Articles written by: Irwin Block

Restaurant review: Thanjai
Food / Reviews & Previews

Restaurant review: Thanjai

There are dozens of Indian restaurants in Montreal offering a mainly North Indian menu, but few with a South Indian cuisine featuring a huge choice of dosas­—savory crepes—and other regional delights. We’re talking about Thanjai, which we visited last month at its bright and airy location on Van Horne, just […]

Piano prodigy: Heads turn as young Pinchas Antal scales the music scene
Features

Piano prodigy: Heads turn as young Pinchas Antal scales the music scene

The Moscow-trained pianist was entertaining a full house at the Castel Royal residence, playing waltzes and tunes that struck a familiar chord with the attentive and appreciative crowd. Then the mood suddenly shifted to one of excited anticipation as 12-year-old Pinchas Antal entered the room to display his remarkable talent. […]

Yossi Beilin encourages community to “fight the Archie Bunkers”
Features

Yossi Beilin encourages community to “fight the Archie Bunkers”

Israel is facing a critical red line in the very near future. But the threat is not from an Iranian nuclear bomb, or Russia supplying S 300 surface-to-air missile systems to Syria. The most compelling threat to Israel as a democratic and Jewish state is demography, warns Yossi Beilin, a […]

Theatre review: Tales From Odessa
Reviews & Previews

Theatre review: Tales From Odessa

Tales From Odessa, this year’s bold musical production at the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre, is a winner when it comes to the updated, Romanian-inflected Klezmer and dances that surround the story. The story itself, written by American playwright Derek Goldman and based on the works of Russian-Jewish writer Isaac Babel, […]

Restaurant review image courtesy of stock.xchange.
Food / Reviews & Previews

Upscale Bistro on the Avenue serves mains with flair

Bistro on the Avenue, a classy eatery on Greene Ave., is a home away from home since 1991 for loyal customers who live in Westmount and adjacent. Behind the glass storefront is an elongated and high-ceilinged room, with a long bar on the left, booths and tables on the right […]

The Soweto Gospel Choir hits the festival July 6. (Photo courtesy of the Montreal International Jazz Festival)
Reviews & Previews

Montreal International Jazz Festival: Best jazz picks

Having attended hundreds of concerts at the Montreal International Jazz Festival over more than 30 years, I am happy to share my picks for the best of the fest. Non-jazz players performing at the festival do not qualify for this list. JUNE 28 Legendary saxophonist Charles Lloyd, in the first […]

Music reviews: Triple the pleasure with local musicians
Reviews & Previews

Music reviews: Triple the pleasure with local musicians

The music industry may be in crisis, but that hasn’t stopped truly great CDs from being produced, in particular by local and Canadian artists. Three of the best I’ve heard recently: Matt Herskowitz, Upstairs (Justin Time) Pianist Matt Herskowitz—born in Albany, N.Y., a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York […]

American songbook: An intimate chat with jazz pianist Barry Harris
Features

American songbook: An intimate chat with jazz pianist Barry Harris

When a musical legend comes to town, you don’t want to miss the show. When the concert is in the intimacy of a club seating fewer than 100, you make your reservations immediately. That is the setup for the return to Montreal of pianist Barry Harris, 83, an active teacher […]

Folk Festival on the Canal: Guitarist Roger McGuinn headlines
Reviews & Previews

Folk Festival on the Canal: Guitarist Roger McGuinn headlines

Montreal’s Folk Fest on the Canal—newest kid on the spring festival block—is back with an exciting program well worth checking out June 12-15. Much of it is free and outdoors. If the weather cooperates, it’s a winner. Last summer, we dropped by and came away with a happy buzz, thanks […]

Djuna Barnes
What's Happening

Bloomsday Festival: McGill gets intimate with James Joyce

James Joyce is celebrated as one of the giants of 20th-century English Lit, but how many have read his challenging prose? You are invited, along with those who have read his masterwork, Ulysses, to get to know Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness writing in a series of films, lectures, live music and staged […]