Press-Republican

February 28, 2013

Performers spring into action

By STEVEN HOWELL
Press-Republican

---- — MONTREAL — The Montreal spring-theater season is in full swing with unique stage offerings.

On now at the Centaur Theatre is “Trad,” an original tale that follows Thomas, a one-armed 100-year-old man, and his wooden-legged father on their road trip across the Irish countryside in search of Thomas’s 70-year-old son.

“Trad” continues through Sunday, March 24, at 453 St. Francois Xavier St. in Old Montreal. Tickets cost $47.50. Call (514) 288-3161 or visit www.centaurtheatre.com for more information.

In collaboration with Candles are for Burning, Theatre Aux Ecuries presents “Bliss,” a newspaper tabloid-inspired tale of two articles — one of a retiring Celine Dion, and one about a girl abused by her family — that get an intervention by a Walmart worker named Oracle.

“Bliss” runs Tuesday, March 5, through Saturday, March 9, at 7285 Chabot St. Tickets cost $25. For details, call (514) 328-7437 or visit www.auxecuries.com.

The Segal Centre for Performing Arts presents the world premiere of “The Mahalia Jackson Musical,” a new, original musical penned for the Segal stage that pays tribute to the life of the iconic gospel singer. The work stars Montreal jazz singer Ranee Lee. Read a preview of the musical in next week’s Out & About section with director and writer Roger Peace.

“Mahalia” is presented Sunday, March 3, through Sunday, March 24. The Segal Centre is at 5170 Chemin Cote St. Catherine. Tickets start at $29. Call (514) 739-7944 or visit www.segalcentre.org for questions.

Next, put up your dukes as Rabbit in a Hat Productions teams up with Infinitheatre to present “Cornered.” Set in a seedy Manchester gym, the dark comedy follows Rex and his apprentice, Vinnie, two corner men who work for a youth-boxing tournament. On their team is Little T, the boy who is favored to win — until things in this boxing ring go horribly awry.

Written by Jim Burke and directed by Paul Van Dyck, “Cornered” is presented at Bain St. Michel Wednesday, March 6, through Sunday, March 17, at 5300 St. Dominique St. (at the corner of Maguire). General admission costs $25 for adults, and $20 for students and seniors. For more info, call (514) 987-1774, or visit www.rabbitinahatproductions.com or www.infinitheatre.com.

Did you feel that? That’s the wind sweeping down the plain! Hudson Village Theatre presents the Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “Oklahoma” from Wednesday, March 6, through Saturday, March 23.

Tickets start at $29. The theater is at 28 Wharf Road in Hudson, about 45 minutes west of downtown Montreal. Call (450) 458-5361 or visit www.villagetheatre.ca for more.

Opera de Montreal presents a new, contemporary operatic take on “Dead Man Walking,” which is based on the Academy Award-winning 1995 film starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. “Dead Man Walking” tells the real-life story of Sister Helen Prejean, a Catholic nun who befriends an incarcerated prisoner on death row.

“Dead Man Walking” is performed Saturday, March 9; Tuesday, March 12; Thursday, March 14; and Saturday, March 16, at Place des Arts, 175 St. Catherine St. W. Tickets range from $50 to $130. Call (866) 842-2112, or visit www.pda.qc.ca or www.operademontreal.com for more information.

Next, the Waterworks Company presents “Palace of the End” by playwright Judith Thompson.

The timely work is a triptych of short, solo plays exploring the tragedy of the Iraq War, which marks its 10-year anniversary in March.

The trilogy opens with “My Pyramids,” which follows a young soldier who attempts to hold her own as she faces the media circus surrounding the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco.

Next, “Harrowdown Hill” explores the last testament of a dying doctor and weapons inspector who aims to preserve his reputation “to warn the world that the case for war was a lie,” the press release states.

The work ends with “Instruments of Yearning,” which delves inside Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror told through the eyes of an Iraqi dissident and a survivor of Hussein’s prisons.

Directed by Rob Langford, “Palace of the End” is presented for eight performances Thursday, March 14, through Sunday, March 24, at Espace 4001, 4001 Berri St. (near Duluth). Tickets cost $15. A matinee two-for-one performance is held Sunday, March 17. For more info and tickets, visit www.waterworksmontreal.wordpress.com.

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