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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. .  You can also check me out in my web series "The Gamers: The Shadow Menace" available on Amazon Prime.


Review: HAMILTON at The Paramount Theatre
August 5, 2022

The juggernaut, the glory, the hot ticket in town has returned. Yes, “Hamilton”, that multiple Tony Award winning phenomenon that’s still a big seller on Broadway has made its way back to Seattle and, good news, you have a bit over a month to catch it. Even better news, they’re doing the lottery for $10 tickets again. And possibly the best news, this production and its cast are fantastic!

Review: COME FROM AWAY at 5th Avenue Theatre
July 23, 2022

Dear Readers, if you feel you don’t want/need to see the musical “Come From Away”, currently playing at the 5th Avenue Theatre, I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong.

Review: TITANISH at Seattle Public Theater
July 16, 2022

The Habit has done it again! First, they wowed us with their hilarious sketch comedy, then branched out into sidesplitting playwrighting with the recurring “A Very Die Hard Christmas”, not to mention their “Indiana Jones” send up. But now The Habit in conjunction with Seattle Public Theater have set their sights on that 90’s epic love story that just couldn’t be sunk, “Titanic”, with their hysterical “Titanish”. And their new show proves they know good comedy.

Review: HADESTOWN at The Paramount Theatre
July 13, 2022

Dear Readers, every now and again something comes through town that takes musical theater to a whole new level. The Tony Award winner for Best Musical “Hadestown”, currently playing at the Paramount Theatre is one of those shows. And sadly, even with its Tony win, too few people know about it. Let’s try and correct that shall we?

Review: LIZZIE from Just Us Girls & Co.
June 25, 2022

Dear Readers, if you’re not familiar with the rock musical “Lizzie” with music by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt and Lyrics by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer and Tim Maner then I pity you. This kick ass, girl power show has one of the most infectious scores that I’ve come across in years. But I can also offer you some good news, as theater company Just Us Girls & Co. have brought this rocking tale to Seattle and just in time it seems. Now some bad news, it’s only running for two weekends, so I implore you to get your tickets now!

Review: MIKU, AND THE GODS at ArtsWest
June 19, 2022

Metaphor in storytelling is fine. If you need/want to disguise your main themes in a fable, great, but make that fable something interesting. Instead, Julia Izumi’s “miku, and the gods” currently playing at ArtsWest disguises a journey through grief, illness, and loss with an allegory that meanders at best, and mostly goes in circles until its ham-fisted reveal to what it’s really about.

BWW Review: BRUCE at The Seattle Rep
June 12, 2022

Dear Readers, I need to ask you a question. Have you seen the movie “Jaws”? The original and first big summer blockbuster from 1975. Read our review. 

BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at Village Theatre
June 11, 2022

I am aware, Dear Readers, that for some the ABBA jukebox musical “Mamma Mia” is not for them. Maybe they aren’t fans of ABBA or maybe they just don’t like fun but whatever the case, I can unabashedly state that I am NOT one of them.  

BWW Review: PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL at The Paramount
June 8, 2022

Dear Readers, we’ve discussed this before. Not every movie needs to be made into a musical.

BWW Review: THE PROM at The 5th Avenue Theatre
June 2, 2022

Dear Readers, as we enter Pride month, I can’t think of a more delightful way to celebrate than having the national tour of the gay romp “The Prom” come to us at the 5th Avenue Theatre.

BWW Review: THE NERD at Taproot Theatre
May 23, 2022

Larry Shue’s raucous comedy “The Nerd” was a staple of midrange to small theaters all over back in the 80’s and 90’s. It was zany, smart, and didn’t require too many outlandish elements. So, I was fairly excited to catch this new local production currently being offered at Taproot Theatre, especially with the people in the cast. However, I’m not sure if the show is just not that funny anymore or if this production missed the mark but, while still having some definite gut buster moments, much of it fell flat.

