My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

Cassella al dente

by Paul Bellini

What would Toronto be like without Maggie Cassella? Quieter, of course, but also a lot less fun. For the last five years Maggie and her business partner Heather Mackenzie ran the most happening gin joint in the city, the Flying Beaver Pubaret. A weird combination of a pub and a cabaret, its stage held many a legend, including Carole Pope, Scott Thompson, Carla Collins, and Dina Martina. I myself performed there once monthly, hosting a show called Liar Liar. But on February 19th, a kitchen fire destroyed the interior with smoke damage and since then, all sorts of complications have prevented the club from re-opening.

I miss the Flying Beaver, but at least there is still a lot of Maggie to go around. On Thusday, May 28 at 7:30pm, Maggie will be reading from her soon-to-be-published book I Just Want to Say This About That, at CaFfinO Ristorante. Much like the Beaver, the restaurant offers a small, intimate space that is both a performance area and a dining room. You should note that the restaurant also has a $20 minimum per person, so come ready to eat.

As for the book, the press release describes it as “a mash-up book of short stories and rantinations (made-up word) based on real shiz that's gone down in Maggie's life. She's got six chapters to go to finish. She hopes to read you three new ones on May 28. It probably won't suck. (Always remember to manage people's expectations in life. Under promise. Over deliver. You can't miss).”

No worries. It is beyond possibility that Maggie Cassella would ever be boring. So why not treat yourself to an evening of both Italian machisma and Italian food?

THURSDAY, MAY 28 - 7:30pm
Tix $20 available in advance online only at

CaFfinO Ristorante
1185 King Street West