Culture & Conversation

Judy Blue Eyes

The 60s icon Judy Collins’s famous mane has turned white to match the silver and grey toppings of a full house of fans who packed the Rialto on June 9 to remember the heady days of that decade. And the lady, at 75, is still going strong, having added an eclectic array of styles to her folk roots. With long sustained high notes, lemme tell ya, this gal’s still got pipes.

Empire of Song

The crowd buzzes on the Lachine Canal as The National starts their set. Matt Berninger cradles the mike, one careless hand raised to the sky, and begins to sing. His words are made of alternately colorful and haunting images: lemonades, demons, spiders, oceans and long socks rain down on the audience. The music stumbles out into the open air in search of… what?

Angel's Share

Angel almost perfect

In the crapshoot that is the Fringe, Angel’s Share is a sure thing. This is the single malt of the brew of plays which make up the Festival. You know that your are in for a quality performance when you see the name Chip Chuipka, although I confess I would spend good money watching him read the phone book. He inhabits the part of the grieving Robert with balletic ease and a flawless Scottish accent, his movements weaving around the tiny brilliant set by the inimitable Anna Cappeluto.

Everything’s Funnier in St Henri

You’ve heard what’s been booming in lower Westmount? In fact Westmount is now referred to as Upper St-Henri ( I totally made that up). Its the hood to be in right now. I am a proud resident of this ever growing quartier, but that wasn’t the case from the get go. The week I moved here a stabbing took place at the local strip club, then a year or two later someone was murdered at my cross street, and don’t even get me started on the prostitutes running the corners. The fact that not a single car ever slowed down for me is despicable.

Blue Angel

Louise Lecavalier is rad. While most 54 year old women spent last Thursday night with Netflix and a bottle of red (not judging – that sounds great to me too), Lecavalier was dancing her guts out to a packed Théâtre Maisonneuve audience of 1,453 who responded in kind with a unanimous standing ovation. It was the final show of this year’s Festival TransAmériques, and it went out with a bang.

Mining for Meaning

Last week as part of the Residual Reading series, Wanda O’Connor introduced two visiting writers to read from their new releases at Drawn and Quarterly. Authors Marguerite Pigeon and Natalee Caple have penned stories with women leads in traditionally male-dominated genres. The first to read was Pigeon, who has written a political thriller set in Central America, while Peterborough-based Caple gave an inspired reading from In Calamity’s Wake, a fictionalization of the life of Calamity Jane.

All of our Backyards

Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds is a song about mistrust, dysfunctional relationships, and the need to overcome issues in order to maintain the relationship. Unequivocally, the song recapitulates the vast majority of the world’s mindsets. On the other hand, the Quebec Soccer Federation’s (QSF) recent ban on Sikh children wearing turbans from playing soccer in the league because of a safety hazard is objectively illogical and, frankly, bullshit.

Khaos Reigns

Montréal choreographer Ginette Laurin’s offering to Festival TransAmérique this year is an intricate “microsociety” in which endless dynamics are played out: love triangles, siblings, friends, partners, and enemies. Created in Madrid in 2012 and subsequently presented in Paris, Khaos is billed as “a subtle marriage of movement, sound, lighting and digital technology.”

Everyone Gets To Tell The Truth

While it behooves those of us giving our literary opinions to either pile on the praise or provide authors an out when the work is bad, it would be a disservice both to readers and Can Lit in general to give anything but an honest review of Iain Reid’s most recent offering, The Truth About Luck.

Every suit for himself

Pommerat’s perfectly timely play remains an entertaining and well-honed critique of the humanity that is undermined by the increasingly marketized social relations of our era. In the place of honesty and authenticity in interactions, it says, capitalist self-interest and instrumentalism has triumphed – triumphed, principally, in making cynics of us all.