BRUCE Seattle Rep June 10, 2022 Eclectic Arts


Music by Richard Oberacker
Book & Lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker
Based on the book The Jaws Log by Carl Gottlieb
Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore

Seattle Rep
Seattle, WA
Opening Night Review: June 10th, 2022

("Bruce" at the Seattle Rep)

The world premiere of the new musical, “Bruce” took place on Friday June 10th at the Seattle Rep. The packed house was eager to see a new musical production take place to conclude the 2021/2022 Season for the Seattle Rep.

Being a fan of the first “Jaws” film and having seen many of the behind the scenes documentaries and extras, I was curious how this subject was going to translate to the stage as a musical.

If you’re familiar with the trials and tribulations Steven Spielberg went through to get the film made, then you can begin to understand how the story would take shape.

Before Steven Spielberg was one of the most well known film directors, he made his mark with “Jaws” but he came away scarred from the experience. Pretty much anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

(Candice Song Donehoo, Justin Keyes, and Napoleon M Douglas in Bruce at Seattle Rep. Photo by Lindsay Thomas. Jaws sketches courtesy of Joe Alves: Designing Jaws.)

“Bruce” is the nickname of the mechanical shark that was created to be the so-called villain in the film. Well, “Bruce” rarely worked correctly so the production was forced to get creative to figure out how to tell the story without its lead character for most of the film.

The musical was unusual but done well. It kept my interest and the performances were strong across the board. I thought that I would feel inspired after the performance was over, overcoming the odds, etc., but that didn’t really happen. I left the Seattle Rep feeling that I was entertained by “Bruce” but not much more. It will be interesting to see where “Bruce” goes from here.

Judge for yourself after you’ve seen it.

“Bruce” runs through July 3rd. Tickets are available here:  TICKETS!

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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