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.






MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

Review: SUNSET BOULEVARD at Showtunes Theatre
Review: SUNSET BOULEVARD at Showtunes Theatre
February 11, 2024

Dear Readers, if you know me at all you know my disdain for most things Andrew Lloyd Webber. With so much repetition and borrowing from other’s works, I just don’t see the appeal. But many love him and so it should come as no surprise that Showtunes Theatre would choose to dust off one of his grander works, “Sunset Boulevard” for their latest concert. And while the leads certainly got to show off their talents, I question the choice of this one and the presentation, beyond it being an ALW work.

Review: BLOOD COUNTESS at MAP Theatre
Review: BLOOD COUNTESS at MAP Theatre
February 10, 2024

The MAP Theatre gang is back, Dear Readers, and as usual they’re not ones to shy away from the bizarre with their latest offering, “Blood Countess” by Kelleen Conway Blanchard. This gothic, horror, sex, comedy doesn’t pull any punches. I just question if it needed all the punches it landed.

Review: A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD at ACT
Review: A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD at ACT
February 9, 2024

If you’re unfamiliar with the playwright Samuel D. Hunter, Dear Readers, you shouldn’t be. His latest, “A Case for the Existence of God”, currently playing at ACT, isn’t the first of his we’ve seen in the area. We were blessed with his “A Great Wilderness” back in 2014, plus his “The Whale” which first got a workshop at the Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, not to mention it’s latest life as an Oscar winning film in 2022. His raw takes on modern lives are exhilarating and his current production at ACT is no different.

Review: HOUSE OF HEARTS at The Can Can
Review: HOUSE OF HEARTS at The Can Can
January 19, 2024

Come with me, Dear Readers, for a little trip down the rabbit hole to “House of Hearts”, the latest offering at The Can Can. If you’ve read my previous reviews of The Can Can shows, you know of my love for these folks. And if you’ve seen any of their shows, you know they consistently put on the good stuff. But if you haven’t partaken in the hilarious debauchery of The Can Can, what are you waiting for?!

Review: THE BOOK OF MORMON at The Paramount Theatre
Review: THE BOOK OF MORMON at The Paramount Theatre
January 10, 2024

Dear Readers, I hope you already have your tickets to “The Book of Mormon”, currently playing at the Paramount Theatre, because it’s pretty much sold out. And with good reason as it’s a near perfect show.

Review: THE DINA MARTINA CHRISTMAS SHOW at ACT
Review: THE DINA MARTINA CHRISTMAS SHOW at ACT
December 9, 2023

Dear Readers, I am loathed to admit that I’ve never seen one of Dina Martina’s Christmas shows. Hey, I’ve only had 25 years to catch one. I have seen her perform before, way back when at Thumpers on Capitol Hill (back when that existed). Well, she’s back at ACT this year with “The Dina Martina Christmas Show” and I had to ask myself, “Why did I wait so long?”

Review: MJ at The Paramount Theatre
Review: MJ at The Paramount Theatre
December 8, 2023

Dear Readers, you know I’m not a fan of the bio musical. Very few get it right with jamming too many songs in or a bad book. Unfortunately, “MJ” the Michael Jackson bio musical currently playing at the Paramount suffers from both of those things, and more.

Review: FELLOW PASSENGERS from Strawberry Theatre Workshop
Review: FELLOW PASSENGERS from Strawberry Theatre Workshop
December 4, 2023

It’s the holiday season, Dear Readers, and you know what that means. Myriad productions of “A Christmas Carol” in the area. Just to name a few, there’s the old, trusty standby production out at ACT. And last week I saw an amazing one man “Christmas Carol” performed by the incredible Allen Fitzpatrick. But today we’re going to talk about “Fellow Passengers” from Strawberry Theatre Workshop currently performing at 12th Avenue Arts. Yes, it’s “A Christmas Carol”, but this adaptation by Greg Carter is so much more, and absolutely blew me away.

Review: IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS at The 5th Avenue Theatre
Review: IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS at The 5th Avenue Theatre
December 2, 2023

Dear Readers, you know I love a good rousing tap number as much as the rest of you. So those old musicals on stage such as “Singing in the Rain”, or “Holiday Inn” are right up my alley.

Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Village Theatre
Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Village Theatre
November 18, 2023

First off, Dear Readers, I need to put it out there that “Beautiful: The Carole King Story” is one of the few bio-musicals that gets it right. Sure, it’s got killer music from an icon but the book from Douglas McGrath is, in a word, beautiful. But beyond my affinity for this show, I also need to put it out there that the current production from Village Theatre is also a thing of beauty in the efforts from both the cast and crew, and amounts to one of my favorite things, theatrical alchemy. All the parts come together to form magic.

Review: LITTLE WOMEN at The Seattle Rep
Review: LITTLE WOMEN at The Seattle Rep
November 16, 2023

First off, Dear Readers, I want to wish the Seattle Rep a Happy 60th Birthday this week. They’ve had an impressive run. Having said that I wish I had a better Birthday gift for them as their current production of Louisa May Alcott’s classic “Little Women”, as adapted by Kate Hamill, was not all I hoped it would be. It’s a cute show with some good performances but an incomplete telling of this iconic tale.

