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Jay Irwin

Jay Irwin

         Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Jay has been a theater geek for years.  He attends as many shows as he can around the country and loves taking in new exciting works.  


Instituting a new three letter rating system for my reviews for 2014.  They'll range from best to worst as WOW (A can’t miss), YAY (Too damn good), MEH+ (Good, with some great things going for it), MEH (Just OK), NAH (You can miss this one) and WTF (I think you can figure out my complex code there).


Jay is also an actor in the local Seattle scene.  Follow me on Twitter @SeattleBdwyGeek

MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Reviews: MARY POPPINS Not Quite So Magical at VillageBWW Reviews: MARY POPPINS Not Quite So Magical at Village
Posted: Nov. 14, 2014


BWW Reviews: DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT Charm Kids and Adults Alike at SCTBWW Reviews: DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT Charm All at SCT
Posted: Nov. 17, 2014


BWW Reviews: Seattle Rep Goes ALL THE WAY With a StunnerBWW Reviews: Seattle Rep Goes ALL THE WAY With a Stunner
Posted: Nov. 20, 2014


BWW Reviews: THE HABIT 14 Brings Its Bawdy Silliness to The BathhouseBWW Reviews: THE HABIT 14 Brings Its Bawdy Silliness to The Bathhouse
Posted: Nov. 17, 2014


BWW Reviews: Arouet's THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW Elicits Little Sympathy or InterestBWW Reviews: THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW Elicits Little Sympathy
Posted: Nov. 10, 2014


BWW Reviews: UMO's FAIL BETTER Certainly Does ThatBWW Reviews: UMO’s FAIL BETTER Certainly Does That
Posted: Nov. 16, 2014


BWW Reviews: Schmeater's TWILIGHT ZONE: LIVE! – Both Hilarious and TouchingBWW Reviews: Schmeater’s TWILIGHT ZONE: LIVE! – Hilarious and Touching
Posted: Nov. 24, 2014


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW 2013 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)BWW 2013 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)
Posted: Dec. 30, 2013


BWW Reviews: MARY POPPINS Not Quite So Magical at VillageBWW Reviews: MARY POPPINS Not Quite So Magical at Village
Posted: Nov. 14, 2014


BWW Reviews: Balagan Takes JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA to Hell and Back AgainBWW Reviews: Balagan Takes JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA to Hell and Back Again
Posted: Jan. 11, 2014


BWW Reviews: Balagan's ERNEST SHACKLETON Has Come to Rescue Us from the OrdinaryBWW Reviews: Balagan's ERNEST SHACKLETON Has Come to Rescue Us from the Ordinary
Posted: Apr. 20, 2014


BWW Interviews: Interview with Former Balagan Executive Director Jake Groshong on the Closing of BalaganBWW Interviews: Interview with Former Balagan Executive Director Jake Groshong
Posted: Sep. 29, 2014


BWW Reviews: Seattle Rep's A GREAT WILDERNESS Burns with Thoughtful Poetic BeautyBWW Reviews: Seattle Rep's A GREAT WILDERNESS Burns with Thoughtful Poetic Beauty
Posted: Jan. 23, 2014


BWW Reviews: Schmeater's TWILIGHT ZONE: LIVE!  Both Hilarious and TouchingBWW Reviews: Schmeater's TWILIGHT ZONE: LIVE! Both Hilarious and Touching
November 24, 2014

Theater Schmeater may have moved to new digs but they still know what we all love and that's their long running series of "The Twilight Zone: Live!" And not only are they still bringing the thrills, suspense, and laughs but even some very touching and sigh-able moments with a holiday flair. I don't think I've ever seen a "Zone" that I didn't like and these are no exceptions. In fact, this could be one of the best.
BWW Reviews: Seattle Rep Goes ALL THE WAY With a StunnerBWW Reviews: Seattle Rep Goes ALL THE WAY With a Stunner
November 20, 2014

I'm just going to stop you right here, Dear Reader. If you haven't already gone out and got your tickets for the Seattle Rep's production of Robert Schenkkan's "All the Way" then just stop reading this and go take care of that. I'll wait. Done? OK, now we can continue to talk about this juggernaut of a play that has completely lived up to all the hype that preceded it and more.
BWW Reviews: DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT Charm Kids and Adults Alike at SCTBWW Reviews: DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT Charm Kids and Adults Alike at SCT
November 17, 2014

If you need a break from the bitter cold outside then step on in to Seattle Children's Theatre for the new musical version of "Dick Whittington and His Cat". Whether you're 4 or 40 this rollicking romp will warm your heart and have you beaming with joy from the sheer charm of it all.
BWW Reviews: THE HABIT 14 Brings Its Bawdy Silliness to The BathhouseBWW Reviews: THE HABIT 14 Brings Its Bawdy Silliness to The Bathhouse
November 17, 2014

