevenin, LaRonde

After sizing us up he nodded and then Kevin appeared with that same springy step that he used on stage and it was undeniable that he was the real deal.  So sweet and friendly, he put his arms around us and allowed us to take a bunch of photos. I also lost my ability to form logical phrases and began speaking to him as though he was a baby.

“Look at you! You’re so cute! OMG look at him!”

As we made our way back to our car, the look on my son’s face was everything.  I really was the best mom ever.

Kevin Hart’s new film Fatherhood, which is scheduled to be released in theaters April 3, 2020, will be showing his serious side. Based on the book Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by Matthew Logelin.  Kevin plays a man who loses his wife after childbirth and must learn to become a single father while coping with her death.

By: Annette Aghazarian – info@mtltimes.ca

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