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

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


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
Posted: Sep. 16, 2017


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?
Posted: Sep. 14, 2017


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


BWW Review: ArtsWest's THE WHO AND THE WHAT Doesn't Connect with the Who or the WhatBWW Review: ArtsWest's THE WHO AND THE WHAT Doesn't Connect with the Who or the What
Posted: Sep. 8, 2017


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
Posted: Sep. 17, 2017


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
Posted: Sep. 19, 2017


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Seattle Rep's HERE LIES LOVE Brings Down the House ... LiterallyBWW Review: Seattle Rep's HERE LIES LOVE Brings Down the House ... Literally
Posted: Apr. 21, 2017


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: 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: Seattle Rep's WELL Hilariously Deconstructs One-Woman ShowsBWW Review: Seattle Rep?s WELL Deconstructs One-Woman Shows
Posted: Feb. 16, 2017


BWW Review: 5th Avenue's THE LITTLE MERMAID is Swimmingly MagicalBWW Review: 5th Avenue?s THE LITTLE MERMAID is Swimmingly Magical
Posted: Dec. 2, 2016


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


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: 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.

BWW Review: ArtsWest's THE WHO AND THE WHAT Doesn't Connect with the Who or the WhatBWW Review: ArtsWest's THE WHO AND THE WHAT Doesn't Connect with the Who or the What
September 8, 2017

Playwright Ayad Akhtar is one of the darlings of contemporary theater with his Pulitzer Prize winning play "Disgraced" as well as his acclaimed "The Invisible Hand" (my favorite of his) getting production after production around the world. He manages to take on seriously hot button topics and expose them with rich and engaging characters and his "The Who and the What", currently playing at ArtsWest and co-produced with Pratidhwani, is no exception. But his shows are by no means bulletproof. These characters need to be performed with engagement so they really connect with the issues and each other and as a result with the audience and that's where the ArtsWest production fails. They don't fail completely but enough that what could have been a searing social-political family drama comes across like a tepid sit-com.

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
August 18, 2017

Hello, Dear Readers. I recently got the chance to sit down with Seattle Theater staple David Edward Hughes to pick his brain on his career, his views on the state of local theater and, most importantly, his new theater company Sing Out Louise! Theatricals which will be announcing their inaugural season at their gala event on August 26th. An evening guaranteed to be filled to the brim with songs old, new and strange.

BWW Feature: 17TH ANNUAL VILLAGE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS at Village TheatreBWW Feature: 17TH ANNUAL VILLAGE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS at Village Theatre
August 16, 2017

Well, Dear Readers, it's my favorite weekend of the year again. The weekend when Village Theatre gathers together all the best musical theater talent and presents readings of five up and coming new musicals. Yes, it's the 17th Annual Village Originals Festival of New Musicals or as I like to call it, Musical Theater Nerd Paradise. They presented us with some really outstanding works and while I can't review them, I can still tell you about the shows themselves.

BWW Review: CURIOUS INCIDENT at the Paramount – A Brilliant Gut Punch
July 26, 2017

A few years back I had the great fortune of seeing Simon Stephens' brilliant play, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" on Broadway. By intermission I was visibly shaken and by the end I was an emotional mess. But seeing it again last night for its current run at the Paramount Theatre, and having a little bit more familiarity and perspective on it I recognized one key thing. This show is easily not for everyone (an attitude I could not fathom when I first saw it). Personally, I was still affected but with its deliberate in your face staging and off-kilter central character I can see how it might be tough for some to connect to the piece while others will be blown away.

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
July 23, 2017

There are certain shows out there that, while being engaging and performed well, make you feel like you're missing something. Many of the plays of Tom Stoppard are that way for me in that, unless you've taken a master class on that particular subject matter, you may not get the full impact. The World Premiere of Moby Pomerance's "Alex & Aris", currently playing at ACT, falls into this category. Stirring performances and crisp dialog but unless you've taken the prerequisite class on Greek history you may fall behind.

BWW Review: Café Nordo's SUNDOWN AT THE DEVIL'S HOUSE is Anything But Hellish
July 22, 2017

Don't let this worry you but it's time to summon the Devil. Well that's the conceit of the current show at Cafe Nordo, "Sundown at the Devil's House". And while they may not summon up THE Devil they do summon up some delicious food, hilarious and touching antics and rockin' music making for a devilishly good time.

