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BWW Reviews: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM from Seattle Shakespeare Company Review BWW Reviews: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM from Seattle Shakespeare Company
by Jay Irwin - October 23, 2011

There are many words I can use to describe Seattle Shakespeare Company's current production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". But the one word that kept popping up so many times while watching it was "HOT!" This production is just plain hot as director Sheila Daniels has put together a fearless production that puts in all the love, lust and sex you could ask for while also throwing in a bit of a twist and still keeping Shakespeare's ethereal comedy true to itself and fun as hell. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE CRYPTOGRAM at Seattle Public Theater Review BWW Reviews: THE CRYPTOGRAM at Seattle Public Theater
by BWW News Desk - October 23, 2011

On the surface, Seattle Public Theater's current production of David Mamet's "The Cryptogram" is a simple family drama. But then, this is Mamet and nothing is simple. Especially when you add in his glorious language and it goes from simple story to sublime dance of words. And while I enjoyed the language and the Mamet-ness of it all, I ultimately walked away more than a little confused. (more...)


BWW Reviews:  HUMOR ABUSE at the Seattle Rep Review BWW Reviews: HUMOR ABUSE at the Seattle Rep
by BWW News Desk - October 23, 2011

Many of us think of our families as a big circus but Lorenzo Pisoni has special insight on the real thing as he had to run away from home in order to NOT be in the circus. Drawing from his memories growing up in the Pickle Family Circus, Pisoni and director Erica Schmidt have concocted a show that is part memoir, part clowning and all simply wonderful in "Humor Abuse", currently playing at the Seattle Rep. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SAVING AIMEE at the 5th Avenue Theatre Review BWW Reviews: SAVING AIMEE at the 5th Avenue Theatre
by BWW News Desk - October 21, 2011

Saint or Sinner? That's the question that the latest new musical tryout at the 5th Avenue Theatre is wanting us to answer with the bio-musical, "Saving Aimee". Problem is, as charismatic and engaging as the lead is, the book and songs don't engage enough to care for the answer. (more...)


BWW Reviews:  BLUE MAN GROUP at the Paramount Review BWW Reviews: BLUE MAN GROUP at the Paramount
by BWW News Desk - October 16, 2011

OK, so I find it an interesting coincidence that there are two (kinda) clowning shows in town right now. "Humor Abuse" over at the Rep (which I reviewed a few days ago) and now the tour of "Blue Man Group" over at the Paramount. And really the two couldn't be more different from each other. While "Humor Abuse" is subtle and sweet, "Blue Man Group" is loud and in your face. And while the latter is definitely fun, I think I prefer the former. (more...)


BWW Reviews: DOG SEES GOD from Balagan Theatre Review BWW Reviews: DOG SEES GOD from Balagan Theatre
by Jay Irwin - October 15, 2011

I guess it's just human nature to wonder what became of our beloved childhood icons when they grow up. Owe it to some sense of fictional closure if you must. And such is the subject of Balagan Theatre's season opener "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" by Bert V. Royal and directed by M. Elizabeth Eller as we look at the Peanuts gang as they are allowed to progress beyond their childlike state into angst ridden young adulthood. Unfortunately the current production tends to focus on the angst and not so much on the adulthood. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MARY STUART at ACT Review BWW Reviews: MARY STUART at ACT
by BWW News Desk - October 09, 2011

Political intrigue, shifting loyalties and two powerhouses vying for victory over the other while advisors whisper their own agendas in their ears. No, it's not the upcoming Presidential campaign although one does resonate with the other. No, this is ACT's production of "Mary Stuart" directed by Victor Pappas and starring two grande dames of local theater, Anne Allgood and Suzanne Bouchard. And with this much history and pedigree on stage, what you end up with is a cutting machination woven together with humor, heart and venom. (more...)


BWW Reviews:  BLUE MAN GROUP at the Paramount Review BWW Reviews: BLUE MAN GROUP at the Paramount
by Jay Irwin - October 08, 2011

OK, so I find it an interesting coincidence that there are two (kinda) clowning shows in town right now. "Humor Abuse" over at the Rep (which I reviewed a few days ago) and now the tour of "Blue Man Group" over at the Paramount. And really the two couldn't be more different from each other. While "Humor Abuse" is subtle and sweet, "Blue Man Group" is loud and in your face. And while the latter is definitely fun, I think I prefer the former. (more...)


