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 Review: Village's NEWSIES Brings Intimacy to the Big Splashy MusicalBWW Review: Village's NEWSIES Brings Intimacy to the Big Splashy Musical
Posted: Nov. 10, 2017


BWW Review: Seattle Shakes' THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR Bribes Us with Delicious Cartoon FarceBWW Review: Seattle Shakes' THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR Bribes Us with Delicious Cartoon Farce
Posted: Oct. 28, 2017


BWW Review: ArtsWest's THE NANCE Spotlights a Shame in our History with Tragic Beauty and HumorBWW Review: ArtsWest's THE NANCE Spotlights a Shame in our History with Tragic Beauty and Humor
Posted: Oct. 31, 2017


BWW Review: Decent Voices in Paramount's THE BODYGUARD but Not the Queen of the NightBWW Review: Decent Voices in Paramount's THE BODYGUARD but Not the Queen of the Night
Posted: Nov. 15, 2017


BWW Review: Showtunes' BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Wows with Voices but Not Much ElseBWW Review: Showtunes' BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Wows with Voices but Not Much Else
Posted: Oct. 31, 2017


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Tarnished CABARET at Paramount Shows How Good This Classic Can BeBWW Review: Tarnished CABARET at Paramount Shows How Good This Classic Can Be
Posted: Jun. 14, 2017


BWW Review: The Infectious Bliss of Seattle Rep's PRIDE AND PREJUDICEBWW Review: The Infectious Bliss of Seattle Rep's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Posted: Oct. 5, 2017


BWW Interview: How Composers Gwendolyn Sanford?and?Brandon Jay Will Make Us All Have a ROMY AND MICHELE DayBWW Interview: How Composers Gwendolyn Sanford?and?Brandon Jay Will Make Us All Have a ROMY AND MICHELE Day
Posted: May. 25, 2017


BWW Interview: David Edward Hughes and His New Company SING OUT LOUISE! THEATRICALSBWW Interview: David Edward Hughes and His New Company SING OUT LOUISE! THEATRICALS
Posted: Aug. 18, 2017


BWW Review: Village's NEWSIES Brings Intimacy to the Big Splashy MusicalBWW Review: Village's NEWSIES Brings Intimacy to the Big Splashy Musical
Posted: Nov. 10, 2017


BWW Review: Village Has Your DREAMGIRLS, Boys.  And They'll Make You Happy!BWW Review: Village Has Your DREAMGIRLS, Boys. And They'll Make You Happy!
Posted: May. 12, 2017


BWW Review: ACT's Stirring ALEX & ARIS Relies Too Much on Advance KnowledgeBWW Review: ACT's Stirring ALEX & ARIS Relies Too Much on Advance Knowledge
Posted: Jul. 23, 2017


BWW Review: Decent Voices in Paramount's THE BODYGUARD but Not the Queen of the NightBWW Review: Decent Voices in Paramount's THE BODYGUARD but Not the Queen of the Night
November 15, 2017

In the latest in the spate of movies turned musicals with no new music to speak of to turn up in Seattle, following in the trend of Dirty Dancing or the egregious Flashdance , we've now been offered up The Bodyguard . And while the current offering didn't live up, or should I say down, to the aforementioned maniac , this romance shoe-horned into a Whitney Houston cover band didn't live up to the Queen of the Night either with its lackluster and stiff performances.

BWW Review: Village's NEWSIES Brings Intimacy to the Big Splashy MusicalBWW Review: Village's NEWSIES Brings Intimacy to the Big Splashy Musical
November 10, 2017

Dear Readers, I won't bore you with the rehash of how I feel about the stage adaptation of Disney's Newsies from my disappointment of the restructuring of the story and songs from the movie, to the required suspension of disbelief that any of these dancers are young newsBOYS, to the fact that Jack and Katherine's relationship is just a little creepy if you think about what their ages should be. If you want that you can read my previous review of the touring show. Instead what we will and should be talking about is how the current production at Village theater not only matched the fun, talent and power that existed in the big, splashy Broadway tour but in some ways surpassed it.

BWW Review: ArtsWest's THE NANCE Spotlights a Shame in our History with Tragic Beauty and HumorBWW Review: ArtsWest's THE NANCE Spotlights a Shame in our History with Tragic Beauty and Humor
October 31, 2017

Did you know, Dear Readers, that as recently as the 1930's, gay men could be arrested for meeting in public? Maybe? But did you also know that in New York it became just as unthinkable to portray a gay character on stage? Just one of those shameful points in our history that's beautifully illuminated by Douglas Carter Beane's moving play, The Nance , currently playing at ArtsWest. And as stunning as the show itself is, this cast makes it shine even more.

BWW Review: Showtunes' BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Wows with Voices but Not Much ElseBWW Review: Showtunes' BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Wows with Voices but Not Much Else
October 31, 2017

I'm usually a sucker for a good sappy romance but I'll admit I missed the bandwagon where The Bridges of Madison County was concerned. I never saw the movie or read the book so any kind of name recognition or nostalgic feelings for a musical of this are lost on me and the show would have to exist solely on, does it tell a good story musically? . The answer to that would be, no. And while the current concert staging of it from Showtunes includes some outstanding voices, it still doesn't fix a flawed show.