Review: HADESTOWN at The Paramount Theatre
Review: HADESTOWN at The Paramount Theatre
November 1, 2023

I know what you’re thinking, Dear Readers. “Didn’t you just review this one?” Yes, it’s only been a little over a year since “Hadestown” came through town. But with the number of people I know personally alone who just could not get tickets last time, I’m not surprised it’s back playing at the Paramount. So here we are again. “But why see it again? And what more could you have to say?” First, I would see this show a thousand times and love every minute. And second, I could talk about this masterpiece from Anaïs Mitchell forever. But I’ll try and focus on this production.

Review: ISLANDER at The Seattle Rep
Review: ISLANDER at The Seattle Rep
October 26, 2023

The Seattle Rep is certainly known for bringing in some rare gems over the years. I still geek out over shows like “The Brothers Size”, “An Iliad”, and of course “Come From Away”. And this season is kicking off brilliantly, in no small part to the shimmering, magical jewel currently playing, “Islander”.

Review: MISS YOU LIKE HELL from Strawberry Theatre Workshop
Review: MISS YOU LIKE HELL from Strawberry Theatre Workshop
October 20, 2023

Dear Readers, I firmly believe that the smaller theaters in the area can accomplish anything that the bigger budget theaters can. Strawberry Theatre Workshop is a prime example of this as I’ve seen some stellar things from them over the years. Unfortunately, their current production of the musical “Miss You Like Hell” feels like maybe they bit off a little more than they could chew.

Review: CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND from ACT Theatre And The 5th Avenue Theatre
Review: CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND from ACT Theatre And The 5th Avenue Theatre
October 6, 2023

Dear Readers, last night I discovered at “Cambodian Rock Band”, the latest collaboration of ACT and the 5th Avenue Theatre, that I am officially a cranky old man. This is an astounding play from an astounding playwright but infused with a rock concert vibe. Now, I’ve never been a concert guy and while the adage, “If it’s too loud then you’re too old” doesn’t really apply as it wasn’t too loud, I did find the ending “concert” to be too long. We’ll touch on that more in a minute, but did I mention how astounding this play is?

Review: THE HITCHCOCK HOTEL at The Can Can
Review: THE HITCHCOCK HOTEL at The Can Can
October 5, 2023

Dear Readers, it struck me last night, while watching The Can Can’s current production of “The Hitchcock Hotel” of the intersection of horror, humor and sex. Any horror movie fan knows that a good laugh is the perfect way to release that tension after a good scare. And sex certainly plays a part in horror, not only that any good horror movie killer is going after the teens fooling around, but also consider those fun, spooky, and sexy icons such as Lily Munster, Morticia Addams, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, or anyone in The Rocky Horror Show. So, the Can Can’s horror burlesque fits right in there, dancing that line of spooky, fun, and sexy. And while I don’t think anyone will be terrified at their fright fest, they’ll certainly laugh while being titillated.

Review: PASSENGERS at The Seattle Rep
Review: PASSENGERS at The Seattle Rep
September 28, 2023

While watching the opening routine in “Passengers”, currently playing at the Seattle Rep, I found myself seeing a move I knew. We referred to it as a “coffee grinder” in my tap-dancing days and I was totally able to pull it off … when I was nine. Also, that was the only time I watched this incredible group of artists perform anything I’d be remotely able to do. Lucky for us we don’t have to. We can just sit and watch with awe, and I recommend you all do!

Review: SHERWOOD: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD at Village Theatre
Review: SHERWOOD: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD at Village Theatre
September 22, 2023

Author Ken Ludwig has certainly had a prolific career filled with some wonderful gems, “Crazy for You”, “Lend Me a Tenor”, and “Moon Over Buffalo” to name just a few. So, Village Theatre’s new production of his 2017 work, “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” sounds like a rollicking good time. Unfortunately, this new retelling of a classic adventure meanders about awkwardly not knowing what it wants to be. And that’s just one of the two big problems of a production that just laid there hoping the audience would find something funny in it.

Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID at The 5th Avenue Theatre
Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID at The 5th Avenue Theatre
September 16, 2023

In these tumultuous theatrical times, it’s of little surprise that The 5th Avenue Theatre would head back under the sea with a remount of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid”. I mean, they just did it back in 2016. But it’s a crowd pleaser and I suspect a bit of a cash sea cow so here we are. But I still contend that there are two shows here. There’s half of a show that has the story and songs from the late great Howard Ashman that we all remember from the movie, and half of a show where we do our best to enjoy a Glenn Slater lyric. But no matter which half of the show you’re faced with, at least we still get the luminous Diana Huey back as Ariel, the titular mermaid.

Review: TINA, THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at The Paramount
Review: TINA, THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at The Paramount
September 13, 2023

Dear Readers, I’m thrilled to say that my opinion of “Tina, The Tina Turner Musical”, currently playing at the Paramount, has changed. I saw it way back in 2018 in London and was not impressed. The show, while having tons of talent, also had tons of problems. Fast forward to now and it seems like some of those issues have been fixed. Some, but not all. But still making for a better evening than I expected.



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