Montreal theatre and art scene – For regulars at the Montreal Fringe Festival and the MainLine Theatre’s many productions, Kenny Streule is a familiar face. Whether he’s tending bar during a MainLine show, playing the genial narrator in “The Rocky Horror Show” every October, emceeing Fringe Festival events (like the Air Guitar Championships or the Fringe-For-All), or tirelessly making sure that the Fringe Festival is running smoothly as its Associate Director, Kenny is seen as a multi-talented hard-working individual.
However, there is so much more to this native of Lac Brome, and we’ll get the chance to witness this as Kenny will stage his new solo show called “Malunderstood”, which will have a nine-performance run at the MainLine Theatre, located at 3997 St. Laurent Boulevard, from January 30 to February 2, and February 5-9.
“Malunderstood is a word that you won’t find in the dictionary; it’s actually a mixed-up version of the word misunderstood. And I always wanted to write a show about my evil grandmother, who was a kooky character who raised me and tried to teach me how to speak Swiss-German, which I couldn’t speak and still can’t,” said Streule during a recent phone interview.
The second of four siblings (he has an older sister and two younger brothers), Kenny was raised on the family farm in Lac Brome, but found out early in life that milking cows, planting and harvesting crops, and pitching hay was not his future calling. “I hated living on the farm; I was never a big fan of it. However, I found my escape when I joined a theatre troupe in the Eastern Townships when I was grade 5. Even in my grade 6 school yearbook, I wrote for my ambition that I wanted to win an Oscar,” he admitted.
Kenny’s final break with the rural life came in 2010, when he moved to Montreal to study at Dawson College. He then got himself involved with the Montreal theatre scene, performing with such theatre troupes as the Chocolate Moose Theatre Company and the Montreal Shakespeare Company, and wrote his first play called “City Boy”. In 2015, he joined the staff of the Montreal Fringe Festival and MainLine Theatre.
“Misunderstood gives me the chance not only to bring my grandmother to life, but also give the audience the chance to see the authentic side of myself, in particular the storytelling side,” he said. “They will get to witness how I can tell a story, even though I speak in a form of broken English.”
The show is being presented as a co-production of the MainLine Theatre and Kenny’s company KS Productions, which was workshopped and developed between July and December of last year. And it is being directed by Amy Blackmore, the Artistic and Executive Director of both the MainLine Theatre and the Montreal Fringe Festival, who found the entire experience very special to her.
“I have known Kenny for years, and I am honored to direct ‘Malunderstood’. It’s coming during a real significant year for us, as the MainLine celebrates its 15th anniversary, and the Fringe Festival will hold its 30th anniversary edition this June,” she said. “With ‘Malunderstood’, you will see the real side of Kenny, which is more genuine and authentic. It’s a simple theatrical piece with simple technical parts where you will experience the same cordial Kenny Streule, but more sensitive and honest.”
Tickets for “Malunderstood” cost $18 each, and $12 for students, seniors and members of the Quebec Drama Federation (QDF). To purchase tickets, call 514-849-3378, or go to their website.
Centaur Theatre presents ‘Paradise Lost’
It’s heaven and hell at the Centaur Theatre between now and February 2, as they present the Stratford Festival’s production of “Paradise Lost”, which was written by Erin Shields and adapted from John Milton’s epic 17th century poem of the same name.
This is a very ambitious production, as Satan (played to devilish perfection by Lucy Peacock) is your guide to demonstrate what went wrong with the world and humanity for thousands of years. And she attributes it to the idea of “original sin” that was committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (remember when that sly serpent convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit from the dreaded Tree of Knowledge?).
And besides the angels and archangels that try to guide civilization’s first couple to understand the difference between good and evil, there is also the subplot of the Lord and his son Jesus observing these situations from above, which compels the Son of G-d to leave his heavenly perch and live the life of a mortal in order to save civilization.
All of this original human drama is delivered with plenty of fire and brimstone – not to mention piety and humour – and interpreted by a stellar cast of local and Stratford actors that will leave you breathless and instantly rise to your feet in a thunderous ovation at the play’s end. Stand-outs for me include Alain Goulem, who provides plenty of wonderful comic relief in the role of the angel Raphael; and the duo of Qasim Khan and Amelia Sargisson as Adam and Eve, whose brilliant, rapid-fire repartee bursts with plenty of passion, energy and some well=placed laughs.
“Paradise Lost” is an excellent example of what happens when two major players in the Canadian theatre scene join forces and produce an unforgettable, yet highly entertaining morality play. For more information or to purchase tickets.
Perfect Bite Productions presents Bowser and Blue
Perfect Bite Productions is presenting a fun, warm way for couples to spend Valentine’s Day weekend on February 15, as Montreal’s famous troubadours of mirth, Bowser & Blue, will be in concert at the Wheel Club, located on Cavendish Boulevard below Sherbrooke Street West; doors open at 7:30 p.m., with show time at 8 p.m. Tickets for this special Valentine’s show of satirical music and comedy are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and a free drink is included in the ticket price. To get your tickets
Montreal theatre and art scene – Major art forgery ring here in Canada
Everyone loves and appreciates a fine work of art, especially if it’s a painting by a master artist, whether it be from the Renaissance, Impressionist, or Surrealist eras. But can the average person tell the difference whether a classic painting is a work of art, or a work of forgery?
Art forgery is an international crime, and Canada is not immune from it. Canadian filmmaker Jamie Kastner reveals the story of a major art forgery ring here in Canada regarding the works of one of the country’s greatest painters, Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau, in his documentary “There Are No Fakes”, which will make its broadcast debut on TV Ontario (TVO) on February 1 at 9 p.m., with repeat broadcasts on February 3 and 5. Since its debut at last year’s Toronto Hot Docs festival and following a theatrical run, the information that was provided in the film has resulted in many major developments, including an official criminal investigation that was launched by the Thunder Bay police into the production of the fake paintings that were mentioned in the documentary.
Montreal theatre and art scene – “The Mosque: A Community’s Struggle”
On January 29, to mark the third anniversary of the tragic mosque shooting in Quebec City, there will be a series of theatrical screenings of Oscar-nominated director Ariel Nast’s documentary “The Mosque: A Community’s Struggle” in Ste. Foy, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Victoriaville, as well as the Cineplex Quartier Latin in Montreal; there will also be a community screening of the film at the Cinema Politica Concordia on January 27 (English) and February 1 (French).
The documentary focusses on the courage of Ste. Foy’s Muslim community as the first anniversary of the mosque shooting approaches in 2018, and how they collectively struggled to shift the narrative on what it’s like to be a Muslim in Quebec. For more information, go to www.loadedpictures.ca .
The Professional Theatre Department of Dawson College
The Professional Theatre Department of Dawson College will present a stage adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic work of children’s literature “Alice in Wonderland” on January 29-31 and February 1, 6, 7 and 8 at 8 p.m., with preview performances on January 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee on February 6 at 12:30 p.m.
Performed by the department’s third year students, “Alice in Wonderland” will combine the joy of Carroll’s original story with theatrical magic such as an intricate and moving set, choreography and musical numbers, to tell the much beloved story of young Alice’s trip to a deep world that is both like and unlike her own. For more information, go to www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca.
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