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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Comedy

Jeremy Hotz: Misery loves an audience

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Photos courtesy of Jeremy Hotz.Photos courtesy of Jeremy Hotz.

Ottawa native and standup road warrior Jeremy Hotz will be airing his grievances on Saturday February 13th at the National Arts Centre as part of his International Man of Misery Tour, presented by Just for Laughs. Fans of comedy will recognize Hotz’ signature stance:  sideward facing, chin leaning on hand and furrowed brow.  He has a knack for pointing out the dark side to just about anything.  Not everyone can say they can make a living complaining. “Misery is my inspiration for everything.  I like to talk about the darker... | Continue reading article

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Second City’s Brandon Hackett on comedy, Beavertails, and musical theatre

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All images from the Second City website.All images from the Second City website.

We spoke with with Brandon Hackett, who is part of the Touring Company of the storied improvisational comedy troupe The Second City.  Hackett, with the rest of the Touring Company, will be in Ottawa tonight performing The Best of The Second City, which features some of the best-loved sketches from the company’s long history, as well as the improvisation for which they’re best known. How long have you been performing with The Second City, and what have your experiences been like so far? I have been performing with The Second City for... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: The history of comedy in our city

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Humber

“I think comedy comes more from a low sense of self-esteem, and I certainly have that.” - Craig Ferguson Ottawa-residents are often caricatured as a sorry lot who live boring lives. This probably explains why this region has produced so many great comedians. Wait, what? I thought this was the city that fun forgot. Not so fast. In his book Ottawa: Gateway to Carp (Comedy in the Nation’s Capital), John Mazerolle puts the kibosh to the claim that our lovely city is an insomnia-induced fog of boredom. In fact, his research... | Continue reading article

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Burlesque Fest will make you hot under the collar (+ ticket giveaway!)

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Photo from the Ottawa Burlesque Fest websitePhoto from the Ottawa Burlesque Fest website

For the second year in a row, the Ottawa Burlesque Festival has four days of workshops, events and shows to attend. They had a sold-out launch last year, and promise to build on that precedent. Rhapsody Blue, one of the festivals organizers, shared some highlights that the audience can expect. “The Festival’s headliners include living legend Judith Stein, Jo Weldon of the New York School of Burlesque, Montreal’s renowned BonBon Bombay and Toronto burlesque trailblazer Coco Framboise,” Blue says. They’ll be joined by a selection of local and international talent... | Continue reading article

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Comedians raise funds for local mental health initiatives

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Eman-el-Husseini. Still from Episode 105 of No Kidding.Eman-el-Husseini. Still from Episode 105 of No Kidding.

From July 30 to Aug. 2, Cracking-Up the Capital, Ottawa’s bi-annual comedy festival, will be taking over the downtown nightlife. In partnership with the Sparks Street Busker Festival, participating comedians will be providing nightly entertainment at pubs all along Sparks Street, while raising awareness and funds for local mental health initiatives. In the winter of 2004, Cracking-Up the Capital started off as a one-night comedy event to support mental health initiatives in the community, and has since expanded into a multi-day festival, with the inclusion of a summer edition starting... | Continue reading article

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Introducing The Jenn Hayward Show

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Still from The Jenn Hayward Show.Still from The Jenn Hayward Show.

It could be that comedy clubs aren’t really your scene, or perhaps you’re just looking for new comedic venues to explore. Whatever your inclination may be,  The Jenn Hayward Show is worth bringing to your attention. On July 5, local comic Jenn Hayward launched her official YouTube channel,  The Jenn Hayward Show,  a production which she describes as “a way to promote Ottawa culture with a comedic twist.” Hayward began doing stand-up comedy in Ottawa about five years ago. She loves the storytelling aspect of comedy and the way comedy... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Comedy, General

Greg Houston wants to sell you on Just For Laughs

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Greg Houston performs at Mugshot's TacoMic night. Photo by Dennis Elliot.Greg Houston performs at Mugshot's TacoMic night. Photo by Dennis Elliot.

Post by Greg Houston. So myself – Greg Houston a local comic based out of Ottawa, that performs all over and produces monthly and bi-monthly comedy shows is going to Just For Laughs! … As press. I thought I’d practice by interviewing myself? (with help on questions from Ottawhat? Podcast). I’m checking out the festival to sell it to Ottawaeans, and I’m going to sell Ottawa to JFL. JFL has been around since the 80s and is an internationally recognized Comedy festival that brings industry people from all over the... | Continue reading article

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Modern Cabaret Revival with Small Stages Canada

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Image from the NAC websiteImage from the NAC website

Twinkling lights adorned the small stage area, designating the space a dance zone, as 2-person tables in the audience quickly filled up with 3 and 4 people, and attendees dutifully waited in line for their coveted drink tickets. As more and more people filed in and the excited murmurs grew louder, I scanned the room for clues as to what the night had in store. I spotted my fiancé patiently shuffling forward as he drew closer and closer to the head of the drink line. “He has no idea what... | Continue reading article

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A weekday guide to Ottawa

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All photos by Steffani RuesgaAll photos by Steffani Ruesga

We work for the weekend: every day is a countdown until Friday. Once Friday rolls around, the weekend zooms by in a flash. Suddenly we’re back to Monday facing another week of work, and the whole dreary cycle repeats itself. But life doesn’t have to be this way. Luckily, Ottawa has dealt us some pretty entertaining weeknights. So cheer up, Monday doesn’t have to be the worst day of the week. First things first. You’re done work so head over to The Standard on Elgin. They have amazing deals all week... | Continue reading article

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Avenue Q teaches harsh life lessons via puppetry

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All photos by Kenneth Ingram.All photos by Kenneth Ingram.

The award-winning musical Avenue Q will return to Ottawa June 17-20 thanks to Toto Too Theatre Company. The director, Michael Gareau, reveals that the show will deliver a Canadianized performance (with the help of 11 cast members and 32 puppets), promising to be hilariously entertaining, potentially offensive but relevant to the harsher realities of life – particularly adolescence. “It takes the lessons that Sesame Street taught children and it raises them ever-so-slightly so that they can be aimed at adults,” Gareau explains, calling attention to many parallels with Avenue Q’s... | Continue reading article

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