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Fall Cultural Preview: Theatre: The curtain calls

The curtain calls

Black Theatre Workshop celebrates 40 strong years with A Raisin in the Sun
Photo: Illustration by Ellen Smallwood

More reasons to spend evenings at the theatre as the days grow shorter

It’s not a trick of the waning light – summer’s almost gone. In another month the leaves on the trees will turn gold, red and orange and before we know it, we’ll be in sweaters and boots. Although the cooler temperatures mark the end of Montreal’s long parade of outdoor festivals, with autumn, the theatre scene comes alive again, warming our nights with quirky comedies and high-minded dramas.

Processed Theatre opens the season on Sept. 7 at the Mainline Theatre with heady musical Reefer Madness. Inspired by the 1936 film of the same name, this jazz-inspired satire examines the weirdness that befalls a clean-cut kid who falls victim to marijuana-induced sex and violence. Certain kinds of madness – revenge, lust – also ensue in Opéra de Montréal’s opener Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, while Les Colporteurs’s tightrope-crazed Le Fil sous la neige opens Tohu’s circus season.

At the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts, A View From the Bridge opens on Oct. 3 for a three-week run. Directed by Diana Leblanc, this Arthur Miller classic, set in New York City, exposes the hardships of an Italian immigrant family. And in late November there’s Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward’s hilarious story about a writer who invites a medium into his house to conduct a séance.

Across the hall at the Segal Studio, Sidemart Theatrical Grocery presents the world premiere of Gordon on Sept. 27. This Morris Panych family drama examines parenthood and the implications of bringing children into the world.

Over at the Centaur Theatre, Paradise by the River, directed by Joel Miller, begins Oct. 5. This Italian family drama set in Canada is written by Vittorio Rossi and is a compelling Arthur Miller counterpoint. On Oct. 21, Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre presents Medea, directed by Alison Darcy, and November includes a flamenco-filled production of Don Quixote and the Black Theatre Workshop’s Raisin in the Sun.

At Infinitheatre, David Fennario’s Bolsheviki opens Nov. 9. It’s a dramatic monologue that takes place on Remembrance Day in a bar, where WWI vet Harry Rollins speaks to a young reporter about his experiences in the trenches – troubling experiences that in fact speak to the heart of the Canadian military mission in Afghanistan. Later in November, Imago Theatre presents an English translation of Pierre-Michel Tremblay’s Champ de Mars: A Story of War.

And finally, Through Line Productions stages Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, beginning Sept. 8 at Théâtre Ste-Catherine. Directed by Joe Garque, the play focuses on our society’s obsession with the superficial as it follows the travails of Tom, a young executive who falls for the full-sized Helen.

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