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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 2014 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)BWW 2014 Seattle Critic’s Choice Awards (Jay’s Picks)
Posted: Jan. 8, 2015


BWW Reviews: DIRTY DANCING – They Should Have Left Baby in the CornerBWW Reviews: DIRTY DANCING – They Should Have Left Baby in the Corner
Posted: Jan. 21, 2015


BWW Reviews: Thought Provoking A DELICATE BALANCE from Theatre 9/12BWW Reviews: Thought Provoking A DELICATE BALANCE from Theatre 9/12
Posted: Jan. 26, 2015


BWW Reviews: Seattle Shake's MEASURE FOR MEASURE Modernizes Tale of Virtue and ViceBWW Reviews: Seattle Shake’s MEASURE FOR MEASURE Modernizes
Posted: Jan. 12, 2015


BWW Reviews: Village's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS Fails to ThrillBWW Reviews: Village’s AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS Fails to Thrill
Posted: Jan. 26, 2015


BWW Reviews: Schmeater's THE SECRETARIES Brings Twisted Macabre FunBWW Reviews: Schmeater’s THE SECRETARIES Brings Macabre Fun
Posted: Jan. 19, 2015


LAST 365 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: 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 2014 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)BWW 2014 Seattle Critic’s Choice Awards (Jay’s Picks)
Posted: Jan. 8, 2015


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: 5th Avenue's A CHRISTMAS STORY Comes Home to Find Its HeartBWW Reviews: 5th Avenue’s A CHRISTMAS STORY Comes Home to Find Its Heart
Posted: Dec. 5, 2014


BWW Reviews: Seattle Rep's VENUS IN FUR - In a Word, DeliciousBWW Reviews: Seattle Rep's VENUS IN FUR - In a Word, Delicious
Posted: Feb. 13, 2014


BWW Reviews: Village's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS Fails to ThrillBWW Reviews: Village's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS Fails to Thrill
January 26, 2015

A series of journal entries may work well as a literary device but as a theatrical endeavor it tends to fall flat. Unfortunately, Village Theatre's current stage interpretation of Jules Verne's famous novel "Around the World in 80 Days" falls into the latter category as the storytelling gets itself mired in such a passive voice that it just wasn't very interesting.
BWW Reviews: Thought Provoking A DELICATE BALANCE from Theatre 9/12BWW Reviews: Thought Provoking A DELICATE BALANCE from Theatre 9/12
January 26, 2015

Here in Seattle we are blessed with a ton of theatrical choices. I mean of course there are the big boys, the Rep, ACT, 5th Ave, etc. But we also have those small companies that may not have the funds for a helicopter to land on stage but instead invest their time and tiny amounts of money into turning in some thoughtful and engaging performances. One such company is Theatre 9/12. They perform in a church and I'm sure most of the set is borrowed but their level of theatrical craftsmanship is right up there with the best as is evident in their current production of Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" with its solid performances that will stay with you all night long.
BWW Reviews: Rep's PIANO LESSON Alive with Heart and SoulBWW Reviews: Rep's PIANO LESSON Alive with Heart and Soul
January 22, 2015

The Seattle Rep continues their long standing relationship with the works of one of America's greatest playwrights with their current production of August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson". As usual the show comes alive with a rich and stirring history only made more poignant through the stunning direction and performances.
BWW Reviews: DIRTY DANCING  They Should Have Left Baby in the CornerBWW Reviews: DIRTY DANCING They Should Have Left Baby in the Corner
January 21, 2015

Not since 'Flashdance' has a more ill conceived, and forced 80's movie turned stage show been forced upon the unsuspecting theater goers in Seattle. But unlike 'Flashdance', in 'Dirty Dancing' currently playing at the Paramount there weren't quite as many WTF moments to make it somewhat entertaining (in a train wreck kind of way). So what we were left with, save two stunning performances which we will get to in a minute, was a severe lack of storytelling, choreography and acting making this show not a train wreck but just plain bad.
BWW Reviews: Schmeater's THE SECRETARIES Brings Twisted Macabre FunBWW Reviews: Schmeater's THE SECRETARIES Brings Twisted Macabre Fun
January 19, 2015

Take the murderous rampage of "Heathers", the violent cultish attitudes of "Caged Heat" and the hair and clothes of "Working Girl" and you'd have the dark twisted romp of "The Secretaries", currently playing at Theater Schmeater. This macabre cautionary tale goes all out and over the top to give you a dark comedy that at the same time makes you double over laughing and cringe in horror.
BWW Reviews: Irreverent Goodbyes from DAME EDNA at the MooreBWW Reviews: Irreverent Goodbyes from DAME EDNA at the Moore
January 16, 2015

Hello Possums! Everyone's favorite Dame is back for one final goodbye (potentially) with "Dame Edna's Glorious Goodbye, The Farewell Tour" currently at the Moore Theatre. And as usual she puts on a hilarious show that reminds us all why she's risen to the level of Megastar over her 60 years in the business.
BWW Reviews: Seattle Shake's MEASURE FOR MEASURE Modernizes Tale of Virtue and ViceBWW Reviews: Seattle Shake's MEASURE FOR MEASURE Modernizes Tale of Virtue and Vice
January 12, 2015

