PREVIEWS

Theatre. New Classical Theatre Fest: Hamlet (Solo), until Sept. 9; Theatre St-Catherine (264 St-Catherine E.).Blink an eye and you’ll miss the closing night of the showcase piece from this year’s New Classical Theatre Fest, a Gravy Bath Productions and Montreal Young Company that aims to stage innovative salutes to the classics. At just three years old, the festival’s progress has been a marvel to track and this year is the most exciting yet. Hamlet (Solo) is a one-man show by Raoul Bhaneja that is a surprisingly fresh portrayal of the most formidable role in all English theatre. And as if Hamlet weren’t enough, Bhaneja will go through 16 more roles before the play ends, all sans props. Some might call this mind-boggling feat madness, but there is a method to it. Call 540-0774 for more information.

Music. The Black Eyed Peas, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.;The Bell Centre (1260 Rue De La Gauchetière O). This may be your last chance to see Fergie and crew while they are still under one name. The funkified hip-hop ensemble from Los Angeles is touring their latest album, Monkey Business, which garnered four Grammy nominations. They will be in town this coming Tuesday night for one performance only. Grab the chance to let loose to “Don’t Phunk With My Heart,” “Pump It” and all those other lusciously groovy songs you’ve wrinkled your nose distastefully at after they’ve played for the hundredth time on the radio – but that you secretly love. Also performing with them will be Rhianna and Swollen Members. Visit www.bellcentre.ca for more information.

Film. Hollywoodland, opens Sept. 8.In his latest comeback attempt, Ben Affleck plays George Reeves, star of the mid-century Superman TV series, whose strange suicide story stole headlines and shook up the tangled world of 1950s Hollywood. Diane Lane turns in a strong performance as his aging lover in the first of the post-summer, pre-Oscar string of movies that everyone will be talking about. This mystery thriller, which was premiered in Montreal at the International Film Festival, also stars Adrien Brody as a private eye investigating the possibilities of foul play in Reeves’ death. Just as in the best of post-mortem biopic, Citizen Kane, the dramatics of the mystery story are less than absorbing compared to the raw documentation of the everyday life of a man behind a superhero. No Citizen Kane, but a good popcorn-munching movie that you will definitely pull up as cocktail party conversation.

Art. Photographic and Video Images in Contemporary Canadian Art, until Oct. 22;Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1379 Sherbrooke Street Pavilion). This free exhibit, exclusive to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, opened in mid-summer and there are two months left to catch it. Bringing the best of the MMFA, the National Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario together for the first time, it focuses on some of the big name modern photographers such as Jeff Wall and Michael Snow, as well as featuring works from up and coming genxers. The works explore western society through its outlets and mediums of expression such as pop culture. Works are thematically divided into two forms: the portrait and the landscape. The result is a look at identity, beauty and mythology that is at times comic, ironic or informative. Or all three. Festival. Magic of Lanterns, Sept. 8 – Oct. 31;Montreal Botanical Gardens (4101 Sherbrooke E). Unknown to most, Montreal’s Botanical Gardens contain the largest Chinese garden outside Asia. It’s being put to good use during the annual lantern fest, where until 9 p.m. daily visitors will be able to enjoy the Chinese Celebration themed displays and events. While strolling through the five outdoor lantern displays, get a taste of Chinese pastries and enjoy listening to and examining a variety of classical Chinese instruments assembled at the Friendship Pavillion. The lanterns are all handmade in Shanghai. Not to be missed.

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