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: Seattle Rep's World Premiere of THE GREAT LEAP Shoots and ScoresBWW Review: Seattle Rep?s World Premiere of THE GREAT LEAP
Posted: Mar. 29, 2018


BWW Review: 5th Avenue's KISS ME, KATE is a Love Letter to Those Who Came BeforeBWW Review: 5th Avenue?s KISS ME, KATE is a Love Letter to Those Who Came Before
Posted: Apr. 14, 2018


BWW Review: Seattle Public's IRONBOUND Delivers Raw PowerBWW Review: Seattle Public?s IRONBOUND Delivers Raw Power
Posted: Mar. 30, 2018


Beloved Seattle Comedian and Actress, Peggy Platt Dies at 58 - Remembrance ScheduledBeloved Seattle Comedian and Actress, Peggy Platt Dies at 58 - Remembrance Scheduled
Posted: Apr. 4, 2018


BWW Review: Showtunes' BOYS FROM SYRACUSE Confused About Twins but Not About FunBWW Review: Showtunes? BOYS FROM SYRACUSE Confused About Twins but Not About Fun
Posted: Mar. 25, 2018


BWW Review: Problematic MERCHANT OF VENICE from Seattle ShakesBWW Review: Problematic MERCHANT OF VENICE from Seattle Shakes
Posted: Mar. 24, 2018


BWW Review: SCT's NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED and Gets Rockin'BWW Review: SCT?s NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED and Gets Rockin?
Posted: Mar. 31, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Seattle Rep's HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN Spotlights an American IconBWW Review: Seattle Rep's HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN Spotlights an American Icon
Posted: Mar. 1, 2018


BWW Review: THE HUMANS at Seattle Rep is a Searing Slice of Life but in a Hurry to LeaveBWW Review: THE HUMANS at Seattle Rep is a Searing Slice of Life but in a Hurry to Leave
Posted: Nov. 30, 2017


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 World Premiere IBSEN IN CHICAGO Tickles While It CaptivatesBWW Review: Seattle Rep's World Premiere IBSEN IN CHICAGO Tickles While It Captivates
Posted: Feb. 8, 2018


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 Review: ACT and 5th Ave's RIDE THE CYCLONE - A Haunting Thrill Ride You Must TakeBWW Review: ACT and 5th Ave?s RIDE THE CYCLONE - A Haunting Thrill Ride You Must Take
Posted: Mar. 23, 2018


BWW Review: Seattle Rep's World Premiere of THE GREAT LEAP Shoots and ScoresBWW Review: Seattle Rep?s World Premiere of THE GREAT LEAP
Posted: Mar. 29, 2018


BWW Review: Powerhouse Performances in Book-It's BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAOBWW Review: Powerhouse Performances in Book-It's BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO
April 22, 2018

Book-It Repertory Theatre has once again brought to life another gripping tale, this time with Junot Diaz's, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao", as adapted and directed by Elise Thoron. And as gripping as the tale is what makes it even more riveting are the powerhouse performances from the over 20 characters inhabiting the stage at the Center House Theatre throughout the evening creating the beautiful, funny, dangerous and heartbreaking world. Oh, and did I mention all of the over 20 characters are being played by one lone, amazing actor, Elvis Nolasco?

BWW Review: MAP's Dark Absurd Comedy YEAR OF THE ROOSTERBWW Review: MAP's Dark Absurd Comedy YEAR OF THE ROOSTER
April 15, 2018

On the surface Olivia Dufault's "Year of the Rooster" doesn't seem like a fun night out filled with laughs. A play about a failed trainer for cock fights. And to be honest it packs an ending that will not send you whistling into the street filled with hope for tomorrow. But this is MAP Theatre, and as their mission statement says, "We favor local work and comedy that hurts a bit" and this one does hurt. But at the same time, it's filled with stunning performances and more than a few laughs in this absurd yet all too grounded world director Peggy Gannon and the cast and crew have created over at 18th and Union.