BWW Reviews:  HUMOR ABUSE at the Seattle Rep Review BWW Reviews: HUMOR ABUSE at the Seattle Rep
by Jay Irwin - October 06, 2011

Many of us think of our families as a big circus but Lorenzo Pisoni has special insight on the real thing as he had to run away from home in order to NOT be in the circus. Drawing from his memories growing up in the Pickle Family Circus, Pisoni and director Erica Schmidt have concocted a show that is part memoir, part clowning and all simply wonderful in "Humor Abuse", currently playing at the Seattle Rep. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE CRYPTOGRAM at Seattle Public Theater Review BWW Reviews: THE CRYPTOGRAM at Seattle Public Theater
by Jay Irwin - October 02, 2011

On the surface, Seattle Public Theater's current production of David Mamet's "The Cryptogram" is a simple family drama. But then, this is Mamet and nothing is simple. Especially when you add in his glorious language and it goes from simple story to sublime dance of words. And while I enjoyed the language and the Mamet-ness of it all, I ultimately walked away more than a little confused. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE PAJAMA GAME at Seattle Musical Theatre Review BWW Reviews: THE PAJAMA GAME at Seattle Musical Theatre
by BWW News Desk - October 02, 2011

Seattle Musical Theatre is starting off their new season of musicals through the decades with the 50's tuner, "The Pajama Game" by George Abbott, Richard Bissell, Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and direction from local theater veteran David Edward Hughes. With an evening full of fun and frothy numbers the watchword for the evening could really only be described as "hot" but in both good and bad ways. (more...)


BWW Reviews: BONSOIR LILIANE! At Teatro ZinZanni Review BWW Reviews: BONSOIR LILIANE! At Teatro ZinZanni
by Jay Irwin - September 27, 2011

One part circus, one part play, one part performance art and a dash of improv for good measure, put all that together and you have Teatro ZinZanni. And for those that have never seen a Teatro ZinZanni show before (as I was before the other night) you may be a little put off by the price tag. But remember this is a show AND dinner. And if their current show "Bonsoir Liliane!" is any indication, then it's well worth it. A magical evening from beginning to end filled with hilarity, breath taking feats, and a sumptuous meal. What more could you ask for? (more...)


BWW Reviews: TAKE ME AMERICA at Village Theatre Review BWW Reviews: TAKE ME AMERICA at Village Theatre
by Jay Irwin - September 18, 2011

Not since "Contact: The Musical" have I seen such an ill conceived new musical roll into town. But the latest new musical to get a mainstage run at Village Theatre brought up from their "Village Originals Festival"; "Take Me America" is just that. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MARY STUART at ACT Review BWW Reviews: MARY STUART at ACT
by Jay Irwin - September 16, 2011

Political intrigue, shifting loyalties and two powerhouses vying for victory over the other while advisors whisper their own agendas in their ears. No, it's not the upcoming Presidential campaign although one does resonate with the other. No, this is ACT's production of "Mary Stuart" directed by Victor Pappas and starring two grande dames of local theater, Anne Allgood and Suzanne Bouchard. And with this much history and pedigree on stage, what you end up with is a cutting machination woven together with humor, heart and venom. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE PAJAMA GAME at Seattle Musical Theatre Review BWW Reviews: THE PAJAMA GAME at Seattle Musical Theatre
by Jay Irwin - September 10, 2011

Seattle Musical Theatre is starting off their new season of musicals through the decades with the 50's tuner, "The Pajama Game" by George Abbott, Richard Bissell, Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and direction from local theater veteran David Edward Hughes. With an evening full of fun and frothy numbers the watchword for the evening could really only be described as "hot" but in both good and bad ways. (more...)


BWW Reviews: LES MISERABLES at the 5th Avenue Theatre Review BWW Reviews: LES MISERABLES at the 5th Avenue Theatre
by BWW News Desk - August 27, 2011

There's really nothing like the first time you see one of your favorite shows. The first time I saw "Hairspray" I leapt to my feet on the final note. The first time I saw "West Side Story" I was on the edge of my seat for these tragic lovers. And the first time I saw "Les Miserables" I wept through the entire thing. There really is nothing like the first time. And the 5th Avenue's current touring production of "Les Miserables" is really nothing like my first time. With its complete lack of subtlety and heart, the only thing it has going for it is the amazing voices singing these wonderful songs. (more...)


BWW Reviews: PORGY AND BESS at the Seattle Opera Review BWW Reviews: PORGY AND BESS at the Seattle Opera
by Jay Irwin - August 20, 2011

Right from the first few notes of the overture, whether you're familiar with the show or not, a musical theater lover's ears will register the familiar lilt of a Gershwin melody reminiscent of "Rhapsody in Blue" and cause you to settle in your seat a little more with a contended sigh. At least that's what happened to this musical theater lover as he ventured just a little outside his normal realm and into the world of opera to catch Seattle Opera's breathtaking production of "Porgy and Bess". (more...)