BWW Review: Seattle Shakes' THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR Bribes Us with Delicious Cartoon FarceBWW Review: Seattle Shakes' THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR Bribes Us with Delicious Cartoon Farce
October 28, 2017

There's a certain hilarious show leaving Seattle and leaving a void in the comedy that we all desperately need in these tumultuous times. But luckily for us Seattle Shakespeare Company has just the thing to fill that void with their uproarious Russian farce The Government Inspector . A production with some very over-the-top and almost cartoonish sensibilities that truly earns the moniker farce .

BWW Review: Seattle Immersive Theatre's AMERICAN BUFFALO Amps Up the DangerBWW Review: Seattle Immersive Theatre's AMERICAN BUFFALO Amps Up the Danger
October 23, 2017

David Mamet's American Buffalo has never been what you might call a comfortable play laced as it is with profanity, crime, and violence. If done well the tension in Don's 2ns Hand Store should continue to build and build until it predictably results in chaos. But what Seattle Immersive Theatre has done with their current production is to not only give the audience some top-notch performances of the show but also put us all right there in the shop so the danger is not only palpable but at arm's reach.

BWW Review: 5th Ave's RAGTIME Strikes to the Heart of its Own Story and BeyondBWW Review: 5th Ave's RAGTIME Strikes to the Heart of its Own Story and Beyond
October 21, 2017

Back in 1997 a somewhat younger Broadway Geek became obsessed with the musical Ragtime . I even travelled to other cities to see it as many times as I could and basically became obsessed. I tell you this so you'll understand, Dear Readers, my deep love for this show which is firmly one of my top ten desert island shows and how amazingly picky I am with any production of it. With that in mind you'll understand, after reading this review, why you MUST go and get tickets to the current production at the 5th Avenue Theatre. A production that brought up almost all the feels from my initial viewing of this sublime show and even a few new ones.

BWW Review: ACT's Searing THE CRUCIBLE Shines with all Substance and Very Little FlashBWW Review: ACT's Searing THE CRUCIBLE Shines with all Substance and Very Little Flash
October 20, 2017

Arthur Miller's classic The Crucible remains a kind of mainstay of theater across the country from professional productions down to the myriad high school productions. But for it to ring true it must resonate with society's repeated history with mob mentality whether that be the literal Salem witch trials of the story or McCarthyism or even more recent moments in our history where truth is over shadowed by fear. And while ACT's current production of the classic nails those themes it also manages to make the production all about the stellar performances and the brilliant script than about any set or costumes or flashy presentation.

BWW Review: Chinese Gender and Economic Politics with Seattle Public's WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESSBWW Review: Chinese Gender and Economic Politics with Seattle Public's WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS
October 16, 2017

Life is hard for female children and for women in general in China. This is the basic message from Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's play The World of Extreme Happiness currently playing at Seattle Public Theater. The big problem with this is that we all know this and so beyond that, what story do they want to tell with this play and why are they telling it? For the life of me, I was never really certain.

BWW Review: Disney's ALADDIN at the Paramount Grows Up and Rediscovers its MagicBWW Review: Disney's ALADDIN at the Paramount Grows Up and Rediscovers its Magic
October 14, 2017

Back in 2011 many of us here in Seattle were subjected to a very different version of Disney's Aladdin than what you might see currently playing at the Paramount Theatre. Also for many of us that previous version left a bad taste in our mouths for the property. A property that we loved in its original movie form 25 years ago (wow, was it that long ago). But this new version on tour now from the Broadway incarnation seems to have grown up from its shaky beginnings and now delivers a fun ride for kids and adults alike.

BWW Review: The Infectious Bliss of Seattle Rep's PRIDE AND PREJUDICEBWW Review: The Infectious Bliss of Seattle Rep's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
October 5, 2017

There's a general rule of thumb in any theatrical production that if the cast is enjoying what they are doing then that will translate into audience connection and enjoyment. Of course, good source material like Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice doesn't hurt the issue nor does a wonderfully quirky adaptation by Kate Hamill. But it's those two elements combined with the fact that the kick-ass ensemble cast, currently performing the piece at Seattle Repertory Theatre, appears to be big kids having two and a half hours of play-time on stage every night and having the times of their lives that makes this a winner. And that energy is certainly infectious creating uproarious laughter from the audience (and even sometimes from their fellow cast members as well).

BWW Review: Fantastic Z's NEXT FALL a Beautiful Play with an Uneven Emotional CoreBWW Review: Fantastic Z's NEXT FALL a Beautiful Play with an Uneven Emotional Core
September 30, 2017

There are two things, Dear Readers, that drive me crazy in watching any theatrical endeavor, shmacting and not listening, we'll dive into the meanings of those more in a bit, but what they accomplish is sapping the emotional core from a show. Fantastic Z's current production of Next Fall partially suffers from these dilemmas in that half of the cast is guilty of it. And in a show like this, only half an emotional core is just not enough.