BWW Review: Taproot's Sweet PERSUASION Brims with PotentialBWW Review: Taproot's Sweet PERSUASION Brims with Potential
July 15, 2017

There are certain things that spring to mind when thinking of a Jane Austen story. Blistering on again, off again romances. Sweeping emotions. And of course, Colin Firth emerging from a lake. Well the new musical adaptation of Jane Austen's "Persuasion", currently playing at Taproot Theatre, may not have Colin Firth but the romances and emotions are there in spades.

BWW Review: Gripping and Beautiful FUN HOME at the 5th AvenueBWW Review: Gripping and Beautiful FUN HOME at the 5th Avenue
July 14, 2017

It's not a revival of an old classic. It doesn't have the cache of a recognizable movie title. And it's got a synopsis that may make some people weary. All of these reasons could be why there were far too many empty seats at last night's opening night of "Fun Home" at the 5th Avenue. And that fact of the open seats makes me incredibly sad as this Tony Winner for Best Musical deserves so much more attention as it's one of the most honest, raw and real musicals around today. I cannot urge you enough to see this show.

BWW Review: MAP Theatre's GREENSWARD Exposes the Cutthroat World of GrassBWW Review: MAP Theatre's GREENSWARD Exposes the Cutthroat World of Grass
July 8, 2017

I always hated mowing the lawn as a kid but it was one of the chores with which I was saddled. So, if someone told me they invented a grass that only needed mowing once a year I'd be all over that. But some might not appreciate this new revelation and do anything to stop it. This utterly absurd premise is the crux of new play written by Seattle favorite R. Hamilton Wright and being offered by MAP Theatre. And while the premise may be absurd what's not absurd is the clever writing and fantastic performances in a show that'll have you reeling with laughter.

BWW Review: Intensity and Anger Abounds in Theatre22's DOWNSTAIRSBWW Review: Intensity and Anger Abounds in Theatre22's DOWNSTAIRS
June 18, 2017

Some plays are light bits of fluff, perfect for an evening's entertainment filled with laughs and warm fuzzy feelings. Others, however, take you to a dark and intense place filled with foreboding and anger and, if you're lucky, some gripping performances. Theatre22 and ACTLab's west coast premiere of Theresa Rebeck's "Downstairs", currently playing ACT, is definitely the latter and definitely has those gripping performances. In fact, I'll even go as far as to say it has some of the best performances I've seen all year.

BWW Review: 5th Ave's Cute ROMY AND MICHELE Isn't Lyrical or CatchyBWW Review: 5th Ave's Cute ROMY AND MICHELE Isn't Lyrical or Catchy
June 17, 2017

Take a silly yet beloved movie that breeds nostalgia in all who love it and turn it into a musical. It's the way of the world of musical theater anymore. Sure, we still get some original pieces but the safe money for producers is on the recognizable name. Sometimes it works and sometimes it crashes and burns. 'Legally Blonde' works, 'The Wedding Singer' kind of works, and 'Amelie' definitely did not. And now the latest to join the ranks of those movie translations to musical theater is trying things out at the 5th Avenue Theatre. I am, of course, referring to 'Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, The Musical'. A cute and quirky little romp that has potential but needs some serious help before it falls into the 'it works' category.

BWW Review: ACT's LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE Struts and Sashay's into SeattleBWW Review: ACT's LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE Struts and Sashay's into Seattle
June 16, 2017

Are you adverse to fun or having a good time? If so, then just stop reading now and move on. If not, keep reading and then get yourself down to ACT to catch "The Legend of Georgia McBride" for some fabulous numbers, fake boobs and hell on heels all wrapped up in a fun and engaging story.

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
June 14, 2017

The 1998 Sam Mendes staging of Kander and Ebb's classic "Cabaret" has come through the Paramount several times. And why not? It's a great show and a big crowd pleaser. But it requires a cast that gets the show and the tone to be done right. Fortunately for us the current tour at the Paramount is a shiny (or rather intentionally not shiny) example of how good this show can be and why it's still an enduring classic.

BWW Review: New Century's THE REALISTIC JONESES is Clever but UnsatisfyingBWW Review: New Century's THE REALISTIC JONESES is Clever but Unsatisfying
June 12, 2017

Give me a good old fashioned play with a good old fashioned structure; a beginning, a middle and an end. Or if not, if you insist on a slice of life play, at least have something interesting to say about said life. Instead, what Will Eno's play, "The Realistic Jones", the current offering from New Century Theatre Company, gives us is an hour and 40 minutes of somewhat clever dialog from some stuck, sad people that I wouldn't want to spend 5 minutes with let alone an entire play.



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