So long January and
welcome February events!
The diverse line-up includes three live theatre shows
By Byron Toben
February 2, 2022
Lots of events popping up in February, along with the snow. Celebrate our Winter Wonderland with the late great Doris Day at the end of this article but, first, capping off January was, streaming from the Segal Centre from January 27 to 31.
YidLife Crisis: Pandemish
Montreal’s famed old-time luncheonette, Beauty’s, is famous for its trademarked concoction, the “mish-mash” omelette, a mixture of all kinds of ingredients. That name popped into my head while viewing Pandemish, which by the way, played around with the suffix “ish” liberally throughout the hour-long performance.
… while the show had its high moments, I ended up feeling it was too much of a mish-mash… This show did mention the pandemic, but my impression was that it was more of an improv goofing around featuring their own growing up not far from the Segal Centre itself.
I am a long-time fan of YidLife Crisis, created and performed by Montrealers Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion in their irreverent but funny and witty web series. I also appreciate the Segal Centre’s success at luring these two homeboys back here to do a live show, switched to streaming only, as Omicron grew.
So while the show had its high moments, I ended up feeling it was too much of a mish-mash. Their 5-minute or so web series each had a specific theme or two. This show did mention the pandemic, but my impression was that it was more of an improv goofing around featuring their own growing up not far from the Segal Centre itself.
It was interspersed with a few brief scenes from some of their web series episodes, as they also posed as audience members watching themselves. Interpretations of Yiddish words which have entered English speak added to their “shtick.”
All in all, as if in a good-humoured party with friends – and that’s a good thing.
Israeli and Jewish Film Festival – Forgiveness
Also, on January 29, was the second of five movies sponsored by the Jewish Public Library at its Israeli and Jewish Film Festival. This one, called Forgiveness, was an Israeli production. It is in the caper/buddy genre. Set in the south of Israel, it stars two bumbling thieves arrested for stealing from a bank. After being freed, one attempts to go straight. But money needs of the other require one last job. A creative disguise on the eve of the High Holidays results in another mishap. Described as poignant yet funny.
Chinese New Year
Welcome to the Chinese New Year! Farewell to the plodding Ox – welcome to the hunting Tiger!
Canada at a Crossroads on China: Work Together or Perish Together
World-famous linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky discusses Canada at a Crossroads on China: Work Together or Perish Together at 4 pm ET. A free event sponsored by Canada-China Focus, but registration is necessary.
Chomsky, who has written 100 books and taught at MIT, is now, at 93, a Professor emeritus at the University of Arizona.
Red Bull Theatre – The Alchemist
February 1 to 14
For viewers in Manhattan is a return of Red Bull Theatre live show, The Alchemist, by Jacobean theatre’s most famous playwright, Ben Jonson. Written in 1610, this comedy still resonates with contemporary audiences.
Black History Month
February 1 to 28
This is the 31st annual Black History Month. There are about 100 events planned, albeit, like in 2021, all run virtually. The theme this year is Honor the Past, Inspire the Future.
Cummings Centre – The Stories Behind the Songs
February 2, 9, 16 and 23
The Cummings Centre presents award-winning songwriter/singer Rob Lutes in a four-part series on The Stories Behind the Songs, which he illustrates on guitar and banjo.
Vineyard Theater – Sandblasted
February 6 to March 6
For viewers in New York, non-profit off-Broadway Vineyard Theater presents live in conjunction with WP Theater (formerly Women’s Project), Sandblasted by Charly Evon Simpson.
Irish Repertory Theatre – Made by God
February 11 to March 20
For viewers in Manhattan, the Irish Repertory Theatre presents live, Made by God, based on a 1984 event that ripped Ireland apart – a 15-year-old girl was found dead having just given birth to a live baby. A world premiere written by New York-based Irish writer Ciara Ni Chuirc.
Gingold Theatrical Group – Valentine Slam
This Valentine’s Day, watch, or maybe participate, in the Gingold Theatrical Group’s Valentine Slam open mike. Free.
As promised above, here is Doris Day’s Winter Wonderland:
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.