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Jeff Cottrill

Digital Journalist based in Toronto, ON, Canada. Joined on Mar 7, 2011
Expertise in Movies, Internet, Books, Social media, Entertainment,   see all» Board games, Travel, Divorce, Celebrities, Music

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Op-Ed: Why ‘Superman’ blows newer superhero films away, 40 years later

What an exciting time it must have been to go to the movies, back in the 1970s. I was only a little tyke then, so I didn’t feel the effects of it until years later. But something about that decade brought out the best in Hollywood creativity.

Review: Fast-paced Second City show nails all today’s big social targets Special

Toronto - It’s strange that, with all the easy material they could get from Donald Trump or Doug Ford, Second City’s cast chooses mostly to stay away from political satire in its new Toronto revue. But that doesn’t mean that the show isn’t timely.

Review: Minimalist ‘Les Misérables’ strips story down to the basic themes Special

Toronto - For more than thirty years, “Les Misérables” has won over the public imagination as a spectacular mega-musical – so much so that a generation or two probably doesn’t even know (or care) that this tale began as an epic Victor Hugo novel.

Review: ‘Animal Farm’ ditches clever Orwellian satire for broad comedy Special

Toronto - A few people have given me strange looks when I’ve told them that I find “Animal Farm” to be a very funny book. Those who’ve read George Orwell’s story in school might remember a dark, violent political satire, not a zany giggle fest.

Op-Ed: Oscars 2018 — Predictions, personal picks and random commentary

Yes, I’m aware that we don’t need another column about the Academy Awards. Even if there weren’t much more pressing issues in the world, we already get our fill of obligatory Oscar hype from critics who are actually paid to care about it.

Review: ‘Delicate Balance’ holds up as a study of bourgeois hypocrisy Special

Toronto - It’s hard to review Soulpepper’s production of “A Delicate Balance” without bringing up the recent allegations of sexual misconduct against former artistic director Albert Schultz. Even though they have nothing to do with the play.

Review: ‘Heisenberg’ keeps the uncertainty going in romantic two-hander Special

Toronto - For a light romantic comedy, Simon Stephens’ “Heisenberg” is surprisingly compelling. This may be because of the way the acclaimed British playwright plays with – and overcomes – many of the familiar conventions of the genre.

Review: Second City holiday revue satirizes Christmas traditions Special

Toronto - Christmas is usually depicted as a happy season of good cheer, but in reality, it can be a time of stress, disappointment or loneliness for some. Leave it to Second City to roast the truths behind the myths in its new Toronto holiday revue.

Review: Albee shocker somehow seems tamer in new Soulpepper staging Special

Toronto - The late Edward Albee never stopped shocking audiences, even in his seventies. His Tony-winning 2002 play “The Goat or, Who Is Silvia?”, which takes on bestiality, makes his classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” seem family-friendly.

Review: Annie Baker’s ‘The Aliens’ makes impressive Toronto debut Special

Toronto - Annie Baker is the unofficial poet laureate of the millennial generation. Does any other current playwright have such a gift for recreating the way young people really talk – not just in what they say, but in what they don’t?

Review: Hilarity and despair mix well in wonderful new take on ‘Godot’ Special

Toronto - “Waiting for Godot” may be famous as The Play In Which Nothing Happens, but Soulpepper Theatre Company’s new production in Toronto is so alive and emotionally resonant, you’ll come out of it feeling as if you’ve seen everything.

Review: Second City’s latest mixes good satire with easy applause Special

Toronto - There’s an unfortunate trend I’ve noticed in the last few Second City revues in Toronto: a tendency to pump certain sketches not to get genuine laughs, but for what comics like Tina Fey and Seth Meyers have referred to as “clapter”.

Review: ‘Twelfth Night’ in High Park loaded with fast-paced fun Special

Toronto - Now this is what a Shakespeare comedy should be. Canadian Stage’s “Twelfth Night”, which opened last Friday, is so much delirious fun that it will make you forget all the boring academic blather you heard about the Bard in Grade 11 English.

Review: Strong ‘Lear’ in Toronto’s High Park brings women to forefront Special

Toronto - It’s 2017, and it’s beyond time that the women of the acting world got to walk in the footsteps of William Shakespeare’s great tragic heroes. Canadian Stage’s new “King Lear”, with Diane D’Aquila in the lead, makes a strong case.

‘Come From Away’, ‘Rocking Horse’, ʻFather’ win big at Doras Special

Toronto - Although “Come From Away”, “Father Comes Home from the Wars” and “Rocking Horse Winner” were among the top winners at last night’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the night really seemed to belong to the late Jon Kaplan much of the time.

Review: Robert Lepage’s ‘887’ turns memory into a multimedia masterpiece Special

Toronto - There are a lot of ways you could categorize Robert Lepage’s spellbinding “887” – magic show? Confessional monologue? History lesson? – and none would be wrong. But only by blending these unlikely elements does it become a masterwork.

Review: Trumpism not the only target in ʻEverything Is Great Again’ Special

Toronto - Given a title like “Everything Is Great Again”, you know Donald Trump’s presidency is taking some shots in the new Toronto Second City show, which opened last night. But as easy a target as he is, the Orange One is surprisingly absent.

Review: Soulpepper’s ‘Bondage’ still an emotionally resonant experience Special

Toronto - It’s been nearly three years since Soulpepper premiered its acclaimed production of “Of Human Bondage”, which began its third go-around this week. The show heads to New York in July, and if last night’s reopening was any indication, it’s ready.

Review: Compelling drama ‘Liv Stein’ relentless in English-language debut Special

Toronto - “Liv Stein” is like an edgier “All About Eve”, set in the classical music world, with a climax that takes cues from “Saw”. If that description is hard to believe, it suits a play about how the desperate believe anything they want to be true.

Review: Soulpepperʼs ʻThe Last Wifeʼ is a Tudor tale for our times Special

Toronto - Kate Hennig’s “The Last Wife” may be ostensibly about Henry VIII’s marriage to Katherine Parr, but it’s misleading to view the play as a history lesson. Considering recent world events, it seems to be about now more than any other period.
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