Five Artistic Directors share their spots for before or after a show...or just to unwind
by David King
In the English-language theatre community, everyone knows the Copa and La Cabane are two of the hottest spots on the Main for cheap brewskies and some fun banter before or after a show. Whether it's some rehearsal downtime or some quick grub before an evening's performance, both of these hotspots (if their walls could talk) probably hold a lot of secrets about what goes on backstage!
The Main, of course, is not our only pick for pre-show and post-show bacchanalia. We asked the Artistic Directors of 5 very different theatre companies in Montreal for their recommendations (the ones that aren't closely guarded secrets, of course). Send us yours!
Dean Fleming, Geordie Productions
“Beforehand it depends on where the show is. The perfect scenario: I love having a wonderful dinner (not too much) and a glass or two of red wine. So if time allows I will find a restaurant close to the theatre. Afterwards, well I guess it really has been years since we have been going to La Cabane. It seems almost out of habit rather than want. I think, though, after a show it is less important where I am than whom I’m with, and if the show has given me something to talk about. After a show I really want to be having a drink, debating, arguing, talking about how something was done, or in wonderment over the artistry. That sure beats just moving on to any topic but what I just watched.”
Jeremy Hechtman, Montreal Fringe Festival / MainLine Theatre
“MainLine Lobby: a high-class establishment for the theatregoer in the know. Elegantly appointed with genuine antique furniture adding to its ultra-sophisticated atmosphere. It is truly the ideal surrounding for intelligent discourse with those who appreciate the finer things in life. And Thursdays is Ladies night.”
Andrew Shaver, Sidemart Theatrical Grocery
"Gonna go with Else's, SideMart's birthplace, on this one. As we prepared for our first production we'd meet there to drink beer, eat chili and flirt with the bartenders. Sometimes indulge in their impressive scotch menu; usually going with one we couldn't pronounce and thought was funny to call 'Teabag'. We've grown up since then. A little."
Roy Surette, Centaur Theatre
"Roy's recommendations... near Centaur Theatre:
L'Assommoir - Great bar, great food pre- or post show L'Orignal - stylish chalet, chic ambience... yummy meat, fresh seafood La Popessa - Fast and Tasty bargain pasta
And because I am a West Coast boy: Tokyo Sushibar! Of course & and more often than any of the others, there_ are lots of great Pho and Chinese on St-Laurent in Chinatown. Oh! In the summer: post-show cocktail at Hôtel Place d'Armes roof deck bar. Fantastic!"
Emma Tibaldo, Playwrights' Workshop Montreal
"Ummm, have you met me? I'm 47. Who goes out? My days of hanging out go back to Cargo, Foufounes, Station 10. Now, I only hang out for shows. Casa del Popolo, Barfly, les 3 Minots... I'm probably not the one who should answer this one. I'm happy to answer anything else.... next time? Sorry, I kinda suck I know."