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Get Hot for Project HOTS

The Horseshoe Tavern is an iconic Toronto venue that has hosted performances by musical acts ranging from the Rolling Stones, The Police, The Talking Heads and The Ramones to Bryan Adams, The Tragically Hip and Blue Rodeo. Or so Wikipedia tells me.

And now… I’m about to add my name to that illustrious list.

Because I’m doing a short (ten minutes) set next week at the Horseshoe, as part of Project HOTS – a fundraiser show to raise money to buy food and winter gear for Toronto’s homeless population this winter.

The show also features Cynthia Gould (of High Heels Lo Fi fame, performing a solo set), Lizzie Violet, Heather Babcock, Cate McKim, Kat Leonard, SuperTash and a whole whack of other local poets and musicians.

Come out and support a good cause.

If you don’t come, I’m just going to have to assume that you don’t like the homeless. No, just kidding. But do come. Details on the right sidebar here. And here’s the Facebook event page.


It’s too late to go out for Halloween, but it’s not too late to read my most recent article, “Haunted Places in Ontario”. It’s actually an update of Craig Clark’s listsicle from last year – I just added a lot of other spooky places across the province. Read it… alone, late at night.
Also, look out for an upcoming piece by me about places to go in Toronto over the holiday season.

And check out recent reviews I’ve done for Digital Journal. My pan of the Full House musical received more than five thousand hits, which wouldn’t be much for the Toronto Star or New York Times website, but it’s a lot for me. I also wrote about Kim Novak’s appearance at TIFF.


Waiter, waiter, there’s soup in my fly

Hey squirt.

Two features coming up later this month… but first things first.

First of the firsts:
Did you catch this swell review of my CD, This Album Is NIT FENNY! on Cate McKim’s arts blog, Life with More Cowbell? If you haven’t, well, there it is.

Second of the firsts:
Summer is the best time for cruising. No, I’m not talking about the notorious 1980 movie. I mean literal boat cruises. I wrote an article on those for, and you can peruse said article at this link.

Second of the second of the firsts:
I also wrote a handful of reviews for Digital Journal in July. There’s one of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, two of this year’s Shakespeare in High Park productions and one about a book about the making of an unfinished Orson Welles film. You can catch those ones right here.

By the way, the Watchman review got reprinted on Business Insider. Don’t believe me? Check it out here.
Also, the Welles article has five hundred and sixty-one “likes”. Which is all the more impressive, considering that only three hundred and seventeen people have actually read it. Methinks people have been liking posts of the piece on Facebook without actually clicking on the link. (I don’t know what you thinks…)

And now. On with the shows, this is it…

Later this month, I’m doing a gig in Richmond Hill with Valentino Assenza, Anto Man-Ming Chan, Pat Connors and someone or something known as Glowie. Plus there’s an open mic. It’s at a bar called Yogi’s. I don’t know yet if they serve pickanick baskets. Or catcher’s mitts.

A week after that, I’m doing Lizzie Violet‘s monthly series at Hirut Restaurant in Toronto’s east end. Also taking the stage are Philip Cairns, Arlene Paculan and Anastace Krieger. No open mic this time. But lots of great Ethiopian food and a friendly atmosphere.

Wanna go to one of these? More deets on the right sidebar.

Happy Simcoe Day! I’ve been practising my Simcoe carols. You?

Video shilled the spoken-word star

Did you miss me?


Well, I’m back anyway. And with a few new videos.

See, I’ve been a little concerned that I don’t have a lot of performance videos of me on the YouTubes and whatnot. But about six weeks ago, I featured in a well-regarded spoken-word series in Salford, England (it’s a suburb of Manchester – the one where Coronation Street is set, more or less) called Evidently, and they film everybody. And they make it look kind of professional, with titles and stuff.

So now there are new videos of me online performing “How to Write and Perform a Slam Poem”, “Border Crossing”, “Pitches” and “Politics”:

I posted only the former two here, because “Pitches” didn’t get much of a reaction at the show, and because I messed up one line in “Politics”.
But if you just can’t make it through the day without seeing a video of me performing “Politics”, well, weep no more! Because this one was taken at my CD launch party in April:

Look – somebody even “liked” this one! They clicked on the thumbs-up and everything.


I didn’t win the KRW Award.
But you know something? Stanley Kubrick never won a competitive Academy Award, did he? So I am still the Kubrick of Canadian trade magazines.


I’ve got several gigs coming up, most of which are months away. But I’m doing a short set at Outrageous tonight in Kensington Market, if you’re keen for that.
I’m also doing a feature set in less than two weeks at Jammin’ on the One, or JOTO, along with my friends at Kirsten Sandwich. And there’s an open short-form improv jam, so wake up your inner Colin Mochrie and get your game on, honeyboy.

I’ve published a few new articles on since we spoke last – on hiking trails, canoeing and kayaking. Very summer-themed. You can also read my coverage of last Monday’s Dora Awards… if you dare.

Now – go, my son.

Say, mac, what’s the scoop, see?

I bet you didn’t know that they give out awards for trade magazines.

Apparently they do. At least in Canada.
The KRW Awards for business-to-business publishing has been around for more than sixty years, in fact.

And I’m nominated for one this year.

No, seriously. I am.


My article “Off the Rails”, which ran in the March 2014 issue of OHS Canada, is nominated for Best Resource/Infrastructure Article. Along with six other folks.

There’s even an awards ceremony of some kind, happening on June 2.
Thankfully, I won’t have to wear a tuxedo, or inform nosy red-carpet interviewers whom I’m wearing. And Joan Rivers won’t be there to insult people, because she’s a little tied up this year with being dead.

Still don’t believe me?
Well, I’m listed on the KRW website nominees list. I defy you to find another Jeff Cottrill who writes for OHS Canada.

“Off the Rails” is accessible from the magazine’s website, and the KRW site has a PDF file of the actual magazine version, which you can see here.

I also wrote a couple of articles for the last issue, including a short piece called “Putting Stress on Stress”, which is online here.
Also check out a couple of new theatre reviews on Digital Journal.

We happy?

It is here! It is now!

Launch party for This Album Is NIT FENNY! is this Thursday!

You go!

There’s been a slight change in the lineup since the last time I posted.
First, Kraken Not Stirred will not be performing, because Mike Bryant’s day job now has silly work hours that are not really of the “day” breed. Second, the “probably some kind of comedy act, TBA” that I mentioned last time is going to be my friend Magdalena, who’ll give a short preview of her upcoming Fringe show.

Are you on the Facebook? If so, you can RSVP on this event page.

If you miss the launch… you can still catch me on the radio on the evening of April 21, when I’ll be appearing on HOWL once again. Formerly hosted by the late Nik Beat, the show has recently been taken over by Valentino Assenza. The show’s on at 10:00 p.m. EST (or 3:00 a.m. in the U.K., in case any insomniac Brit friends want to check in); you can hear it locally at 89.5 FM or online at this link.

Like theatre reviews?
I’ve written two new ones – of Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience and The Daisy Theatre.


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