War is Hell | Night & Day | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

War is Hell

When we see photos of comics posing with U.S. troops in Iraq, it’s tempting to think of it as crass opportunism – another attempt by American entertainers to cash in on 9/11. The reality, though, is that it takes real chutzpah to tour the Middle East. Forget the risk of losing points with the peaceniks; there’s a war out there, and it doesn’t distinguish between soldiers and entertainers. No one knows this quite like comedian Tom Irwin… he’s been in both roles. Irwin’s first visit to an Army base was as a soldier in the late ´80s. More recently, however, Irwin’s military mission has been one of comedy. Now back in the States, Irwin’s latest show, 25 Days in Iraq, is a detailed account of what it’s like performing for people who could very well be killed the next day.

Though Irwin’s a pro at dishing out the laughs, 25 Days is just as likely to provoke some tears as well. “I have conceived what I believe is a healthy balance of the humor and the heartache of my experience in the war zone,” Irwin explains. “My show has many highs and some very low lows, because after all, this is a show that was born out of war.”

And, Irwin says, it was born out of his desire to put a human face on the war, reminding us at home that while troops are regular people – people with the same doubts and fears as civilians. Irwin performs Friday and Saturday at the Atlantic Theater (6743 W. Indiantown Rd., No. 34, Jupiter). Tickets cost $15 to $18. Call 561-575-3271, or visit www.theatlantictheater.com.
Feb. 10-11

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Jason Budjinski

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