All posts by Istvan Dugalin

Apart from his (pathological?) obsession with airplane disasters, Istvan is a filmmaker and film enthusiast, but began his creative adventures in theatre. Starting out as an actor, he soon discovered a preference for life behind-the-scenes. He has experience in lighting design, stage management and production management, but his passion is writing and directing. With several short films and an indie feature under his belt, film has been his focus in recent years, but theatre has been calling him back. You see more of his critical writing at his film reflection blog:

Review: Obaaberima (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

Tawiah Ben M’Carthy’s play returns to Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times as part of its 40th season

Tawiah Ben M’Carthy’s Obaaberima, currently playing at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as part of their 40th season, is a visceral and emotional triumph. With fierce honesty, M’Carthy takes us on a journey that spans continents and weaves gender, race and sexuality into a rich and colourful tapestry of self-discovery. Continue reading Review: Obaaberima (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

Review: Middletown (Crows Theatre/Shaw Festival)

Middletown asks existential questions of the human condition, now on the Toronto stage

In partnership with Crow’s Theatre, the 2017 Shaw Festival’s staging of Will Eno’s poetic observation of small town life, Middletown, gets a remount at Streetcar Crowsnest. Meg Roe’s simple yet immersive production feels carefully measured. The ensemble cast brings weight and purpose to the deceptively mundane, seemingly random interactions between townsfolk. Here is a space where the minutiae of everyday life is given cosmic significance.  Continue reading Review: Middletown (Crows Theatre/Shaw Festival)

Review: The Caucasian Chalk Circle (George Brown Theatre)

Toronto’s George Brown Theatre tackles Bertolt Brecht’s classic play

George Brown Theatre delivers a stylish and thoroughly enchanting production of Bertolt Brecht’s classic of epic theatre, The Caucasian Chalk Circle—a parable of precarious justice, greed and selflessness. It tells the story of a peasant girl who rescues an abandoned baby from a recently overthrown rich governor and his wife. Continue reading Review: The Caucasian Chalk Circle (George Brown Theatre)

Review: Judas Noir (Obsidian Theatre/BDB Productions)

Alexander Williams’ adaptation of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is now playing in Toronto

I was not prepared for Obsidian Theatre’s presentation of Judas Noir. From the buzz, I expected a great piece of theatre, but I could not know, going in, the brutal and haunting intensity of it. Leighton Alexander Williams’ adaptation of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot with BDB Productions is a work that hit me with such force, I was left and awe-stuck and trembling. Continue reading Review: Judas Noir (Obsidian Theatre/BDB Productions)

Review: Isaac’s Eye (Unit 102 Actors Co.)

Toronto’s Unit 102 Actors Company presents a play about scientists Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke

In this city which is filled to the rafters with gifted theatre creators—from classical masters to brave experimenters—I truly cherish the Unit 102 Actors Company’s presence. They are dependable with consistently solid productions. The scripts are always hardy, filled with compelling characters and sturdy, honest performances. Isaac’s Eye, currently playing at The Assembly Theatre, is their latest gift to the theatre scene and it is a genuine treasure. Continue reading Review: Isaac’s Eye (Unit 102 Actors Co.)

Review: Heathers: The Musical (Hart House Theatre)

Hart House Theatre presents a new production of Heathers: The Musical in Toronto

Heathers: The Musical, currently showing at Hart House Theatre, is based on the cult classic ’80s film of the same name; a dark comedy where the struggle for popularity—and, for some, just plain acceptance—leads to hate and violence. It is teen angst with a death count. For the most part, the musical follows the same plot and characters and has a similar campy appeal. Continue reading Review: Heathers: The Musical (Hart House Theatre)

Shit I’m In Love With You Again (Crowning Monkey) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Rachelle Elie for Shit I’m In Love With You Again

Shit I’m In Love With You Again is Rachelle Elie’s autobiographical one-woman show presented by Crowning Monkey for the Toronto Fringe Festival. This bawdy musical takes the audience on a tour of teenage lust, family drama and therapy.

Taking a seat, my 80s childhood came flooding back to me as I was greeted by The Bangles’ Eternal Flame. Before me, was a stage decked out in pink and purple outfits and a sequinned backdrop. I knew I was in good, campy, capable hands.

Continue reading Shit I’m In Love With You Again (Crowning Monkey) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review