Montreal

There's something uniquely Quebecois about the kind of entertainment referred to as a spectacle. It's more than just a performance, usually involving some kind of multimedia projection, light show, and, if outdoors, fireworks. It's no wonder, then, that the ultimate spectacle, Cirque du Soleil, was founded in Montréal in the ’80s. And it's also hardly surprising that North America's largest French-speaking metropolis should be the continent's capital of French theater.

Montréal is the home of nearly a dozen professional companies and several important theater schools, but there's also a lively English-language theater scene and one of the few remaining Yiddish theaters in North America.

In 2012, the city completed the Quartier des Spectacles, a 70-acre theater district in Downtown with stages for outdoor performances and nearly 80 venues for dance, music, theater, and art.

For a city its size, Montréal offers a remarkable number of opportunities for fans of classical music to get their fill, from operas and symphonies to string quartets.

As for dance, there are several modern dance companies of note, including Montréal Danse and Québec's premier ballet company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

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  • 1. Théâtre du Nouveau Monde

    Downtown

    Celebrating 70 years in 2021 on the Montréal theatre scene, the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde plans to expand its current space. A season's offerings at...Read More

  • 2. Black Theatre Workshop

    Downtown

    The only Black English-language company in Québec (and the longest-running in Canada) continues to support and nourish the careers of many prominent artists on the...Read More

  • 3. Centaur Theatre

    Old Montréal

    Montréal's best-known English-language theater company stages everything from frothy musical revues to serious works, and prominently features works by local playwrights. Its home is in...Read More

  • 4. Geordie Productions

    Downtown

    Promoting itself as a theater for all audiences, this accomplished English company has been delighting kids and adults since 1982. Most productions are performed at...Read More

  • 5. Mainline Theatre

    The Plateau

    Operated by the same people who present the Montréal Fringe Festival every summer, the Mainline opened in 2006 to serve the city's burgeoning Anglo theater...Read More

  • 6. Monument-National

    Downtown

    The highly regarded École Nationale de Théâtre du Canada—aka National Theatre School of Canada—supplies world stages with a steady stream of well-trained actors and directors....Read More

  • 7. Segal Centre for the Performing Arts

    Côte-des-Neiges

    English-language favorites like Harvey, Inherit the Wind, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat get frequent billing at this Côte-des-Neiges venue, along with locally written...Read More

  • 8. Théâtre Denise Pelletier

    Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

    With an objective to introduce younger audiences to theater, the Pelletier, which celebrated its 50th year in 2014, puts on French-language productions in a beautifully...Read More

  • 9. Théâtre du Rideau Vert

    The Plateau

    The oldest professional French theater company in North America, Théâtre du Rideau Vert has been winning over audiences with its contemporary productions since 1948. Many...Read More

  • 10. Théâtre Jean Duceppe

    Downtown

    Named for one of Québec's most beloved actors, this theater makes its home in the smallest and most intimate of the four auditoriums in Place...Read More

  • 11. Théâtre Ste-Catherine

    Latin Quarter

    With approximately 100 comfortable seats, this independent alternative theater features comedy and improv shows most nights. On Sunday, there's a free improv workshop that's open...Read More

  • 12. Excentris

    The Plateau | Film

    Although two of its three former screening rooms now host live performances by singers, musicians, and dancers, the remaining Cinéma Parallèle...Read More

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