MONTREAL — It’s a new year for theater offerings in Montreal.
The season starts off with an explosive rock-inspired bang with the national tour of the Broadway smash “American Idiot.” With music by Green Day, the musical tells the tale of three boyhood friends who search for meaning in a post 9/11 world. The show features the songs “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”
“American Idiot” makes its Montreal premiere at Place des Arts for two shows only Jan. 4 and 5. Tickets range from $50 to $88.50. Call (514) 842-2112 or visit www.laplacedesarts.com.
The Centaur Theatre offers its annual “Wildside Festival,” a wintertime bash of inventive indie theater. Seven works are presented for this year’s 17th edition including “Little Orange Man,” the jury-selected winner of the Best English Language Production of the 2013 Montreal Fringe Fest. “Little Orange Man” employs the audience as guinea pigs in a Danish girl’s dream experiment.
Also of note, “A Quiet Sip of Coffee” explores playwrights Anthony Johnston and Nathan Schwartz’s prank letter request to a fundamentalist “ex-gay” group asking for funds to produce a play. The group answered and complied under the condition the authors spend two weeks participating in gay conversion therapy.
“Blue Box” investigates Carmen Aguirre’s life as an underground revolutionary in Chile. “V-Cards” is a collection of confessions about how 20 characters aged 15 to 70, played by four actors employing masks, lost their virginity. And “Big Shot” traces six different perspectives on the split second of time between a bullet leaving a gun and hitting its target on the Vancouver SkyTrain.
Wildside runs Jan. 3 through 12. Tickets cost $15 each or $50 for a four-show pass.
The Centaur then bares it all in the Beautiful City Theatre production of “The Full Monty,” the lighthearted musical about a band of unemployed British steel workers who decide to form a striptease group to raise a little cash.
“The Full Monty” is presented Jan. 30 through Feb. 1. Tickets cost $35.
Next is a contemporary retelling of the Book of Job with “The Book of Bob,” a poignant two-hander about a professor dealing with an ailing father and an overburdened work life. “The Book of Bob” is performed Feb. 4 through March 7.
At 453 St. Francois Xavier St. in Old Montreal. Call (514) 288-3161 or visit www.centaurtheatre.com.
The Segal Centre for Performing Arts offers three upcoming productions.
The Segal’s intimate Studio space presents the Teesri Duniya Theatre production of “Bhopal,” a sobering tale that examines the 1984 industrial disaster of the Union Carbide pesticide plant explosion that decimated two-thirds of Bhopal, India, and the effects of the disaster that remain today.
“Bhopal” is presented Jan. 15 through Feb. 2. Tickets start at $15.
The Segal’s main stage presents “The Seagull,” an adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play by Peter Hinton, the former artistic director of English theater at Canada’s National Arts Centre. The work tells the tale of a group of artists spending time at a country estate. “The Seagull” comes to town Feb. 2 through 16. Tickets start at $24.
The Studio then offers “The Meeting,” a production of Montreal’s Black Theatre Workshop aimed at young audiences ages 12 to 17. Written by Jeff Stetson and directed by Quincy Armorer, “The Meeting” depicts the supposed encounter of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It runs Feb. 22 through March 2. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.
The Segal Centre is at 5170 Chemin Cote St. Catherine. Call (514) 739-7944 or visit www.segalcentre.org.
Infinitheatre presents “Unseamly,” a world premiere by Montreal playwright Oren Safdie. Inspired by true events, “Unseamly” explores the story of a young woman who seeks legal advice to initiate charges of sexual harassment against her former boss, the CEO of an international clothing company known for its risqué billboards.
It runs Feb. 11 through March 9 at Infinitheatre at Bain St. Michel, 5300 St. Dominique St. Tickets range from $17 to $25; Feb. 16 is pay-what-you-can. Call (514) 987-1774 or visit www.infinitheatre.com.
Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at iTunes.com.