BWW Reviews: ADVENTURES IN MATING at Theater Schmeater Review BWW Reviews: ADVENTURES IN MATING at Theater Schmeater
by BWW News Desk - August 20, 2011

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books like "The Cave of Time" from when you were a kid? The kind that would give you choices on how the story would continue like, "If you continue toward the ranch, turn to page 8. If you go back into the cave, turn to page 10." Well, Theater Schmeater's current production of "Adventures in Mating" by Joseph Scrimshaw has taken that formula and amped it up into a hilarious and rollicking evening where the audience decides the fate of two lonely people on a blind date. (more...)


BWW Reviews: PROJECT: B-MOVIE from Wing-It Productions Review BWW Reviews: PROJECT: B-MOVIE from Wing-It Productions
by Jay Irwin - August 19, 2011

Look out! The aliens are coming! … or the monsters … or the mysterious virus … or the woodchucks? Well which is it? That's one of the questions Wing-It productions is attempting to answer with their latest improv show "Project: B-Movie". And while it seemed to be a bit of an off night for the gifted performers the night I attended, there were still some hilarious touches, innovative staging and lots of laughs. (more...)


BWW Reviews: NEW VOICES 11 from Contemporary Classics Review BWW Reviews: NEW VOICES 11 from Contemporary Classics
by Jay Irwin - August 16, 2011

Last night the incredible talent from Contemporary Classics stepped up to the mic once more for the 11th installment of their wildly popular "New Voices" series, spotlighting new works from composers around the country. Some local composers and some abroad, some new-ish pieces and some brand spankin' new for this show, Host Brandon Ivie and Music director R.J. Tancioco gathered together some of the most obscenely talented performers in the area to blow the doors off ACT Theatre and there was not a door standing when they were done. (more...)


BWW Reviews: LES MISERABLES at the 5th Avenue Theatre Review BWW Reviews: LES MISERABLES at the 5th Avenue Theatre
by Jay Irwin - August 12, 2011

There's really nothing like the first time you see one of your favorite shows. The first time I saw "Hairspray" I leapt to my feet on the final note. The first time I saw "West Side Story" I was on the edge of my seat for these tragic lovers. And the first time I saw "Les Miserables" I wept through the entire thing. There really is nothing like the first time. And the 5th Avenue's current touring production of "Les Miserables" is really nothing like my first time. With its complete lack of subtlety and heart, the only thing it has going for it is the amazing voices singing these wonderful songs. (more...)


BWW Reviews: IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY at ACT Review BWW Reviews: IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY at ACT
by Jay Irwin - August 05, 2011

Right off the bat let's just get out there what Sarah Ruhl's "In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play" is about. It's in the title for Pete's sake. Yes, the show is about vibrators and their use in the 1880's. Yes, THOSE kinds of devices and activities that usually are not discussed in polite society. So I'll try and be as delicate as I can for my more sensitive readers. But beyond the obvious, the show deals with a small group of people as they come to grips with … er … I mean … get in touch with their … um … DAMN, this is harder than I … uh … well, they discover more about their true feelings. Yes the show is slightly naughty but in a delightful way with depth and humor and ACT's production is presented with beauty and skill. (more...)


BWW Reviews: PORGY AND BESS at the Seattle Opera Review BWW Reviews: PORGY AND BESS at the Seattle Opera
by Jay Irwin - July 31, 2011

Right from the first few notes of the overture, whether you're familiar with the show or not, a musical theater lover's ears will register the familiar lilt of a Gershwin melody reminiscent of "Rhapsody in Blue" and cause you to settle in your seat a little more with a contended sigh. At least that's what happened to this musical theater lover as he ventured just a little outside his normal realm and into the world of opera to catch Seattle Opera's breathtaking production of "Porgy and Bess". (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE STRANGE MISADVENTURES OF PATTY … at Annex Theatre Review BWW Reviews: THE STRANGE MISADVENTURES OF PATTY … at Annex Theatre
by Jay Irwin - July 31, 2011

If there's one thing that irritates me more than anything else it's someone else's therapy on stage. If it's wrapped up in an engaging story then I'm willing to overlook a lot but when it's just an author working out their issues for all to see, then don't waste my time. And while Annex Theatre's current show "The Strange Misadventures of Patty, Patty's Dad, Patty's Friend Jen, and a Whole Bunch of Other People" isn't completely camped out on the psychologists couch and has some really wonderful performances and moments, at times it felt a little forced and self indulgent. (more...)


BWW Reviews: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Village Theatre Review BWW Reviews: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Village Theatre
by BWW News Desk - July 31, 2011

I'm not always the biggest fan of transplanting established shows to another time or place. "Hamlet" doesn't need to be set in space and "Our Town" without that old time Grover's Corners feel would just be wrong. And don't even get me started on the thought of moving "Oklahoma". But sometimes, when it's well thought out and well executed, it works. Such is the case for the modern reimagining of Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera, "Jesus Christ Superstar" currently at Village Theatre. But while I appreciated the concept and approach, some of the cast left me wanting. (more...)


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