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 2016 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)BWW 2016 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)
Posted: Dec. 31, 2016


BWW Review: HEDWIG Rocks The Paramount with Heart and SoulBWW Review: HEDWIG Rocks The Paramount with Heart and Soul
Posted: Dec. 14, 2016


BWW Review: Seattle Public Theater's CHRISTMASTOWN is a Winning Holiday DiversionBWW Review: Seattle Public Theater’s CHRISTMASTOWN is a Winning Holiday Diversion
Posted: Dec. 5, 2016


BWW Review: The Gift We All Need for Christmas is HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS: JURASSIC PORKBWW Review: HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS: JURASSIC PORK
Posted: Dec. 12, 2016


BWW Review: A Beautiful Love Story that Doesn't Always Flow in Seattle Rep's VIETGONEBWW Review: A Beautiful Love Story in Seattle Rep’s VIETGONE
Posted: Dec. 8, 2016


BWW Review: Wacky Christmas in Spaaaaaaaace with CHRISTMAS IS BURNING at Café NordoBWW Review: Christmas in Spaaaaaaaace with CHRISTMAS IS BURNING
Posted: Dec. 5, 2016


BWW Review: Showtunes' LEAP OF FAITH Spotlights Good Voices in a Not So Good ShowBWW Review: Showtunes’ LEAP OF FAITH Spotlights Good Voices in a Not So Good Show
Posted: Dec. 5, 2016


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Classic RAISIN IN THE SUN at Rep Spotlights How Far We Haven't ComeBWW Review: Classic RAISIN IN THE SUN at Rep Spotlights How Far We Haven’t Come
Posted: Oct. 6, 2016


BWW Review: BAD APPLES at ACT Shocks, Disturbs, Potentially Offends, and Kills It!BWW Review: BAD APPLES at ACT Shocks, Disturbs, Potentially Offends, and Kills It!
Posted: Sep. 10, 2016


BWW Review: Sweet, Romantic and Tragic CONSTELLATIONS at the Seattle RepBWW Review: Sweet, Romantic and Tragic CONSTELLATIONS at the Seattle Rep
Posted: Jan. 28, 2016


BWW Review: Powerful and Evocative World Premiere ROZ AND RAY at Seattle RepBWW Review: Powerful and Evocative World Premiere ROZ AND RAY at Seattle Rep
Posted: Oct. 24, 2016


BWW Review: Shocking and Powerful DISGRACED at Seattle RepBWW Review: Shocking and Powerful DISGRACED at Seattle Rep
Posted: Jan. 14, 2016


BWW 2016 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)BWW 2016 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)
Posted: Dec. 31, 2016


BWW 2015 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)BWW 2015 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)
Posted: Jan. 4, 2016


BWW Review: Village's THE 39 STEPS Packed with Laughs but Lacks PaceBWW Review: Village's THE 39 STEPS Packed with Laughs but Lacks Pace
January 20, 2017

If you've ever seen Patrick Barlow's brilliant stage adaptation of the Hitchcock film "The 39 Steps" you know what a fast paced thrill ride it is. When I saw the Broadway touring production I thought I was going to pass out from laughter. Which is why I was a little let down by the current production at Village Theatre that still had some great laughs but not always that lightning fast pace that the show demands.

BWW Review: WET's EVERY FIVE MINUTES Disturbs with Blistering PerformancesBWW Review: WET's EVERY FIVE MINUTES Disturbs with Blistering Performances
January 16, 2017

You know that nightmare you have where nothing makes sense as the plot keeps switching from one horrible situation to the next? You try and try but you just can't make anything good last for more than five minutes. Now try living that and you'll have what the character Mo (Tim Gouran) feels like all the time in Linda McLean's disturbing play "Every Five Minutes" currently from Washington Ensemble Theatre. With some amazing performances especially from Gouran, you may leave a bit broken but you'll leave thinking.

BWW Review: Surprisingly Affected by Resonant WOODY SEZ at Seattle RepBWW Review: Surprisingly Affected by Resonant WOODY SEZ at Seattle Rep
January 13, 2017

I'll admit to a large dose of skepticism when heading in to see "Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie" currently playing at the Seattle Rep. Not because I thought it would be bad, just not really anything I was all that interested in watching for two hours. I knew who he was the way many do. I knew he was a folk singer and I remember singing his most notable song, "This Land is Your Land" in grade school. But what I didn't know is what a fascinating life he had and how resonant his works would still be today. And I especially didn't expect to be emotionally affected as I was. But we'll come to that.

BWW Review: Cute but Uninspired FINDING NEVERLAND at ParamountBWW Review: Cute but Uninspired FINDING NEVERLAND at Paramount
January 11, 2017

Lord, save us from pop songwriters who think they can write musical theater. Sure, some transition successfully but this would not be the case for Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy who have given us the completely unmemorable "Finding Neverland", currently playing at the Paramount Theatre. And if the lackluster music weren't enough, the show is also weighed down by a book from James Graham and direction from Diane Paulus who it seems had no idea what story they wanted to tell as there seemed to be two distinct shows happening and neither of them were very good.

