Springtime for Theatreby Jessica B. Hill
/ April 1, 2011
Flash version here
No one celebrates spring better than
Montrealers. A hint of longer daylight hours and warmer weather generates
pure euphoria within us…maybe even enough to burst into song? At least
it seems so on stage. Musicals set in Montreal and plays celebrating
Canadian culture flood the theatres this season. What better way to
rejoice in the coming of spring than by catching one of these entertaining
shows that will have you cheering and toe-tapping in no time.
The Centaur sets the tone this spring
with Schwartz's: the Musical. Montreal’s comedy duo Bowser and
Blue bring us this tasty treat inspired by Bill Brownstein’s book:
“Schwartz's Hebrew Delicatessen: The Story.” Hilarious and witty
with a vibrant cast of comical characters, this musical has that distinct
Montreal flavor…or is that smoked meat? It’s likely that Schwartz tickets
will be as in demand as their sandwiches, so get ‘em while they’re
hot! Schwartz's: the Musical runs from March 29th to
A Beautiful View, by Canadian
playwright Daniel MacIvor, is the Centaur’s next offering. This serio-comic
play chronicles a long-term, enigmatic and intense friendship between
two women. Their intimate connection spans the entire spectrum of emotions
and invariably influences their life and their choices. Tragicomedy
at its most subtle, A Beautiful View plays from April 19th
to May 22nd.
The Segal Centre anchors itself in Canadian
culture this season, bringing in La Sagouine, Viola Léger’s
unforgettable solo show about an Acadian washerwoman. The wonderful
Ms. Léger has performed this tour de force across Canada and internationally
over 1400 times, in both English and French. An experience not to be
missed, La Sagouine runs from March 20th to April
Keeping with the theme, the Segal follows
up with Lies my Father Told Me, May 1st to the 23rd.
This iconic Montreal musical by Ted Allen tells the story of the loving
relationship between a six-year-old boy and his grandfather. Every Sunday,
the grandfather teaches the boy about life and its many wonders and
makes him discover the hidden sides of the city. Their bond grows stronger
until the day the boy learns from his father that his grandfather is
gone, never to return.
Music is also present in Geordie Productions'
season closer, Beethoven Lives Upstairs. This new theatrical
production based on the Classical Kids compact disk by the same name
recounts the tale of a young boy whose life is turned upside down when
an eccentric boarder moves upstairs. The play features most of Beethoven’s
most memorable works, including Fur Elise, Moonlight Sonata and the
magnificent 5th and 9th Symphonies. This engaging
family show runs from May 13th to the 22nd and
plays at the Centaur Theatre.
Springtime, when love is in the air,
is the right time for Persephone Productions to present Mary’s
Wedding, a tender and poetic wartime romance, by Canadian playwright
Stephen Massicotte. Two teenagers, filled with the passion, vulnerability
and impulsiveness of youth meet unexpectedly in a barn as they shelter
themselves from a thunderstorm. A tentative love develops. However,
the year is 1914, and the new couple must surrender their love and their
fate when they become victims of their time. Mary’s Wedding
plays from April 28th to May 7th.
A fledgling company, Processed Theatre,
puts on a musical of their own as their third production. Edges:
A Song Cycle is an unconventional musical telling the story of four
burgeoning adults that ask themselves typical coming-of-age questions.
Catch this show from April 6th to the 16th at
the Freestanding Room, 4324 St-Laurent.
Village Scene Productions delves into
the darker side of things, bringing us Peter Shaffer’s Equus
this spring. This powerful and provocative play tells the story of a
psychiatrist who seeks to unravel the mystery that pushed a teenage
boy to violently blind six horses. A disconcerting dip into psychodrama,
Equus plays at the Rialto Theatre from April 13th to
the 24th. Warning: 18+ coarse language, adult content and
Concordia’s Theatre program presents
Wajdi Mouawad’s Scorched at the D.B. Clarke Theatre. The story
follows immigrant twins as they journey back to the Middle East to fulfill
their mother’s dying requests. As they search for their father, whom
they thought had died and a brother that they never knew they had, the
twins begin to uncover their mother’s unknown earlier life as a refugee
and resistance fighter. Playing from April 14th to April
Dawson College’s Theatre program puts
on The Coronation Voyage, on April 19th and
20th. It is the story of the voyage of the Empress of France.
Setting sail from Montreal, she heads to England for the coronation
of Queen Elizabeth II; however, there is an important Montreal crime
boss on board. Finally, John Abbott College’s Theatre program brings
us Shakespeare’s classic crowd-pleaser A Midsummer Night’s Dream
from May 5th to the 14th.