Articles written by: Byron Toben

Atwater Library image courtesy of Jeangagnon, Wikimedia Commons

Atwater Library benefit raises $80,000

One of the great annual benefit parties for various good causes around town is that of the venerable Atwater Library and Computer Centre. On the eastern edge of Westmount, with a thin, triangular slice that overlaps Montreal, this bi-city cultural hub has a respected history and a dedicated corps of […]

Around Miss Julie stars five young Concordia theatre grads. (Photo courtesy of the Montreal Fringe Festival)
Reviews & Previews

Montreal Fringe Festival: Top picks (sight unseen)

Having covered all 22 previous incarnations of the Fringe, I have a good feeling of what rough beasts may appeal. (These do not include dance or French films, as I am not qualified to judge those categories.) Most shows are about 60 minutes long. Most tickets are $10 plus $2 […]

St. Patrick's Day image courtesy of stock.xchange.
What's Happening

In March, all Montrealers are Irish

One of the most successful ads in New York history was “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Rye.” In Montreal, you don’t have to be Irish to love Irish coffee. There are many Irish events leading up to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Sunday, March 17. Here […]

Reviews & Previews

Find Good People on stage at The Centaur

Good People, the Tony-nominated drama by David Lindsay-Abaire, is a standout even in this now-autumn of our theatrical content. This is also a chance to see the wondrously inventive Johanna Nutter (famous for her solo My Pregnant Brother) in a full-length, full-cast drama. The play is set in the colourful […]

Reviews & Previews

August: An Afternoon in the Country: Where rural squabbles play out

by Byron Toben After the opening of the well-acted and directed August, An Afternoon in the Country, I asked two theatre people what they thought. Without having talked to each other, they each said: “Tennessee Williams comes to Témiscamingue,” which was my reaction as well. This English premiere by an […]

In Out of the Fog, two women duke it out over a child in private school. (Photo courtesy of Motet)
Reviews & Previews

At the Montreal Fringe Festival, don’t bet on the horse, bet on the jockey

BY BYRON TOBEN Wow. The Montreal Fringe Theatre Festival is entering its 22nd year. Who woulda thunk? Now, to the chase. Shrewd gamblers quip, “Don’t bet on the horse, bet on the jockey.” With that in mind, I pick (among English language shows running June 14-24), in alphabetical order: Act […]

Marathon dancers compete in 1923. During the Depression, many entered the competitions for the free food. (Photo from the Library of Congress)

John Abbott dancers cry havoc with production of Marathon 33

BY BYRON TOBEN Shakespeare popularized the phrases “cry havoc” and “sweet are the uses of adversity.” These quotes popped into my mind during John Abbott College’s professional theatre production of June Havoc’s dance drama Marathon 33. Havoc, who was born in Vancouver and died at 97 in 2010, had a […]