BWW 2016 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)BWW 2016 Seattle Critic's Choice Awards (Jay's Picks)
December 31, 2016

It's been a crazy year, Dear Readers. Lots of ups, lots of downs, and LOTS of emotions. And I'm not just talking about on stage. But let's not dwell on the bad things that may have happened in the world and focus on some of the amazing things Seattle theater companies gave us this past year, and let me tell you there were quite a few. So many in fact that in some categories I simply had to call out more than the usual Honorable Mentions as some performances just needed to be noted. You'll see what I mean especially when you get to the female categories as the ladies were certainly bringing it this year. But let's get started shall we? Out of the myriad shows I saw this year in Seattle, here are the shows and performances that truly stood out to me.

BWW Review: HEDWIG Rocks The Paramount with Heart and SoulBWW Review: HEDWIG Rocks The Paramount with Heart and Soul
December 14, 2016

When you have a show that is so focused on one character, it's always interesting to see the different takes different actors give to the role. A prime example of this is John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's masterpiece, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" currently playing at the Paramount Theatre. Over the years I've seen five different Hedwigs. Some accentuate the outrageousness of the role, some the comedy but, other than Mitchell's own film version, have I ever seen a more tragically honest rendition than that of Euan Morton's performance.

BWW Review: The Gift We All Need for Christmas is HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS: JURASSIC PORKBWW Review: The Gift We All Need for Christmas is HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS: JURASSIC PORK
December 12, 2016

In these chaotic and somewhat disturbing times, we can all use a good laugh as a release valve. I know I could. This is why I was so excited that last night I was going to get to partake in my favorite annual holiday tradition. No, not getting to beat some old lady to the last Tickle-Me Pokemon (or whatever) on Black Friday or sipping eggnog with your co-workers until the inappropriate conversations begin. It's my annual trip to ACT to catch the latest installment of Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt's 'Ham for the Holidays' and this year's offering 'Jurassic Pork' was certainly not a letdown, in fact I think this may be one of their best. With their liberal dose of liberal humor and more gay than you can shake a glitter and jewel encrusted stick at, Koch and Platt have the cure for any Grinch-like holiday moods.

BWW Review: A Beautiful Love Story that Doesn't Always Flow in Seattle Rep's VIETGONEBWW Review: A Beautiful Love Story that Doesn't Always Flow in Seattle Rep's VIETGONE
December 8, 2016

The playwright of Vietgone, currently playing at the Seattle Rep, tells us from the beginning that this is not a war story but a love story. Well he also tells us that this is in no way based on his parents and we know that's a lie. But while it's not necessarily a story about war but a love story with a war as it's backdrop, the show does manage some very interesting perspectives on war that the average American might not have.

BWW Review: Wacky Christmas in Spaaaaaaaace with CHRISTMAS IS BURNING at Caf Nordo
December 5, 2016

Welcome aboard the HMS Whooville for your holiday excursion. But don't expect a quick trip around the solar system as the crew takes you on an adventure across space and time and they feed you too! It's "Christmas is Burning" from the folks at Cafe Nordo and Sgt. Rigsby and while the script may be a little thin at times (they say so themselves) the crazy antics and delicious meal completely make up for that.

BWW Review: Showtunes' LEAP OF FAITH Spotlights Good Voices in a Not So Good ShowBWW Review: Showtunes' LEAP OF FAITH Spotlights Good Voices in a Not So Good Show
December 5, 2016

Just a few days ago I reviewed a show that, if you remember, I felt had one major downfall; that the newer songs bringing it from the film version to the stage version had lyrics written by Glenn Slater. Now, just a few blocks from that other production, Showtunes puts up a concert of another film to stage adaptation with all of the lyrics written by Glenn Slater and music from Alan Menken. And while there were certainly some wonderful voices in the concert it just proves one thing that Showtunes needs to pay attention to, not all shows need a revival.

BWW Review: Seattle Public Theater's CHRISTMASTOWN is a Winning Holiday DiversionBWW Review: Seattle Public Theater's CHRISTMASTOWN is a Winning Holiday Diversion
December 5, 2016

Let me see if I can get us into that Noir mood, Dear Readers. It was an uncertain time in the City of Emeralds. The holidays were here and it looked like it we'd be offered up the same old holiday shows. But then a sultry new offering breezed through my door. With a jingle and a jangle and a ho ho ho Seattle Public Theater stood before me with "Christmastown: A Holiday Noir" and with it's hilarious script and cast proved that our holiday entertainment need not be limited to the same old ghosts, nativities and red nosed reindeer.

BWW Review: 5th Avenue's THE LITTLE MERMAID is Swimmingly MagicalBWW Review: 5th Avenue's THE LITTLE MERMAID is Swimmingly Magical
December 2, 2016

The original animated film of "Disney's The Little Mermaid" is arguably one of the best of the Disney canon. With songs written by the incredible Alan Menken and Howard Ashman it marked the rebirth of the Disney animated musicals. The original conversion of it into a Broadway musical was not so great. With bad staging and flow, achieving the illusion of swimming by putting the actors on Heelys (shoes with wheels in the heels) so they would glide across stage, and additional songs from Menken and Glenn Slater (owing to the passing of the great Howard Ashman) the show lost much of it's core cleverness and heart in favor of the cliche and gimmicky. Now there's a new version with a reworked book and score and much improved staging which is currently being offered at the 5th Avenue Theatre and while it still may not have that magical greatness of the original film it does manage a magic of its own largely due to some new stage magic and a stellar cast including an Ariel (Diana Huey) who is the most layered, honest, real and still adorable Disney Princess ever.

