Events to watch as January
slides into February
Online shows, lectures, discussions and some real political theatre
By Byron Toben
Updated on Thursday, January 28
The first month of 2021 has gone by so fast. As it slides into February, I wonder what a COVID Valentine’s Day will look like. No kissing allowed (well, maybe if both parties bump lips wearing double masks).
You can still laugh or cry unencumbered at home while watching some internet events, some ongoing and some to come.
Congrats to Jesse Berger, Red Bull founder and artistic director for live streaming this farce/comedy of manners… seamlessly delivered by actors from their homes in the New York area, California and Oklahoma.
Ending January 29
On January 25 I enjoyed Red Bull Theater’s modern version of the 18th-century play, The Woman Hater. Written by Frances Burney around 1801, this play should not be confused with the Beaumont and Fletcher play of the same title from 1605. Better known as a novelist, her play was not performed on stage during her lifetime.
Congrats to Jesse Berger, Red Bull founder and artistic director for live streaming this farce/comedy of manners. It involves failed engagements, switched babies and misogyny, all seamlessly delivered by actors from their homes in the New York area, California and Oklahoma.
On January 26, the Irish Repertory Theater initiated its reprise of nine of its shows from 2020. Called Theatre @ Home Winter Festival, it has a cute slogan, “The show must go online.”
New York’s Origin Theatre, which includes a goodly number of Irish theatre in its specialty of ethnically related shows, still has some to see until January 31.
Events on January 28
At 1:30 pm, David Novek streams his movie lecture with many clips, The Black Experience in Early Hollywood – Part One.
NOTE: because of technical issues this event has now been postponed to February 4 at 1:30 pm.
At 7:30 pm, the Segal Centre offers the comedienne Judy Gold, a two-time Emmy Award winner.
Events to come
January 29 to 31
SKIN, the Centaur Wildside Festival’s collaboration with Théâtre La Chapelle, has four different episodes which streamed in sequence from January 18 to 22 and again on January 25 to 29. All four episodes conclude again from January 29 to 31.
January 30 and 31
At 2 pm, the Wildside Festival ends with Catalyst, a two-day discussion with clips about showcasing and developing experimental works in progress. With four playwrights on January 30 and five on January 31.)
This day is the anniversary of the birth of James Joyce, born in 1882. Accordingly, our own Bloomsday Montréal, the largest in the world outside of Ireland to celebrate Joyce’s novel Ulysses, will present a streamed evening of talk and song.
David Novek concludes his movie lecture with clips of January 28 with The Black Experience in Early Hollywood – Part Two.
NOTE: this event has now been postponed to February 11 at 1:30 pm.
February 5 to 12
Montreal’s Black Rose Books offers the free lecture, Life, Freedom & Ethics – Kropotkin Now. (Russian Peter Kropotkin was a key figure in the non-violent Anarchist movement.)
‘What is unique, among other things, about this trial is that the jurors are also witnesses (or victims?) to the events involved.’
February 8 to ?
Get ready for real political theatre as the U.S. Senate opens its trial to acquit or convict one impeached Donald J. Trump of sedition. Trump has already assembled some defence lawyers. (My friendly advice to these advocates: Get paid in advance.) What is unique, among other things, about this trial is that the jurors are also witnesses (or victims?) to the events involved.
The Senate needs two-thirds of its 100 members to convict. With its 50/50 split, can 17 Republican Senators be convinced to convict? I figure five or six might well so decide, still not enough.
Talk about episodes being “ripped from the headlines” – these are the headlines! It has the makings of a TV show or movie based on this trial. Keep tuned…
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.