Those hilarious sketch comedy boys of The Habit are back with "The Habit 14". And if you like to laugh and aren't afraid of a little blue humor then you really should bring yourself down to The Bathhouse Theatre for the latest antics of one of the best and consistently awesome comedy troupes in town.
BWW Reviews: UMO's FAIL BETTER Certainly Does ThatBWW Reviews: UMO's FAIL BETTER Certainly Does That
November 16, 2014

We've had quite a few things come from The Seattle Beckett Fest and possibly the most "interesting" has come from UMO with their "Fail Better" over at ACT. And by "interesting" I mean it in my Mom's sense of the word as in "I have no idea what just happened, didn't care for it, but I'm trying to be polite".
BWW Reviews: MARY POPPINS Not Quite So Magical at VillageBWW Reviews: MARY POPPINS Not Quite So Magical at Village
November 14, 2014

It felt like they were trying to shove a ten-pound show into an 8-pound bag. Sometimes a show is just too big even for Village's usually ample stage. Such was the case with "Mary Poppins" over at Village Theatre. Yes, the talent was all there to support it but the technical wizardry felt at its worst clunky and at its best under rehearsed which tended to sap the magic from an otherwise magical show.
BWW Reviews: Arouet's THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW Elicits Little Sympathy or InterestBWW Reviews: Arouet's THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW Elicits Little Sympathy or Interest
November 10, 2014

If you're going to turn a highly personal story into a play then make sure that you have something fresh to say about the subject matter or at least that the elements of the play are relatable to the audience. Unfortunately, Arouet's world premiere of Doug DeVita's "The Fierce Urgency of Now" had neither of those things. It's a valiant attempt at conveying the emotional ups and downs of business but ultimately lacked the tools to bring me into the play.
BWW Reviews: Pony World's OR, THE WHALE Doesn't EngageBWW Reviews: Pony World's OR, THE WHALE Doesn't Engage
October 31, 2014

You're having a nightmare where you're taking a literature class examining "Moby Dick", it's discussion day and you haven't read the book. That's what it felt like watching Pony World Theatre Company's new production of "Or, The Whale". If there were correlations between the play and the Melville classic as advertised they were completely lost on me. So without all that foreknowledge (which their press release said was not necessary) all I got what a disjointed and drawn out look at several people's woes that ultimately had no real point.
BWW Reviews: ArtsWest's DOGFIGHT Manages Some Touching MomentsBWW Reviews: ArtsWest's DOGFIGHT Manages Some Touching Moments
October 27, 2014

One of the most exciting and promising new musicals to come out of New York in the last few years for me has to be 'Dogfight'. This adaptation of the little known film from up and coming composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and writer Peter Duchan showed off that musical theater still has quite a vibrant heartbeat. So when I heard that ArtsWest was mounting this recent Lucille Lortel Award winner I was quite excited. And while there are a few muddled choices in the current production, the show elicits tons of heart and some truly touching moments especially from Seattle newbie Devon Busswood, but we'll get to more on her in a minute.
BWW Reviews: Seattle Shakes Brings Fresh and Exhilarating Take on TWELFTH NIGHTBWW Reviews: Seattle Shakes Brings Fresh and Exhilarating Take on TWELFTH NIGHT
October 27, 2014

How many times have we all seen "Twelfth Night"? It is one of Shakespeare's most accessible and arguably one of his best plays and therefore one of his most often trotted out pieces. Even Seattle Shakespeare Company admits this current production is the fifth time they've done it in their 24 year history. So I'll admit to a less than enthusiastic attitude when I was off to see it. I mean, what can they do with "Twelfth Night" really? Well, apparently, they can fill it with a stupendous cast, direct it with a kind of 1920's yet otherworldly vibe, liven up all the comedy and flourish it with some hauntingly melancholy original music and turn it into a feast for the senses making this war horse once again a glittering show pony.
BWW Reviews: Chekov Becomes Hilarious in ACT's VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKEBWW Reviews: Chekov Becomes Hilarious in ACT's VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
October 24, 2014

Sometimes a fun night is just a dead lock. Such is the case when you take three of Seattle's most gifted and seasoned actors and put them in the off kilter world of a Christopher Durang play as has happed over at ACT with their current production of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike". I have to admit going in I had very little doubt that I would have a good time with all those elements combined and I was not disappointed. But beyond the sure thing of comedy that resulted what also emerged was a truly thoughtful and resonant look at some ways society has been brought down as it's built up.
Photo Flash: The Studios Inaugurates with Richard Gray's HERE'S TO THE LADIESPhoto Flash: The Studios Inaugurates with Richard Gray's HERE'S TO THE LADIES
October 13, 2014

