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If you're a veteran in the Montreal comedy scene then chances are you've heard the name Joe Avati. He's the Australian-Italian comedian who's been touring around North America, England, and his native of Australia for almost 20 years! With his charming accent and ability to perform in both English and Italian, it's no wonder Joe continues to fill up venues all over the world and has been called "the greatest comedian you've never heard off". I caught up with Joe back in June, right before he hit the stage for his Back To Basics Tour show at the Leonardo Da Vinci Center to discuss the tour, upcoming projects, and all other things comedic. The evening also marked his 67th show at the LDV Center proving how Montrealers just can't seem to get enough of this wonder from down under.

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Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it's about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates- Mordecai Richler

Fans of famed Montreal author Mordecai Richler will be thrilled to see his popular novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz appearing live on stage in a musical number at the Segal Centre. The tale is being brought back to life by award winning composers Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, A Christmas Carol) and David Spencer (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables). Prior to the stage, the novel was adapted into a 1974 film starring Richard Dreyfuss and Randy Quaid. Originally published in 1959, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz continues to be a must read novel, whether you're from Montreal or not. Those familiar with the novel (like myself) will notice the differences and similarities between the play, film, and novel.

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I've been a fan of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock for years and believe that he is an icon in the world of cinema. Hitchcock, known as the "master of suspense", was quite ahead of his time. He wasn't afraid to push the envelope and make movies that were unique from anything else. His actions were at times questionable, such as his infatuations with the women in his movies and his ill treatment of actress Tippi Hedren in The Birds. Despite his flaws, Alfred Hitchcock has influenced many directors: Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma and David Fincher to name a few.

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"Unless it's a love letter or a pay check, nothing good ever came out of an envelope." - Franco, The Envelope

The 2014-2015 season of the Centaur theatre has been nothing less than stellar with smash hits such as Venus in Furs and The Goodnight Bird. The hot streak continues with The Envelope, the newest play written and directed by Montreal's very own Vittorio Rossi (A Carpenter's Trilogy, Paradise By The River), who has been referred to by the Canadian Encyclopedia as the "inaugural Italian-Canadian voice on the English-Canadian stage". The Envelope is not only Rossi's first original play since The Carpenter in 2007, it's also an important milestone in his expanding and impressive career. This play will mark Rossi's 10th collaboration with the Centaur Theatre Company, a huge institution for English theatre here in Montreal. The Envelope is presently playing at the Centaur Theatre from March 24th until April 19th. Fans of Rossi's previous plays have been anxiously waiting for his newest piece of work. The anticipation is finally over and like many joyous occasions in life, good things are worth waiting for.

Life is Better When You're Laughing...at the Comedyworks!

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Friday June 20th, 2014, could be considered the day that comedy died in the city of Montreal. This was the day when the famed Comedyworks club abruptly closed its doors after being open for over 24 years. With its central location on Bishop Street in Montreal's busy downtown area, this iconic comedy club was a popular hotspot for anyone looking to include laughter in an evening out.

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Thank you for your interest in theater and supporting your local talents. Your attendance proves that you are a well-cultured individual with a passion for the arts. Bear in mind that there are certain rules of conduct that everyone must be made aware of in order to have a pleasant experience for everyone involved. Remember that you're about to view someone's hard work and dedication come to life, it is important to show respect and courtesy.

Whether you're new to the theater scene or an active theatregoer, it's important that you take the time to read the following tips and regulations. Enjoy the show and we look forward to seeing you at our next venue.

Curtain Call With Vittorio Rossi

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Vittorio Rossi is a very important figure in the world of Montreal theatre and to the Italian community. His work has won him awards and recognition as a playwright, actor, screenwriter and director. Some of his best-known plays are A Carpenter's Trilogy, a series that constitutes three parts (Hellfire Pass, Carmela's Table, and The Carpenter), and Paradise by the River. His newest play, The Envelope about the film industry begins in March 2015 at the Centaur Theatre. The show will mark Vittorio's tenth play produced at the Centaur Theatre. I caught up with Vittorio in the warm and welcoming family atmosphere of Da Franco's restaurant in Old Montreal. This restaurant is the inspiration for the setting of The Envelope, and also happens to be and owned by my cousins! Here's what Vittorio had to say about his latest work and his successful career.

Heeere's Massimo!!!

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If laughter is the best medicine then Montreal's very own Massimo Cannistraro could be considered a doctor who uses comedy as a form of healing. Born in Laval into an Italian family with two older brothers, Massimo's interest in stand up comedy started at a very young age. He grew up idolizing comedy legends Johnny Carson and Eddie Murphy and hoped to one-day follow in their footsteps. With hard work and dedication, Massimo has brought his talents outside of the city boroughs and onto various comedy platforms. From performing on stage at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival to appearances in blockbuster films, there's no denying his versatility. While he prefers to be referenced on a first name basis like Bono or Drake, his stage presence and high energy certainly make him a recognizable name in the world of comedy.

According to Gem: My Life As I Know It So Far

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My name is Gemma Cocomello, I am 30 years old and not ashamed of it! I was born and raised in Montreal and have lived my whole life in the Ville Saint-Laurent area. I am the youngest of three and the only daughter. I was my parents' third and final attempt for a girl. My father was born in Italy and my mother in Argentina. Looking back at my life I've learned that everything happens for a reason and what may seem unfair and impossible at that time, has a way of working itself out. Marilyn Monroe once said that things fall apart so better things can come together. Perhaps I'm getting too ahead of myself, how about we start from the beginning.









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