From small children to connoisseurs of high culture and the performing arts, the City of Sherbrooke has options for every taste, when it comes to shows and performances. Here are some of the best picks.
If you understand French and love diverse genres, this is a multipurpose venue with great acoustics and a popular line-up. It includes stand-up comedy, dance, theater, circus, and music. The center comprises the Maurice O’Bready concert hall, four fireplaces, a lounge, and a gallery featuring contemporary art exhibits. Upcoming shows for spring 2020 include a travel film set in the Banff mountains; the symphony orchestra with excerpts of ballet classics like Swan Lake; a Montreal Opera performance centered on a love triangle involving Carmen, a gypsy with a fiery temper; and an interactive science-themed show called “C’est merveilleux” for youth ages 5 to 12 with magician Daniel Coutu. Check out their website for the latest promotions and offerings, as the schedule rotates frequently.
Targeted at the English-speaking community, Centennial Theater is located on the Bishop’s University campus. It offers many performances put on by students and the local community. Popular performances include the Sherbrooke Gospel choir and the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Sherbrooke (OSJS), featuring musicians ages 12 to 25. Opened in 1967, the theater seats 550 people. It now has a Programming Director and Committee, who bring in artists from around the world to share their talents with the Eastern Townships. Smaller concerts, like the Bishop’s University Singers, a mixed-voice and multi-instrumental choir, are hosted in the more intimate Bandeen Hall, which includes an elevated stage and advanced audiovisual equipment. Productions by the Bishop’s Drama Department, like “Tartuffe or the Imposter” by Molière from March 25-29, 2020, often take place in the Turner Studio Theater.
This theater was created by merging together two hallmark institutions of the Eastern Townships: Théâtre du Sang Neuf and Théâtre Entre Chien et Loup. Over the past 46 years, the theatre has hosted over 90 productions, which have traveled all over the world, with most of its offerings geared toward children and families. “The Problem with Pink” (February 2020) is a humorous and colorful theatrical piece that discusses boys discovering the stereotype that pink is a color for girls. “Histoires à plumes et à poils” is a series for ages 3 to 8 throughout the year focused on comedic animal stories celebrating our link with the natural world. The theater also offers traveling pieces that visit school classrooms and hosts community activities, like a poetic Bingo, a spring break camp, and creative workshops.
For a good old-fashioned night at the movies, this theater has you covered. La Maison Du Cinéma features the latest blockbuster cinematic hits, as well as a program of delightful theatrical and dance performances, such as the “Nutcracker” and “Beauty and the Beast” from the Royal Ballet, and “Madama Butterfly” (May 2020), an operatic production from the Glyndebourne Festival, hosted on a regal European-style stage.
The theater has a long history of growth and technological advancements. For example, it originally offered quality films for $0.10 back in 1910 as the “Premier Cinema.” “Les Aventuriers Voyageurs” is a series that offers films every few weeks which allow viewers to travel the world without leaving Sherbrooke. Over the upcoming months, moviegoers can explore Shanghai (February 2-5), Great Britain and Normandy (February 23-26), Malaysia (March 15-18), and Western North America (April 19-22). To add a leisurely dinner to your plans, this theater offers a number of rebates with local restaurants like Pizzicato, Café Bla-Bla, Tapageur, O Chevreuil, and Méchant Steak, which can be combined to form the perfect evening out.