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BWW Review: Fantastic Z's BAD PANDA Examines Alternative Families BWW Review: Fantastic Z's BAD PANDA Examines Alternative Families
by Jay Irwin - March 27, 2017

In this ever-changing society of ours it's nice to see shows that take a look at different kinds of love and families. Such is the case with Megan Gogerty's "Bad Panda" currently being offered from Fantastic Z Theatre. And while at times the script felt a bit heavy handed and the production lacked... (more...)
BWW Review: Seattle Public's GROUNDED Soars into the Blue BWW Review: Seattle Public's GROUNDED Soars into the Blue
by Jay Irwin - March 27, 2017

Anytime a theater does a one person show it's a risky proposition. You, of course, need the right piece. You need a good set that doesn't detract from the lone performer on stage. You need good direction of that performer so it doesn't feel too static. And most importantly, you need a performer ... (more...)
BWW Review: A PROPER PLACE at Village Shipwrecks Itself BWW Review: A PROPER PLACE at Village Shipwrecks Itself
by Jay Irwin - March 24, 2017

There's the old adage in any kind of entertainment that if you have a strong finish, the audience can forgive some pitfalls that may have come before. Unfortunately the new work currently playing at Village Theatre has many of those pitfalls (and some good moments too) but they're followed by one o... (more...)
BWW Review: Darkly Funny DRY POWDER at the Rep Lacks Much Else BWW Review: Darkly Funny DRY POWDER at the Rep Lacks Much Else
by Jay Irwin - March 23, 2017

There's a well-known TV and Film writer who has a reputation for those quick witted, fast paced banter conversations (sometimes in the halls of the White House and sometimes while creating a social media platform. You know who I mean). And it's fun to listen to these people be more eloquent and qu... (more...)
BWW Review: A Warm Cup of T with YANKEE PICKNEY at Theater Schmeater BWW Review: A Warm Cup of T with YANKEE PICKNEY at Theater Schmeater
by Amelia Reynolds - March 14, 2017

"Yankee Pickney" is a dynamic relic, a precious time capsule of diaries, photographs, poems, and stories about Jehan Òsanyin's complicated relationship with her identity, primarily her racial and ethnic identity. She talks about how her relationship to her race and ethnicity fluctuated depending on ... (more...)
BWW Review: Raucous Fun in Ghost Light's MACBETT but Lacks Levels BWW Review: Raucous Fun in Ghost Light's MACBETT but Lacks Levels
by Jay Irwin - March 13, 2017

It's fine to be in the audience's face and have a scene's energy turned up to 11 but when you do it for the entire play, it gets tiring. That's the issue with Ghost Light Theatricals' current production of "Macbett". Sure it's an absurdist comedy piece but they can have levels too and without them... (more...)
BWW Review: ACT's TRIBES – Touching and Engaging But a Bit Cliché and Forced BWW Review: ACT's TRIBES – Touching and Engaging But a Bit Cliché and Forced
by Jay Irwin - March 10, 2017

I want to start off, Dear Readers, by stating that I really did enjoy ACT's current production of "Tribes". There are some great performances and it's a funny, engaging play with rich dialog. But even with my level of enjoyment in the moments of the play I can't help but also see some glaring shor... (more...)
BWW Review: ArtsWest's Gripping MILK LIKE SUGAR Needs Some Time to Settle BWW Review: ArtsWest's Gripping MILK LIKE SUGAR Needs Some Time to Settle
by Jay Irwin - March 03, 2017

A play like "Milk Like Sugar" about three teenage girls making a pact to all get pregnant while still in school would be a ridiculous premise if it weren't for the fact that it's based in reality. And while the current production at ArtsWest may boast some gripping performances, opening night also ... (more...)
BWW Review: Astonishing Vocals in SMT's LITTLE WOMEN BWW Review: Astonishing Vocals in SMT's LITTLE WOMEN
by Jay Irwin - February 27, 2017

