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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: Everybody Say 'Yeah' to KINKY BOOTS at the 5th AvenueBWW Reviews: Everybody Say “Yeah” to KINKY BOOTS at the 5th Avenue
Posted: Oct. 10, 2014


BWW Reviews: Seattle Shakes Brings Fresh and Exhilarating Take on TWELFTH NIGHTBWW Reviews: Seattle Shakes Brings Exhilarating Take on TWELFTH NIGHT
Posted: Oct. 27, 2014


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 etc ...
Posted: Oct. 24, 2014


BWW Reviews: ArtsWest's DOGFIGHT Manages Some Touching MomentsBWW Reviews: ArtsWest’s DOGFIGHT Manages Some Touching Moments
Posted: Oct. 27, 2014


BWW Reviews: THE VAUDEVILLIANS Pump Up Racy Glamour at Seattle RepBWW Reviews: THE VAUDEVILLIANS Pump Up Racy Glamour at Seattle Rep
Posted: Oct. 9, 2014


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
Posted: Oct. 13, 2014


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Reviews: ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: GREEN PORNO Is A Naughty EducationBWW Reviews: ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: GREEN PORNO Is A Naughty Education
Posted: Nov. 5, 2013


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: How Village's LES MISERABLES Made Me Remember Why I Love This ShowBWW Reviews: How Village's LES MISERABLES Made Me Remember Why I Love This Show
Posted: Nov. 14, 2013


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: 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.
BWW Reviews: Tearjerker MARY'S WEDDING from New Century Wows with Tragic Love StoryBWW Reviews: Tearjerker MARY'S WEDDING from New Century Wows with Tragic Love Story
September 22, 2014

I'm quite pleased to announce that Seattle, at this moment in time, has an abundance of incredible shows to choose from. OK, well, two of them but they're both stunners. You've already heard me droning on about the other 'can't miss' show recently and now comes along a very different but equally impressive show with New Century Theatre Company's 'Mary's Wedding' by Stephen Massicotte. I can honestly say I haven't sobbed (yes sobbed, not cried) this much in a show since Showtunes' amazing 'Falsettos' a few years back. Bring some tissues. Hell, bring the whole box but catch this incredible love story!
BWW Reviews: Village's IN THE HEIGHTS Missing That SparkBWW Reviews: Village's IN THE HEIGHTS Missing That Spark
September 19, 2014

It's never been one of my favorite shows to begin with. I mean I enjoy "In the Heights" for what it is, I was excited about it when it first came out since it was fresh and new and not based on a movie, but it's never been one of those shows that I get all giddy about when one of its songs comes on my iPod. It's entertaining but nothing that wows me. And the same thing could be said for the current production at Village Theatre. It was entertaining enough but nothing quite blew my doors off.
BWW Reviews: THE INVISIBLE HAND at ACT Grabs You & Doesn't Let GoBWW Reviews: THE INVISIBLE HAND at ACT Grabs You & Doesn't Let Go
September 15, 2014

There are moments, Dear Reader, when you can encounter a work that can completely revitalize your love of good theater. Such was a moment for me the other night when I was lucky enough to catch ACT's production of "The Invisible Hand". I really wasn't sure what I was in for except that it was a play about politics and economics in Pakistan from Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Disgraced". What I got was an absolutely gripping evening of theater thanks to a killer production and a riveting play that I cannot urge you enough to go see.
BWW Reviews: SMT's MAN OF LA MANCHA Is Just Too NiceBWW Reviews: SMT's MAN OF LA MANCHA Is Just Too Nice
September 15, 2014

In order to put up the highly complex musical of "Man of La Mancha" you need more than the voices to fill the main roles. You need an ensemble who understands the text and the tone of the situation as well as a pacing to keep this intricate show moving along. Alas, that is what was missing from Seattle Musical Theatre's current production and is what hampers their show.
BWW Reviews: STC's BLOOD RELATIONS Is Overly ComplicatedBWW Reviews: STC's BLOOD RELATIONS Is Overly Complicated
September 14, 2014

Many have attempted to fictionalize the tale of Lizzie Borden. Hell, there's even a rock musical version of the story (that is awesome, by the way). Why? Because we all love a scandal. If this had happened today it'd be all over the news-tainment channels and internet for days (until the next scandal comes along). So authors and producers keep coming back to it especially since she got away with it, assuming she really did it at all. No one really knows for sure. And while the tale still lends some fascination, the current retelling in Sound Theatre Company's production of "Blood Relations" manages to get unnecessarily complicated while not really conveying much that's interesting or enlightening about the story.
BWW Reviews: 5th Avenue's A CHORUS LINE Is Almost a Triple ThreatBWW Reviews: 5th Avenue's A CHORUS LINE Is Almost a Triple Threat
September 12, 2014

There's something to be said for seeing a company of incredible dancers performing the classic A Chorus Line especially when they're doing much of the original Michael Bennett choreography as is currently being presented at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Even better when you've got an entire company of incredible singers as well. You've almost got the triple threat that the show needs to be great. Unfortunately it's that third element, the acting, where the 5th Avenue's production falls a little short and so the story of these Broadway gypsies suffers a bit.
BWW Reviews: Intiman's ANGELS IN AMERICA PT. 2 Lacks PunchBWW Reviews: Intiman's ANGELS IN AMERICA PT. 2 Lacks Punch
September 8, 2014

If you remember, Dear Readers, three weeks ago I said that Intiman's production of Part 1 of Tony Kushner's masterpiece, "Angels in America" still resonated through Kushner's script but the show felt under done and lacked focus. But I hoped it would settle into itself over time. I also hoped that the settling in to the characters would affect the power of the second part, "Angels in America Part 2: Perestroika". Alas, it did not. While it's still, again, Kushner's beautiful script, the show lacks the heart, punch and commitment to the piece to make it truly great. And while you may think that now this one needs to settle in, I think it stems from a larger issue.


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