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Jeff Cottrill

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

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Review: New Soulpepper staging lights few real sparks in Pinter classic Special

Toronto - Harold Pinter is one of those playwrights whose work should be tough to screw up. His 1977 masterpiece “Betrayal” is deceptively simple and rich in dry, smart dialogue with a meaty level of subtext that actors love to chew on.

Review: Reza’s ‘Art’ loses little of its bite in new Soulpepper remount Special

Toronto - It’s easy to satirize modern art, especially if you don’t get it. It’s harder to turn a disagreement on art into a funny, biting examination of male fragility. The latter achievement is why Yasmina Reza’s 1994 play “‘Art’” holds up well.

Review: Soulpepper’s ‘August: Osage County’ is a must-see powerhouse Special

Toronto - Now this is why we go to live theatre. Soulpepper’s explosive new production of Tracy Letts’ “August: Osage County” makes you feel as if you’re being smacked on the head a hundred times with the Frying Pan of Truth. In the best way.

Review: McCraney’s ‘Brothers Size’ rocks the stage with spectacle, heart Special

Toronto - Director Barry Jenkins received much of the credit for the brilliance of the Oscar-winning 2016 film “Moonlight”. But Tarell Alvin McCraney, on whose unpublished 2003 play the movie was based, is himself a distinctive creative voice to behold.

Review: ‘She the People’ followup from Second City brings more laughter Special

Toronto - Everyone agrees that sequels, even good ones, rarely match up to the originals. The better ones know how to call back and reinvent elements that worked well the first time, or take their ideas in unexpected new directions, or both.

Review: Soulpepper’s ‘Copenhagen’ is a challenging yet rewarding debate Special

Toronto - So why did Werner Heisenberg meet with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in 1941 – and what were the historical consequences? What was Heisenberg’s real purpose? Why did their friendship end? And did Heisenberg have anything on his conscience?

Review: Second City’s latest is big on physical humour, short on politics Special

Toronto - Second City’s “Walking on Bombshells” immediately grabs your attention with its bold set: a realistic replica of the subway walls at Osgoode Station. Not only is it familiar, it also pumps you up to expect some savage satire of the TTC.

Review: New Second City holiday revue lacks chemistry, edge of past shows Special

Toronto - The holidays are a time of disappointment for some, from kids who get nothing but clothes from Santa to single adults spending the season alone. This year, some Second City fans in Toronto might feel seasonal letdown by the company’s new revue.

Review: Second City’s all-female revue delivers laughs, strong message Special

Toronto - What a shameful myth, that women can’t be funny. Anyone who believes so is not only a moron, but also out of touch. From Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett to Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Saunders, Kate McKinnon and more, ladies bring the laughs.

Review: ‘Romeo and Juliet’ hits High Park with energy and style Special

Toronto - “Romeo and Juliet” is one of the Shakespeare tragedies that’s hard to make fresh. Even for those who don’t care for the Bard, it’s too familiar, over-referenced and over-parodied, and everything about it now seems like a stale cliché.

Review: ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ scores in High Park with unique choices Special

Toronto - Tanja Jacobs knows how to make Shakespeare fun. Fresh off last year’s funny, colourful production of “Twelfth Night” in Toronto’s High Park, the director scores another winner with her quick-paced take on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

‘Jerusalem’, ‘Life After’, ‘Orphée’ dominate this year’s Doras Special

Toronto - It was an evening of rampant rule-breaking at the thirty-ninth Dora Mavor Moore Awards last night – the annual ceremony recognizing the best in Toronto theatre – as winners littered the stage with random F-bombs and overlong speeches.

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.
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