BWW Review: Book-It's TREASURE ISLAND  A Swashbuckling Good Time
November 28, 2016

I remember my first exposure to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, "Treasure Island". It wasn't the book but rather an animated version they showed occasionally during Saturday morning cartoons and although I haven't seen that one in years I remember loving it for its thrilling swashbuckling adventure and rich characters including a bad guy who wasn't all that bad even though he was a bloodthirsty pirate. Well I'm happy to say all those feelings from childhood came rushing back the other night as I watched Book-It Repertory Theatre's current adaptation. I mean, swarthy pirates, sword fights, and buried treasure. How can you go wrong?

BWW Review: Seattle Rep's KING CHARLES III Fails to Live Up to the HypeBWW Review: Seattle Rep's KING CHARLES III Fails to Live Up to the Hype
November 23, 2016

There's always a danger in any kind of entertainment that the show will be hyped up so much that when you finally see it, it cannot possibly live up to the image in your mind. I largely think such is the issue with my lack of zeal over King Charles III, currently playing at the Seattle Rep. I had heard so much about this one on how funny and original it was but instead what I got was a play that while interesting, felt long winded and only offered me a few scant chuckles.

BWW Review: SMT's SWEENEY TODD Has the Voices but not the CharacterBWW Review: SMT's SWEENEY TODD Has the Voices but not the Character
November 14, 2016

Probably one of the most difficult shows in American musical theater to pull off right is Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street". It's got incredibly complex music with layers upon layers of intertwining vocals, a bevy of rich, complex characters and a dark and foreboding tone that when done wrong can just come across as comical. Unfortunately the current production from Seattle Musical Theatre misses the mark on each of these qualities. Not completely mind you as there were some notable exceptions but never the complete package to make this production shine.

BWW Review: THE FINAL CUT Is the Funniest When From THE HABITBWW Review: THE FINAL CUT Is the Funniest When From THE HABIT
November 14, 2016

For 20 years The Habit has thrilled us with their hilarious sketch comedy antics. But like all good things, they too must come to an end. But with "The Habit: The Final Cut" the boys manage to send us off into our slightly less mirthful uncertain world with style.

BWW Review: Village's SINGIN' IN THE RAIN Fun but Lacks SparkBWW Review: Village's SINGIN' IN THE RAIN Fun but Lacks Spark
November 11, 2016

Arguably one of the best movie musicals there is, "Singin' in the Rain" has always held a very special place in my heart. Probably the first bit of entertainment that put me on the path of musical geekdom thanks to my Mom. So when I heard Village Theatre was putting up a stage production of the classic I was excited. And while every iconic moment from the movie is there (and I do mean EVERY one) and it was a fun night, the show lacks that special spark of the original and felt like a rehash of the bits of the movie but not so much the heart.

BWW Review: NCTC's THE BIG MEAL is a Feast of Emotions and Brilliant PerformancesBWW Review: NCTC's THE BIG MEAL is a Feast of Emotions and Brilliant Performances
November 7, 2016

Either I'm getting soft in my old age or everyone has decided to bring out their big guns (theatrically) at the end of the year as this is the third show in two weeks that has absolutely floored me. New Century Theatre Company's 'The Big Meal' takes what can be a simple romantic comedy/family drama and turns it into a sumptuous journey served up by some of the most gifted actors in town. And on a personal note, they managed to turn me into a weeping snot monster which hasn't been done at this level since another NCTC show, 'Mary's Wedding'.

BWW Review: Reboot's FLY BY NIGHT Charms but Mires Itself in RepetitionBWW Review: Reboot's FLY BY NIGHT Charms but Mires Itself in Repetition
November 6, 2016

With their second production, Reboot Theatre Company hopes to charm its audience with this sweet little tuner "rebooted" by the company with its gender bent casting. Unfortunately, as talented and likable as the cast is, the show fails on two very important levels. It's certainly not little at 2 hours and 40 minutes and the casting does nothing to add to the story or the tone except to dilute the story in some places.

BWW Review: Radial's WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT Takes a Visceral Emotional JourneyBWW Review: Radial's WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT Takes a Visceral Emotional Journey
November 4, 2016

Dear Readers, there's not much I can tell you about Nassim Soleimanpour's searing play, 'White Rabbit Red Rabbit' currently having it's Northwest Premiere at 18th and Union from Radial Theater Project. I'm unable to tell you about the play not because I don't remember but because you shouldn't know in advance. That's part of the show. I urge you not to Google any information about the show. But I also equally urge you to move hell or high water to catch this one, as it's a thrilling emotional journey unlike anything you're likely to have seen before.



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