Entertainment events
to watch July 19 to 26

A veritable smorgasbord that includes theatre, a book launch, a panel discussion and comedy shows

By Byron Toben

July 20, 2021

Here are some reviews of recent events with more to come, from July 19 to 26.

Past events

July 17 and 18
Theatre Lac-Brome opened its summer season with a remounting of Vittorio Rossi’s play The Chain. I did not get out to Knowlton to see it but did review it when it played at McGill’s Moyse Hall in October 2019.

Pinchas Blitt

Pinchas Blitt – Image: courtesy of the Azrieli Foundation

July 19
The Segal Centre presented a free virtual book launch of Pinchas Eliyahu Blitt’s new book, A Promise of Sweet Tea, which amusingly invited viewers to BYOT (Bring Your Own Tea). Mr. Blitt was a 10-year-old boy in a tiny town in Western Ukraine when forced to hide in the forests when the Nazis invaded. He eventually immigrated to Montreal, where he became a lawyer as well as a regular performer at the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre.

On his 90th birthday, he recounts those harrowing days with a few humorous anecdotes amidst the tears. His touching storytelling is enhanced by comments from his three children and many friends, and the singing of a few Yiddish songs.

An introduction by Naomi Azrieli whose foundation supported this show together with the Segal Centre and the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre. The Azrieli Foundation has published 120 memoirs of Holocaust survivors.

A filmed replication of this show is available on YouTube. Enjoy!

B’nai Brith Canada streamed a moving event, Remembering AMIA, that included a panel discussion.

On July 18, 1994, a suicide van bombed the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building In downtown Buenos Aires. Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds injured. It remains Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack and is still unsolved. Argentina’s Jewish population is the largest in Latin America and sixth in the world outside Israel. Two years earlier, on March 17, 1992, a bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires killed 29 and wounded 242.

Eight days after the AMIA attack, twin car bombings in London, UK, on the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish community centre injured 22. Five Palestinians were convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, to this day, no one has been convicted for the AMIA attacks.

AMIA bombing

Remains of the AMIA after the bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina – Image: La Nación

Things picked up in 2005 when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA case. (He later became Pope Francis.)

In 2006, prosecutor Alberto Nisman formally accused the Government of Iran of directing the bombing and Hezbollah militia of carrying it out. In 2015 Nisman filed a 300-page report accusing former President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner of covering up Iran’s role. Nisman was murdered just before testifying against her.

The panel, assembled by B’nai Brith Canada, was moderated by Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada and included experts Matthew Levitt, Reinhard Terrorism Watch, Washinton Institute, Eduardo Kohn, Latin American Affairs, B’nai Brith International and Anita Weinstein, survivor, accompanied by her daughter Susan.

A replay of this event appears on YouTube.

Ongoing until August 1

Arthur Holden

Arthur Holden – Image: Nicolas Seguin

The Road Theatre in Los Angeles began a free play reading series of thirty new plays. Westmounter playwright/actor Arthur Holden’s new play, Beloved, is included on July 30.

Opening soon

Just For Laughs begins its 39th season with The Montreal Show, three days of free outdoor shows hosted by Joey Elias at 7 pm at the new Beneva space, Jeanne Mance at Balmoral. Tickets must be reserved and seating subject to Quebec health rules.

July 21 – Chantel DesJardins, Paul Balyuyot, Rodney Ramsey
July 22 – Heidi Foss, Rodney Ramsey, Sylvain Larocque
July 23 – Derrick Seguin, Tranna Wintour, Daniel Tirado

I will detail the bulk of the hybrid JFL menu July 26 to 31 in my next article.

July 26 to 30

This free streaming compilation is presented by New York’s Folksbiene Theater where Montreal’s Bryna Wasserman, former director of the Dora Wasserman Yiddish theatre, is now located. 

Feature image: Joey Elias, iMdbBouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre –

More articles from Byron Toben

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been’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.

Clearly has launched Reincarnate, Frames made from Recycled Plastic.

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