Well, the new year (and the new decade) is here, and Montreal has hit the ground running when it comes to upcoming events on the arts and entertainment scene. So here is a selection of events that are not only happening this month, but in the months ahead through 2020. Here is a list of Montreal shows not to be missed in 2020.
Pellegrini Productions will once again take over the stage of the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre in St. Leonard with a brand new collaboration by director Antonio DiVerdis and writer Tony Calabretta, who put together the hit comedies “Don’t Blame It On The Stork” and “Damn Those Wedding Bells!”. From January 15 to 26, the centre will be the place to catch their latest comedy “The Glam Mothers”. Starring Calabretta, along with Tony DeSantos, Brittany Drisdelle, Claudia Ferri and Natasha Gargiulo, the play centres on two Glam Mothers, who are defined as grandmothers who are still young and beautiful as well as divas to boot, named Luisa and Maria. The two Glam Mothers are related through their children’s marriage, and the pair couldn’t be more different from each other, which becomes vividly evident when their worlds suddenly collide.
How would you like get away from the January cold by warming up to some engaging contemporary dance and theatre? That is possible with the 10th anniversary edition of the Bouge D’Ici Festival, which takes place at the MainLine Theatre (3997 St. Laurent Boulevard) until January 19. Curated by Amy Blackmore and Kenny Streule, Bouge D’Ici is a festival that for the past decade has strongly supported Montreal’s dance community, especially its crew of talented emerging contemporary dance artists. This year’s festival will include its popular flagship show “Common Space/L’Espace Commun”, which gives aspiring and emerging choreographers the opportunity to re-work a previous choreographic pursuit that will end up as part of a compilation performance; the “So You Think That Was Dance?” showcase; the return by popular demand of Amy Blackmore’s grant writing workshop; “Broadway Super Awesome Fun Time”, and a run of the solo show “Outside Ethel: Inside”, which was a hit at last year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. For more information regarding the festival, go to www.montrealfringe.ca .
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On the evening of January 16, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be celebrated four days prior to the holiday taking place in the U.S. with a multi-musical tribute to the legacy of the late Civil Rights leader called “We Shall Overcome”, which will make its only Canadian stop on the show’s 40-city tour at Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts.
Produced by Damien Sneed, who has worked with such music legends as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, “We Shall Overcome” comprises of a nine-piece band that represents a wide assortment of African American culture and music such as traditional and modern gospel, classical music, jazz, musical theatre and spirituals. Combined with actual recordings from Dr. King’s best-known speeches, the show offers a lively, joyous celebration of one of the greatest inspirational leaders in modern history. Ticket prices for “We Shall Overcome” range between $35 and $95, and can be obtained by calling 514-842-2112 or going to www.placesdesarts.com .
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What is the connection between music and the human brain, especially when it comes to how music has that unique power to enhance or improve human life in general? The answers are provided in “Tuning the Brain with Music”, the acclaimed documentary by Isabelle Raynauld that will have its theatrical world premiere on January 24 at the Cinema du Musee of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as part of a week-long run at the cinema that continues until January 31. The 79-minute documentary will give a more human focus to this subject, as it features examples of the power of music on people, whether it be music therapy sessions for premature babies, a group of autistic girls who form their own rock band, or how music can contribute towards the healing of cancer and stroke victims. Ms. Raynauld will be present at the January 24 screening, and will conduct a Q&A session immediately following the screening.
A perfect choice for families during the upcoming March school break is the new edition of the “Disney On Ice” series, which will take place from March 4 to 8 for 11 performances at Place Bell in Laval. This time, it’s called “Road Trip Adventures”, as Mickey Mouse and his gang of friends pack their bags to set off on a globe-trotting adventure to some of the favorite destinations in the world of Disney. And joining Mickey will be characters from some of Disney’s best-known movies past and present such as “Toy Story 4”, “The Lion King”, “Aladdin”, “Frozen”, “Moana” and “Mary Poppins Returns”. As well, “Road Trip Adventures” will be the most participatory production in the long history of “Disney On Ice”, as 50 lucky audience members will be part of the action, when they will be invited to ride in small groups with Mickey and his friends in a specially-designed vehicle that will take them from destination to destination. Ticket prices start at $20, with a limit of eight tickets per person. To purchase tickets, go to the Place Bell box office, call 1-855-634-4472, or go to either www.placebell.ca or www.evenko.ca .
A snowstorm is about to hit the St. Denis Theatre this spring, as famed Russian clown Slava Polunin makes his sixth visit to Montreal in 21 years with his highly-acclaimed show “Slava’s Snowshow” for 13 performances from April 8 to 19. The show, which has played in dozens of countries in front of a world-wide audience of over five million spectators (and sold over 200,000 tickets in Quebec alone), is a wonderful sight and sound spectacle that will recapture the youthful spirit of adults and reveal an amazing work of interactive art for children. And the “snowstorm” that concludes the show will certainly take your breathe away. To get your tickets, call 514-437-1330 or go to www.theatrestdenis.com .
Roger Hodgson, the legendary singer-songwriter who co-founded the popular 70s rock group Supertramp, will round out the year with a two-night engagement as part of his Breakfast in America 40th Anniversary World Tour on December 1 and 2 at Place des Arts. Accompanied by a four-piece band, Hodgson will perform the songs from the group’s 1979 album, which sold over 25 million copies around the world (including a million copies in Canada) and hit the top of album charts internationally for over a year; as well, he will perform many of Supertramp’s other hit songs such as “Give A Little Bit”, “Dreamer” and “School”. Tickets for the show start at $59.50, as well, a limited quantity of both VIP Meet & Greet and Soundcheck packages are available for sale. To purchase tickets, go to www.placedesarts.com .