The new performance/rehearsal/training space in town launched last night with their inaugural performance by hosting an evening of the works of local musical theater composer Richard Gray with "Here's to the Ladies". Gray and some of the most talented women in town got together to explore Gray's work and send off this new space with a bang. And all those in attendance knew they were watching something extra special.
BWW Reviews: SMT's ROCKY HORROR SHOW Is a Bit Rocky But Very SexyBWW Reviews: SMT's ROCKY HORROR SHOW Is a Bit Rocky But Very Sexy
October 13, 2014

Let me start by saying that "The Rocky Horror Show", on its own, is not a very good show. What makes the show fun and worthwhile is the audience participation. So when that is lacking, as it was at the recent Seattle Musical Theatre production I saw, it only serves to spotlight how mediocre a show it is. So I must encourage all you Rocky fans who know what to yell at the stage to go and lend the final piece to the show for its own sake. But lack of audience interaction aside (seriously there were only about five of us participating in a full house and getting people to do the Time Warp was like pulling teeth) this circus burlesque reimagining of the show works on some levels but lacks focus on others making the evening feel well rocky.
BWW Reviews: Everybody Say 'Yeah' to KINKY BOOTS at the 5th AvenueBWW Reviews: Everybody Say 'Yeah' to KINKY BOOTS at the 5th Avenue
October 10, 2014

As you know, Dear Readers, I have no love for the constant turning of movies into Broadway shows but I'm afraid that it's a trend that is not going away any time soon and sometimes results in some good shows (a certain blonde lawyer springs to mind). And the latest of those movie to stage conversions, "Kinky Boots" has hit the 5th Avenue Theatre with its tour and while the show's lack of songs that move the story along should kill it for me, somehow they've made it a raucous good time and I think I know why. But we'll get to that in a minute.
BWW Reviews: THE VAUDEVILLIANS Pump Up Racy Glamour at Seattle RepBWW Reviews: THE VAUDEVILLIANS Pump Up Racy Glamour at Seattle Rep
October 9, 2014

"The Vaudevillians" is not an act that you'd expect to see at the Seattle Rep but then they've never really played it safe. But catching an act that I remember seeing at Balagan's "Smorgasbord" nights back when they were in the basement of the noodle house now strutting around the stage at the Rep is a bit odd but just shows how far this duo has come. From late night cabaret to the toast of Off-Broadway, "The Vaudevillians" have matured into a solidly hilarious evening that spotlights two very gifted performers.
BWW Reviews: SPT's SLIP/SHOT Resonates with TodayBWW Reviews: SPT's SLIP/SHOT Resonates with Today
October 3, 2014

A shooting of a black teen in the racially charged south causes unrest in a small town. Sounds like the latest headline of today doesn't it? Well that shows how far we haven't come as shown in the attitudes expressed in "Slip/Shot", currently playing at Seattle Public Theatre, which is set in the tumultuous 60's. And while this period piece still has its powerful resonance with issues of today, at times the play itself feels a little static.
BWW Interviews: Interview with Former Balagan Executive Director Jake Groshong on the Closing of BalaganBWW Interviews: Interview with Former Balagan Executive Director Jake Groshong on the Closing of Balagan
September 29, 2014

There's been much speculation surrounding Balagan Theatre and their financial woes since the announcement of their closing and the canceling of the rest of their season. I recently sat down with former Balagan Executive Director Jake Groshong, one of the men in the center of it all, to get his take on the situation.
BWW Reviews: ALICE'S ANTHEM Gets Wonderland Even More Drugged UpBWW Reviews: ALICE'S ANTHEM Gets Wonderland Even More Drugged Up
September 28, 2014

I'm all for taking classic stories and turning them on their head as long as you have something interesting to say about them. A new twist on the mythology can be quite fun. And Copious Love's "Alice in Wonderland" musical retelling, "Alice's Anthem", certainly has that with their dark and macabre modern thrill ride through Wonderland. But as much as it has going for it, it has almost as much going against it (which is not difficult in its three hour run time) as many of the scenes, like Alice, tend to lose their way and go beyond what the story wants to tell and into what felt like insider jokes and self indulgences.
BWW Reviews: Book-It's I AM OF IRELAND Shares a Bit of Irish HeartBWW Reviews: Book-It's I AM OF IRELAND Shares a Bit of Irish Heart
September 25, 2014

To launch their 25th season Book-It Repertory Theatre has dusted off one of their earlier gems. And in doing so have given us a charming and lovely bit of Ireland heritage to take home with us.
BWW Reviews: Schmeater's SEASCAPE Evolves into Quirky FunBWW Reviews: Schmeater's SEASCAPE Evolves into Quirky Fun
September 22, 2014

What would you do if a human sized, English speaking lizard walked up to you on the beach? How about two of them? Well get ready for that experience as Theater Schmeater explores two different sides of evolution in Edward Albee's "Seascape". And while it takes a bit of time for the show to evolve as well, once it does it's a quirky fun time.


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