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I typically have two main sticking points when it comes to Shakespeare productions. First that if you must transplant the time or locale of the piece, make it meaningful and second don't just say the pretty words but convey the intent behind them. And while Seattle Shakespeare Company's current production of "Measure for Measure" succeeds in the first regard, the latter only partially so, making some elements of the show feel stiff and forced.
BWW 2014 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)BWW 2014 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)
January 8, 2015

Oh my! It's been a hell of a year for the Seattle Theatre scene and I can say we've been quite fortunate to see the incredible shows we have. So many amazing shows in fact that picking just a few stand outs (let alone a "best") is a near impossibility. But I have searched the deep dark recesses of my memory to find the shows and performances that really stood out and stuck with me beyond the evening and throughout the year. And so, without further ado, I'm thrilled to present the BWW 2014 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (or Jay's Picks). Let the awesomeness flow!
BWW Reviews: ArtsWest's JUDY'S SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS Is Fun but Not Quite LittleBWW Reviews: ArtsWest's JUDY'S SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS Is Fun but Not Quite Little
December 15, 2014

You know how those 'Saturday Night Live' skits are where it's a fantastic premise and really funny to start out but then they have no idea how to end it so it drones on and on. Well the current off-kilter holiday production out at ArtsWest is like that. Filled with gut busting laughs and wonderful musical numbers in Act One but then turns into something very different in Act Two and keeps going on and on and ends about four different times.
BWW Reviews: More of the Same Brilliance with Rep's THE GREAT SOCIETYBWW Reviews: More of the Same Brilliance with Rep's THE GREAT SOCIETY
December 11, 2014

Sometimes a bit of greatness, when combined with an equally great companion can form something so amazing that they surpass the heights to which they've already achieved. Such is the case with Tony Kushner's "Angels in America", the cycle of plays from August Wilson and, in my opinion, even Tarantino's "Kill Bill" saga. Well now we can add another set to the group as the Seattle Rep is now presenting the companion piece to the Robert Schenkkan's LBJ bio-play "All the Way" with the equally stunning "The Great Society". And if the first one grabbed you like it did me, then this one will only serve to extend that wild ride but in a very different way.
BWW Reviews: HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS at ACT Outdoes ItselfBWW Reviews: HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS at ACT Outdoes Itself
December 8, 2014

Strengthen up those smiling and laughing muscles because the insanity of one of my favorite holiday show alternatives is back with "Ham for the Holidays: Fear the Bacon" over at ACT. And let me tell you, they have upped their game and outdone themselves. My cheeks are still aching from all the laughter as they turned in one of their best holiday shows to date.
BWW Reviews: Theatre22's THE HOURS OF LIFE Lacks Focus, Structure and CoherenceBWW Reviews: Theatre22's THE HOURS OF LIFE Lacks Focus, Structure and Coherence
December 8, 2014

Considering the notes in the program say they have been working on Theatre22's World Premiere musical "The Hours of Life" for four years, I can only assume there have been a number of workshops of the piece. But in all that time did no one let the author, Paul Lewis, know that the framework for the show doesn't make sense? And that's just one of the many issues I had with this show that needs so much help I'm not sure it could be worth salvaging.
BWW Reviews: 5th Avenue's A CHRISTMAS STORY Comes Home to Find Its HeartBWW Reviews: 5th Avenue's A CHRISTMAS STORY Comes Home to Find Its Heart
December 5, 2014

When the musical adaptation of "A Christmas Story" first came to the 5th Avenue Theatre back in 2010 for the pre-Broadway Premiere I was dubious at best. And my fears turned out to be well founded as the musical felt scattered and lacked the emotional core that the original story and movie had. Luckily for all of us when the show went on to New York it was retooled to trim out all the fat and now that it's back has had its heart restored with direction by Brandon Ivie. So what once felt like a desperate attempt to turn a holiday classic into a cash cow now feels like a delightful homage to the original and a simpler time.
BWW Reviews: You're a Bastardization, Mr. GRINCH!BWW Reviews: You're a Bastardization, Mr. GRINCH!
December 3, 2014

What in the name of Theodor Geisel were they thinking? Not since that deplorable live action film version have I seen a worse retelling of the classic Dr. Seuss tale as 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical' currently playing at the Paramount.
BWW Reviews: ACT's A CHRISTMAS CAROL Alive with MagicBWW Reviews: ACT's A CHRISTMAS CAROL Alive with Magic
December 1, 2014

ACT and Director John Langs completely nailed it again and then some. I saw the production last year of ACT's Seattle tradition of "A Christmas Carol" and found myself struck by how well they conveyed this classic tale. And as much as I enjoyed it last year there was something even more magical and special in the air for this year's production (or they spiked my eggnog) as I completely found myself swept away by this incredible show and, yes, crying my eyes out.
BWW Reviews: Book-It's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Will Jump Start Your RomanceBWW Reviews: Book-It's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Will Jump Start Your Romance
December 1, 2014

Romantics the world over have loved the works of Jane Austen for centuries with her tales of loves lost and then found. And one of her best beloved is now on stage from Book-It Repertory Theatre with "Pride and Prejudice". And not only is it a wonderful adaptation filled with superb performances but, guys, take your dates to this one and you're bound to get lucky.
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.


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