Everyone was loving Montreal’s family-friendly puppet festival until the prison rape part
By Amy B Wang September 1
An image from a video of a Cabaret Décadanse song from the Marionnettes Plein la Rue festival. (Ronit Milo)
Organizers for the Marionnettes Plein la Rue festival promised that this year's event would be "a delirious, delightful thrill for the whole family!"
And by most accounts, it was: Photos of the sixth annual Montreal-area street fair showed smiling crowds eating grilled corn on the cob, browsing through brightly colored booths and enjoying the raison d'être for the event: the free puppet shows.
At least one of those shows delivered on the promise of a delirious thrill — just not in the way organizers expected.
On Sunday, with a crowd of young children gathered around an open-air stage, one of the troupes, Cabaret Décadanse, launched into a number from its free show, "Aux Grand Airs."
The name of the song? "Prison B---h."
The song's lyrics were risqué, to say the least, referencing gay sex between inmates.
In front of the stage, a young girl in a striped blue dress twirled around to the music, oblivious to the lyrics. Another boy tapped his feet to the doo-wop beat.
The ditty continued, as a shaggy gray wolf puppet wearing bunny ears "danced" and sang" to the tune.
Watching and recording the performance from the crowd, Ronit Milo was shocked. She had come to the festival with her 3-year-old son and other family members, and other songs from the troupe leading up to this one had been neutral, she told The Washington Post.
"The festival was promoted as an event for families. It was largely attended by families with young children," Milo said. "It was held in the street, in the middle of the afternoon, and half the audience at the show consisted of children."
Milo later uploaded her partial recording of the offending number on herFacebook page.
"Family friendly entertainment in Montreal. Yay, homophobia for children," Milo wrote in her post. "What a city!"
She noted that most of the little kids, fortunately, didn't seem to understand what was going on.
"I can't imagine what they were thinking when they chose this," Milo wrote. "But it's not just inappropriate for kids. Prison rape and gay sex are not jokes."
I went to the person's FB page and got the video. You're welcome.
(Sorry, can't embed for some reason)