Shows like the musical version of "Little Women" require a powerhouse cast in order to survive. The songs are soaring and powerful and without the vocals to back it up, it's just not worth it. Fortunately Seattle Musical Theatre has some outstanding performers in their current offering but unfortu... (more...)
BWW Review: A MOVEABLE FEAST's Sumptuous Supper, Song, and Story at Café Nordo BWW Review: A MOVEABLE FEAST's Sumptuous Supper, Song, and Story at Café Nordo
by Jay Irwin - February 27, 2017

Welcome to the world of Ernest Hemingway's Paris in the 1920's. Just like with any of the Cafe Nordo shows, the instant you walk into Nordo's Culinarium you're transported to another time and place but they seem to have outdone themselves with their current collaboration with Book-It Theatre with "... (more...)
BWW Review: 20th Anniversary of RENT at the Paramount Solid but No Tears BWW Review: 20th Anniversary of RENT at the Paramount Solid but No Tears
by Jay Irwin - February 22, 2017

'Rent' is certainly one of those shows where you either love it or you hate it. I'm firmly in the first camp. I was right there in the fervor when it first came out in 1996 and was the 'it' show the same way a current show about a founding father is today. And when that first tour came around I m... (more...)
BWW Review: NCTC's BRIGHT HALF LIFE is Sweet but Lacks Engaging Characters BWW Review: NCTC's BRIGHT HALF LIFE is Sweet but Lacks Engaging Characters
by Jay Irwin - February 20, 2017

The theater is filled with some of the greatest love stories, "Romeo and Juliet", "Mary's Wedding", and "Falsettos" just to name a few of my favorites. But in order to engage an audience in a love story you need to give them a reason to invest in the relationship whether that's through a specific c... (more...)
BWW Review: 5th Ave's PAJAMA GAME Delivers the Steam Heat BWW Review: 5th Ave's PAJAMA GAME Delivers the Steam Heat
by Jay Irwin - February 17, 2017

There's this little subsection of musical theater from the 50's and 60's that are big crowd pleasers due to the fact they were just plain fun. Sure, sometimes they dealt with issues as well but for the most part they were toe tapping good times. One of those that falls into this category is defini... (more...)
BWW Review: Seattle Rep's WELL Hilariously Deconstructs One-Woman Shows BWW Review: Seattle Rep's WELL Hilariously Deconstructs One-Woman Shows
by Jay Irwin - February 16, 2017

Author Lisa Kron is known for her one-woman shows. I am known for having issues with one-person shows, as they tend to be someone else's therapy on stage. Luckily Kron also understands that issue as she very self referentially mocks those kinds of shows in her play "Well", currently at the Seattle... (more...)
BWW Review: STORYVILLE RISING Captivates with Stories but Little Plot BWW Review: STORYVILLE RISING Captivates with Stories but Little Plot
by Jay Irwin - February 13, 2017

It's difficult to see where creator, writer and director of "Storyville Rising", currently playing at Seattle Immersive Theatre, David Crellin was trying to go with his show. I mean, it's certainly a fascinating look, supported by some wonderful performances, into the world of the red light distric... (more...)
BWW Review: SHLONG SONG Has Cojones at 18th and Union BWW Review: SHLONG SONG Has Cojones at 18th and Union
by Amelia Reynolds - February 07, 2017

The most common subject in comedy is sex. But Woody Shticks (brainchild of Noah Duffy and star of 18th and Union's 'Shlong Song') is not just a comedian, he's a dynamic storyteller. It's a man talking about his sexual journey. At times, it's heartbreaking. At other times, it's fantastic. Either way,... (more...)
BWW Review: RAISINS IN A GLASS OF MILK Examines Racial Issues in Theatre BWW Review: RAISINS IN A GLASS OF MILK Examines Racial Issues in Theatre
by Jay Irwin - February 06, 2017

