October 3, 2013

Dance, comedy and circus hit Montreal stage

By STEVE HOWELL Press-Republican

---- — MONTREAL — As diverse as the city itself, the Montreal stage offers some creative circus arts, innovative dance and classic stand-up comedy.


La Tohu, the city’s premiere venue devoted to circus performing arts, marks a milestone 10th anniversary with unique acts from around the world. And the season begins by literally turning the circus world on its head.

Making its debut, “Hans was Heiri,” presented by the Swiss circus team of Zimmermann & de Perrot, brings new meaning to the term “as the world turns.” Accompanied by one magician and one disc jockey, five acrobats playfully navigate a revolving four-room structure that turns the floor into a ceiling.

“Hans was Heiri” continues through Sunday, Oct. 13. Adult tickets range from $29 to $45.

La Tohu is at 2345 Jarry St. E. (at the corner of Iberville Street). Call (514) 376-8648 or visit for questions.


Montreal’s majestic Rialto Theatre continues its successful rebirth with master dance classes, tribute bands and a newly inaugurated comedy club.

Montreal’s Yuk Yuk’s Cabaret, which opens for the first time tonight, offers a stand-up comedy set featuring Dave Foley of “Kids in the Hall” fame. The comedy gig runs through Saturday. Tickets cost $25.

This month’s Master Class series is hosted by Mia Michaels, who is well-known for her choreography and judging prowess on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.” You can join in on the Monday, Oct. 7, intermediate/advanced-level class or the Tuesday, Oct. 8, pre-professional/professional-level class for $40, or enjoy as an observer for $15.

The dancing continues with Opera Tango and Grand Bal Tango, a double bill inspired by Argentina’s national pastime. Opera Tango is a French tango-opera from Quebec composer Denis Plante, who brings the writing of Argentinean J.L. Borges to life at 7 p.m. Introductory tango dance lessons are held at 8:15 p.m., followed by the Grand Bal at 9 p.m., where all are welcome to tango the night away. To attend the opera only, the cost is $30; for Grand Bal Tango only, it’s $20; and the combo costs $40.

Other upcoming highlights at the Rialto include Claudette Dion Sings Piaf, a music/dinner combo evening staring Celine Dion’s older sister, on Thursday, Oct. 10; “Imagine: The Tribute,” a performance starring Martin Cahill, who practically channels John Lennon, on Friday, Oct 11; and Canadian pop crooner — and Montreal native — Gino Vannelli performs two dates Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2 and 3.

The Rialto Theatre is at 5719 Ave. du Parc. For more information, call the box office at (514) 770-7773 or visit


Next, Montreal’s acclaimed Les Grands Ballets offers a contemporary take on the classic “Sleeping Beauty.” 

Choreographed by Mats Ek, and created in 1996 for Hamburg Ballet, this version of “Sleeping Beauty” follows Princess Aurora, a teenager who falls into a world of rebellion, love, jealousy, revenge and drug addiction.

“Sleeping Beauty” is presented Thursday, Oct. 10, through Saturday, Oct. 26. Tickets range from about $53 to $117. GBC productions are performed at Place des Arts at 175 St. Catherine St. W. For more information, call (514) 842-2112 or visit


Usine C offers an ongoing eclectic lineup of theater and dance in an equally intriguing venue — it’s a former factory-turned-performance space.

Of note coming soon is the Why Not Theatre production of “A Brimful of Asha,” the true Canadian tale that crosses generations and cultures when a mother and father aim to arrange a marriage for their son when he ventures to India. It stars real-life mother and son Asha and Ravi Jain.

It runs Wednesday, Oct. 30, through Friday, Nov. 1. Tickets cost $25.

Usine C is in the Village at 1345 Lalonde Ave., one block south of Ontario Street. Call (514) 521-4493 or visit for questions.

Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at