Early May offers a colourful
assortment of events
This month’s entertainment includes theatre, film festivals, music and puppetry
By Byron Toben
April 27, 2023
The merry month of May brings not only colourful flowers, but also some bright events. But first, goodbye to some rainy April anniversaries…
Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday in 1926.
EID marked the end of Ramadan and daylight fasting.
World Earth Day marked its 52nd anniversary.
William Shakespeare, both his birthday in 1564 and his death in 1616.
On April 28, the Kon-Tiki set sail from Peru to Polynesia under Thor Heyerdahl in 1947.
The Armenian Genocide in Turkey began in 1915.
The Easter Uprising in Ireland in 1916.
The USA declared war on Spain in 1898, invoking the Monroe Doctrine of 1823.
Israel Independence Day declared in 1949.
Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote Vindication of Rights of Women, was born in 1759.
‘A Clean Brush… is a benefit performance for the operating costs of this unique theatre [Hudson Village Theatre], formerly a railway station.’
The Kon-Tiki set sail from Peru to Polynesia under Thor Heyerdahl in 1947.
Good-by, often cruel April and now events, continuing into May…
To May 7
Hudson Village Theatre – A Clean Brush (began April 26)
A new comedy by Norm Foster, Canada’s most prolific playwright. It is a benefit performance for the operating costs of this unique theatre, formerly a railway station. What mystery does a basement paint job reveal?
South Asian Film Festival of Montreal (began April 28)
This 12th edition also goes online from May 1 to 10. Some 60 films, many free, from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Mauritius, are augmented with input from Norway, the Czech Republic, the UK, Canada and the USA.
‘South Asian Film Festival of Montreal… also goes online from May 1 to 10. Some 60 films, many free, from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Mauritius…’
To May 14
Segal Centre – Prayer for the French Republic (began April 23)
With both Maurice Podbrey and Ellen David in a script by the author of Bad Jews, this is bound to attract full audiences. Set in wartime France.
And, beginning in May’s first two weeks…
May 2 to 14
Centaur Theatre – Little Willy
By and starring Ronnie Burkett, Canada’s (and arguably the world’s) leading puppeteer, making and voicing his own hand puppets and string marionettes. He has created numerous shows for adult audiences that have toured Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia, winning many awards. Original music usually scored by John Alcorn. Not bad for a kid from Medicine Hat, Alberta.
In 2019, he took on Charles Dickens in a Centaur show Little Dickens. He now takes on the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare, with Little Willy.
‘In 2019, he [Ronnie Burkett] took on Charles Dickens in a Centaur show Little Dickens. He now takes on the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare, with Little Willy.’
Cine Gael – Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens
This feature concludes the Irish Film series’ 31st season. A reception in honour of Lynn Doyle follows, attended by the Irish High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Canada.
May 6 to 13
Théâtre La Comédie de Montréal – Lizzie: The Musical
Noelle Hannibal’s In The Wings Productions stages a rock opera about the young Lizzie Borden who axed her stepmother, then her father. It follows their award-winning Carrie, another demonic teenager – talk about a niche market! As usual, Nadia Verrucci directs and choreographs.
May 10 to 14
Hudson Village Theatre – Early Morning Rain: The Legend of Gordon Lightfoot
This show features Leisa Way and her Wayward Wind band.
Feature image: Little Willy promo material
Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.