More and more we see controversies arise in the entertainment industry as people of color are overlooked for some roles or pigeonholed in other roles based on their race. Well now a group of Cornish students and alum have assembled at 18th and Union for a remounting of their show illuminating those... (more...)
BWW Review: Seattle Public Theater's THE LIAR: Effervescent and Groovy BWW Review: Seattle Public Theater's THE LIAR: Effervescent and Groovy
by Amelia Reynolds - February 06, 2017

Modern adaptations of traditional texts are common, but mod adaptations of traditional texts are quite rare. Seattle Public Theater's 'The Liar' puts a 60s twist on a 17th-century farce, and it works.... (more...)
BWW Review: Seagull Project's CHERRY ORCHARD Still Shines Amidst Some Confusion BWW Review: Seagull Project's CHERRY ORCHARD Still Shines Amidst Some Confusion
by Jay Irwin - February 06, 2017

Mounting something as complex as a Chekov play is not an easy undertaking and should only be handled by professionals. Luckily, in Seattle, we have the Seagull Project who has been tackling these works the last few years including the absolutely incredible "Three Sisters" they put up a few years ba... (more...)
BWW Review: Two Words for Seattle Shake's BRING DOWN THE HOUSE – Bad Ass BWW Review: Two Words for Seattle Shake's BRING DOWN THE HOUSE – Bad Ass
by Jay Irwin - February 06, 2017

Here in Seattle we are blessed to have an abundance of bad ass female theater professionals some you might even go so far as to call local theater royalty. Well now Seattle Shakespeare Company in collaboration with Upstart Crow Collective have taken those bad ass women and dropped them in a traditi... (more...)
BWW Review: Creepy yet Touching LET THE RIGHT ONE IN Thrills at the Moore BWW Review: Creepy yet Touching LET THE RIGHT ONE IN Thrills at the Moore
by Jay Irwin - February 03, 2017

Is it possible to put a really good horror story on stage? It has been done to some limited success with things like "Sweeney Todd" or "The Woman in Black" and now we have the truly creepy offering from National Theatre of Scotland with their adaptation of "Let the Right One In".... (more...)
BWW Review: 18th and Union's Feminist Sketch Comedy HAPPY HOUR Has Potential BWW Review: 18th and Union's Feminist Sketch Comedy HAPPY HOUR Has Potential
by Amelia Reynolds - February 03, 2017

Who am I to judge how anyone processes the political climate? Well, when it's theatre, technically, it's my job. Nonetheless, I understand why Keira McDonald and Erin Stewart put on their two-woman sketch comedy, 'Happy Hour', now performing at 18th and Union as a part of their 'Oddballs and Misfits... (more...)
BWW Review: Lopsided Tone in Farcical MY MAN GODFREY at Theatre Schmeater BWW Review: Lopsided Tone in Farcical MY MAN GODFREY at Theatre Schmeater
by Amelia Reynolds - February 03, 2017

Something's wrong when a tertiary character with no name upstages your main character. Sometimes it can make a production more memorable, but in Theatre Schmeater's current production of 'My Man Godfrey', the nameless mediator embraced the melodrama of the production and went over the top deliciousl... (more...)
BWW Review: Gripping Journey in GUARDS AT THE TAJ at ACT BWW Review: Gripping Journey in GUARDS AT THE TAJ at ACT
by Jay Irwin - January 30, 2017

I do love it, Dear Readers, when a show manages to thrill without the aid of elaborate sets or gimmicks. Where you can just immerse yourself in the words and performances. Such is the case with "Guards at the Taj" currently playing at ACT. That's not to say that the minimal set design from Brando... (more...)
BWW Review: Theater 9/12's SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION – Strong Performances but a Bit Static BWW Review: Theater 9/12's SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION – Strong Performances but a Bit Static
by Jay Irwin - January 30, 2017

There's something to be said for a bunch of actors, putting in the work and leaving it all out on the stage unencumbered by elaborate sets. That's why I love Theater 9/12's shows as it's all about the performances. Plus the shows are always so intimate in their little parish hall space that you re... (more...)