BWW Review: Theater Schmeater's NEIGHBORHOOD 3 Confounds with Little PayoffBWW Review: Theater Schmeater's NEIGHBORHOOD 3 Confounds with Little Payoff
September 25, 2017

Let me assure you that you need not have seen Neighborhood 1 or Neighborhood 2 in order to understand Theater Schmeater's current show Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom for two reasons. First, there are no such things as Neighborhood 1 or Neighborhood 2 as the title does not refer to any kind of play trilogy. And second, I don't think even two prequels would be enough to make this show make sense.

BWW Review: THE LAST FIVE YEARS at Taproot Showcases More Talent Than You Might ExpectBWW Review: THE LAST FIVE YEARS at Taproot Showcases More Talent Than You Might Expect
September 22, 2017

The Last Five Years , that Jason Robert Brown quirky two hander gets put up quite a bit and it stands to reason, it's a fun show filled with rich songs, it's only two actors, it typically has little to no set and so everyone and their dog puts it on. I've seen it multiple times since it came on the scene. I've seen basic, traditional productions. I've seen productions with multiple rotating casts. I've even seen a production where they reimagined why the relationship ends. So while I was leery of yet another production with the word reimagined in the description it also had two local powerhouses in the roles so I had faith. Well that faith was paid off in spades as not only did they present a killer rendition of this incredible show but their reimagining only served to showcase how insanely talented these two are. But we'll get to that.

BWW Review: TEH INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS from WET brings the Lulz and Even Some ThoughtzBWW Review: TEH INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS from WET brings the Lulz and Even Some Thoughtz
September 19, 2017

First and foremost, this is not a typo. The current show from Washington Ensemble Theatre is titled Teh Internet is Serious Business no matter how many times spell check tries to auto correct it for me. And with a title like that you might assume that this will just be a series of computer jokes like having incarnations of grumpy cat or sarcastic Willy Wonka Memes live trolling during the show and while all of that happens, what also happens is a fascinating look at a key part of internet history as well as a highly inventive show with some innovative staging.

BWW Review: Book-It Examines the Birth of an Icon with I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGSBWW Review: Book-It Examines the Birth of an Icon with I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS
September 17, 2017

Easily one of the most influential American writers of our time, Maya Angelou beyond being an amazing poet an author was also an outspoken civil rights activist and icon for our age. Book-It Repertory has done honor to this fine woman with their current production of her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings .

BWW Review: Village's INTO THE WOODS Has Moments in the Woods but No ConnectionsBWW Review: Village's INTO THE WOODS Has Moments in the Woods but No Connections
September 16, 2017

I'll admit, Dear Readers, that when I saw the cast list for Village Theatre's current production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's classic Into the Woods I was quite excited. It was (and is) quite a list of powerhouse talent and not the usual suspects for a Village show. But Sondheim's show, as much as it's done by every professional house, community theater, or school is by no means a bulletproof show and something egregious must have happened (or didn't happen) between then and now as the production I saw last night, while technically good with well sung songs lacked any kind of emotional resonance, heart, stakes, or even connection between the characters. And for a show like this, pretty singing is not enough.

BWW Review: Charming Meta Journey with KING OF THE YEES at ACTBWW Review: Charming Meta Journey with KING OF THE YEES at ACT
September 15, 2017

It's a world we may not know much about, that of old school Chinatown, with their family associations and insider customs. Hell, Lauren Yee grew up in this world and even she seems to be cut off from it and her Father Larry Yee runs the Yee Family Association. But that's the point of her play King of the Yees currently playing at ACT. Bur before you think this is another one of those dreadful family therapy on stage shows (and you know how I loathe those, Dear Readers) the show, with its quick witty dialog goes to a delightful meta and eventually metaphysical place making it an absolute joy.

BWW Review: Previously Promised SOMETHING ROTTEN! Finally Comes to 5th Ave - Worth the Wait?BWW Review: Previously Promised SOMETHING ROTTEN! Finally Comes to 5th Ave - Worth the Wait?
September 14, 2017

Let's set the Way Back Machine to the 2014/2015 season where the 5th Avenue Theatre touted the pre-Broadway tryout of a new musical comedy called Something Rotten! . Many musical theater geeks, myself included, were quite excited at the premise of this new tuner but then the theater Gods frowned upon us and smiled on them as they announced they would go right to Broadway. The show had a respectable run on Broadway despite getting a few tepid reviews from the New York critics but now it's back and the question remains, did we miss out and was the show worth the wait? Well I can say that the show is incredibly stupid and silly, filled with crass and bawdy humor and more musical theater references than you can shake a jazz hand at. But above all, it's FUN! If you're looking for some deep meaning then, by all means look elsewhere but if you want to laugh and don't mind repeated phallic jokes then this could be right up your alley.

Photo Coverage: Public Works Seattle's ODYSSEY a Delight for All  But this is NOT a Review!
September 9, 2017

Dear Readers, it's my unfortunate job, at this moment, to tell you of a show that you'll probably never get to see. Public Works Seattle's "The Odyssey" at the Seattle Rep kicked off last night and unfortunately for those who don't already have tickets, is only running through Sunday and, I believe, is already sold out.



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