BWW Review: RIVERWOOD at Langston And Seattle Public Theater
May 22, 2022

In a joint production between Langston and Seattle Public Theater, local playwright Andrew Lee Creech brings us the World Premiere of his play “Riverwood”. A play that tackles some seriously tough and topical subjects affecting underdeveloped neighborhoods and people of color and that contains some wonderful writing and moments but unfortunately lacks focus and a main storyline to carry it all through.

BWW Review: LOLA at The Can Can
May 16, 2022

Dear Readers, I think it’s time for me to come out to you all. I am here to say that I am an out and proud fan of Barry Manilow. Yes, I’m a Fanilow. From “Mandy” to “American Bandstand” to “I Made it Through the Rain”, I love them all. And, of course, there’s the best, “Copacabana”. Now take that fandom and combine it with my love for Seattle’s Can Can and you’d think their current show would be a sure-fire hit. And you’d be right. “Lola” the latest incarnation from Artistic Director Chris Pink, Choreographer Fae Pink, the delicious folks at the Can Can is not only a hit but one of the best shows I think I’ve ever seen from them (and that’s saying something) and one not to be missed.

BWW Review: ALMA at ArtsWest
May 14, 2022

For many, the days following the election of Donald Trump to the White House were harrowing, fraught with uncertainty and angst but especially for undocumented immigrants whose livelihood seemed to be the focal rallying cry of the former President and his base. So, setting a play such as Benjamin Benne’s “Alma” with its Latinx characters in this tumultuous time instantly amps up the emotion. However, the current production at ArtsWest also leaned in fairly heavily into introspective moments which, while emotional, aren’t that interesting to watch.

BWW Review: AFTERWORDS at The 5th Avenue Theatre
May 12, 2022

Dear Readers, by now you know that one of my major pet peeves for any show is what I call “someone else’s therapy on stage”. Other people’s problems just aren’t interesting, and I don’t need to see you work through them. Such is the first issue of many I have with the new musical “Afterwords”, currently playing at the 5th Avenue Theatre. The second main issue being that the show appears to have been written with a cliché search engine.

BWW Review: SWEAT at ACT
May 11, 2022

Lynn Nottage has swiftly established herself as one of the current darlings of the theater scene. With her Pulitzer Prize for her play “Sweat” currently playing at ACT, as well as her other fantastic recent works such as “Clyde’s” and “Ruined” to name just a few, her vibrant characters beautifully reflect the trappings of society today. And while “Sweat” is no different and a riveting story, at times I felt it meandered a bit and lacked the dramatic hook her other pieces have.

BWW Review: TWO MILE HOLLOW from Intiman Theatre
April 29, 2022

Dear Readers, if you too are sick of the dysfunctional white family play then you’re not alone. Leah Nanako Winkler, author of “Two Mile Hollow”, currently being offered from Intiman Theatre, has certainly had enough of them. So much so that she wrote her own version of one. And while I appreciate the dissection of the trope, her play as well as the Intiman production did so in such an incoherent, over the top, muddled way, that I failed to find it all that funny, just loud.

BWW Review: SELLING KABUL at The Seattle Rep
April 28, 2022

The lies we tell ourselves and each other, Dear Readers, and the information we choose to divulge and that which we choose to keep to ourselves, those choices are at the heart of “Selling Kabul”, the current show playing at the Seattle Rep.

BWW Review: YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN at Village Theatre
April 25, 2022

Dear Readers, if you’re going to do a show, any show, you need to have confidence in what you’re putting up on that stage. And while the current production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at Village Theatre has a bunch of fun moments, the show as a whole seemed to lack the confidence to go for it, just like its title character.

BWW Review: TIN CAT SHOES from Washington Ensemble Theatre
April 16, 2022

Dear Readers, remember Mad Libs from when we were kids? That little book of puzzles where you would ask for random items from a group in order to fill out a story. And remember how when we got the final result we would laugh and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all? Ever tried to read those again? They’re not that funny. Now imagine reading those for 90 minutes. Unfortunately, the current show from Washington Ensemble Theatre, “Tin Cat Shoes” feels as if it were written by a series of Mad Libs as it’s a mishmash of ridiculous elements thrown together in a manic way for 90 minutes and the awkward laughs that it might have elicited from the start of the show quickly waned.

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