Culture & Conversation

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Guns and roses

Upon entering the Salle Alfred-Pellan at the Maison des Arts de Laval, a large mural of sutured concrete covered in swirling groups meets the viewer’s gaze. Details emerge such as drawn rifles and small tanks.

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Family matters

Oren Safdie, 22 years a playwright, is enjoying a successful run of his first script to be produced in Montreal, his hometown. I spoke with the writer just before he attended a performance at the Bain St. Michel.

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Black garments at Nuit blanche

Juliette Greco, the iconic singer of the existential crowd in rive gauche Paris in the 50s, headlined a one night stand at the huge (2900 seats) Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier as a highlight of the annual Nuit Blanche.

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From dirt to seed to life

In a gripping two hours, The Walnut Tree relates in a mix of dream sequences and starkly realistic confrontations, yet another story of the few survivors of the nightmares that swept Europe in the mid 20th century.

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After war’s end

In reading Carolyne Van Der Meer’s remarkable work, Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experiences, I was reminded of the intricate lace curtains found on the…

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Absurdly good

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”George Bernard Shaw. I do not know if Eugene Ionesco, the Romanian-French “Theatre of the Absurd” playwright knew of this quip when he wrote The Bald Soprano, his first play in 1950, the year of Shaw’s absurd death at 94 while climbing a tree.

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It’s all Greek to me

The ancient Greeks said it all. Not only in philosophy, but in theatre. Some 500 to 400 years BCE, the Greek dramatists Fab Four — Aeschylus, Aristophanes (my favorite), Euripides and Sophocles — ruled the roost with deep observations that traverse the centuries, unmatched by anyone until Shakespeare.