Richard "Bugs" BurnettWhat’s on in Montréal courtesy of Tourisme Montréal


The Centaur Theatre Company presents master puppeteer and Canadian national treasure Ronnie Burkett and his bawdy Daisy Theatre gang in Little Willy, Burkett’s hilarious brand-new production based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (May 2 to 14). Burkett told me, “People are starved for live theatre and just want to laugh. So I booked a seven-city tour. I haven’t felt that kind of enthusiasm from an audience in a long time!”

At the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts, Tymisha Harris delivers a sensational tour-de-force performance in the highly-anticipated multi-award-winning production of Josephine, the biographical musical of iconic African-American superstar Josephine Baker. Runs from May 28 to June 18.

Some of the world’s most innovative theatre and dance productions will be performed at the 17th edition of the Festival TransAmériques which runs from May 24 to June 8.


Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal presents their blockbuster production of the fairy tale Cinderella (May 31 to June 4) at Salle Wilfred-Pelletier. Choreographed in 2011 by Jayne Smeulders when she was a Principal Dancer with the West Australian Ballet, Cinderella is set in a fantastic and timeless realm, thanks to glittering new sets and costumes designed and crafted in Montreal. Some roles have been created especially for the company’s dancers to bring yet more magic to the scenes in the enchanted garden.


The Opéra de Montréal presents an international cast in a fresh production (with OdeM sets and costumes) of Giacomo Puccini’s 1904 masterpiece Madama Butterfly (May 6 to 16) at Salle Wilfred-Pelletier.

To close their 89th season, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal with their Grammy-winning Maestro Rafael Payare perform Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony with American mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, the OSM Chorus and a children’s choir, at the Maison symphonique de Montréal (May 31 to June 3).

What's On in Montreal - Fancy Free Corvette

Fancy Free Corvette designed by Ruth Glennie in 1958 is on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts


Time is running out to see the excellent exhibition Parall(elles): A History of Women in Design at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until May 28. The exhibition celebrates the instrumental role women have played in the world of design and includes the unique prototype Fancy Free Corvette designed by Ruth Glennie in 1958.


Cirque du Soleil’s blockbuster summer show ECHO continues Under the Big Top in the Old Port of Montreal.


Montreal author Daniel Allen Cox will be in conversation with writer Heather O’Neill for the launch of his new book I Felt the End Before It Came: Memoirs of a Queer Ex-Jehovah’s Witness at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (176 Bernard W.) on May 16 at 7 pm.

Join British primatologist, anthropologist and author Dr. Jane Goodall in person for an evening of stories and discussion at Théâtre Maisonneuve on May 24.


The inaugural NDG COMEDY FEST will be held in various venues from May 19 to 21. Headliners include local legends Joey Elias and Bowser & Blue teaming up for a dream double bill (May 20) at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, and Derek Seguin (May 21) at The Wheel Club.

Michelle Sweeney

Michelle Sweeney will perform at UpStairs Jazz Bar and Grill on May 13


Academy Award-winning composer John Williams iconic score for Star Wars: Return of the Jedi will be performed live in concert by 78 musicians of the FILMharmonique Orchestra under the direction of Erik Ochsner while the 1983 film plays on the big screen at Salle Wilfred-Pelletier (three performances on May 19 and 20). The original film will be screened with French subtitles.


Montreal soul legend Michelle Sweeney headlines two shows (May 13 at 7:30 pm and 9:45 pm) at Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, ranked by Downbeat magazine as one of the top jazz nightclubs on the planet, the same night retro soul man Lee Fields headlines the Corona Theatre.

Other shows of note: British pop star Seal headlines Théâtre St-Denis (May 14), pop and trumpet icon Herb Alpert with his wife Lani Hall (former lead vocalist for Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ‘66) perform at Théâtre Maisonneuve (May 18), second-generation The Wailers keep the Bob Marley reggae flame alive at Le Studio TD (May 21), while the Montreal is the Drug 80s post-punk / New Wave concert features house band Paul Cargnello & The Truth with many all-star musical guests at the Corona Theatre (May 26).

Dubbed “Mr. Montreal” by the CBC, arts and culture journalist and columnist Richard “Bugs” Burnett knows Montreal like a drag queen knows a cosmetics counter.