BWW Review: 5th Avenue's KISS ME, KATE is a Love Letter to Those Who Came BeforeBWW Review: 5th Avenue's KISS ME, KATE is a Love Letter to Those Who Came Before
April 14, 2018

When you think the classic era of Broadway Musicals, many lean toward Rodgers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Loewe but for my money I always go right to Cole Porter. Maybe not as prolific when it comes to hit shows as the others but you can't dismiss the undeniable genius of "Anything Goes" and of course "Kiss Me, Kate" (my personal favorite), currently playing at the 5th Avenue Theatre. And the folks at the 5th have not only done right by this classic tuner by packing it to the brim with the best singers, dancers and comedians they could find but the production is a love letter to the predecessors of the production, most notably the visual style which is so reminiscent of the 1953 film version, making this far more than a killer show, but an homage.

Beloved Seattle Comedian and Actress, Peggy Platt Dies at 58 - Remembrance ScheduledBeloved Seattle Comedian and Actress, Peggy Platt Dies at 58 - Remembrance Scheduled
April 4, 2018

It is with a very heavy heart that I pass along the news that Peggy Platt, the beloved Seattle comedian and actress, passed away Monday night at the age of 58. Peggy, a staple of the Seattle entertainment community, was known for her brash humor and take no prisoners attitude.

BWW Interview: A Chat with Tipsy Rose Lee from the Upcoming Genderqueer Cast LITTLE SHOP from Reboot TheatreBWW Interview: A Chat with Tipsy Rose Lee from the Upcoming Genderqueer Cast LITTLE SHOP from Reboot Theatre
April 2, 2018

Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's "Little Shop of Horrors" is one of those enduring classics of American Musical Theatre thanks, in no small part, to its quirky, twisted take on the worldview. Well it's about to get a whole new view as Reboot Theatre Company is taking this Sci-Fi thriller of a musical about a man-eating plant and shaking it up even further by giving it a genderqueer cast (something their company loves to do). I recently sat down with their Audrey, Seattle renowned drag queen Tipsy Rose Lee, to talk about her career and her upcoming dalliance with that carnivorous plant.

BWW Review: SCT's NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED and Gets Rockin'BWW Review: SCT's NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED and Gets Rockin'
March 31, 2018

Don't let the fact that the title has the word "naked" in it or that the same word is repeated several times in the opening number fool you. This is, indeed, a children's show. Yes, you are still at Seattle Children's Theatre and it's safe to bring the kids in as we're only talking about cute little naked mole rats. Rockin' mole rats to be more precise who will sing their way right into your hearts with Seattle Children's Theatre's world premiere "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience".

BWW Review: Seattle Public's IRONBOUND Delivers Raw PowerBWW Review: Seattle Public's IRONBOUND Delivers Raw Power
March 30, 2018

Seattle Public Theater tends towards the darker, edgier plays. That's not to say they're adverse to a comedy now and then as is evident with their next offering, 'Hand to God' which I saw on Broadway and laughed my butt off all the way through but still a very dark comedy. But I digress. Typically, they lean toward stories with grit, pathos and anguish. Now I'll admit that their choices don't always hit with me but when they do they hit hard. Past shows like 'On Clover Road' or 'Grounded' still reverberate in my memory as shows that managed to grab me by the heart and soul and shake me around like a little rag doll. Such is the case with their current offering, 'Ironbound' by Martyna Majok.

BWW Review: Seattle Rep's World Premiere of THE GREAT LEAP Shoots and ScoresBWW Review: Seattle Rep's World Premiere of THE GREAT LEAP Shoots and Scores
March 29, 2018

If you're familiar with Lauren Yee, possibly from her previous premiere here in Seattle of 'The King of the Yees' last year, you know of her gift for storytelling and crisp dialog. So, when another Yee World Premiere, 'The Great Leap', was announced at the Seattle Rep I was excited. But, oh no! This one's about basketball and anyone that knows me knows that I'm illiterate to all things sportsball. So, I got my sportsball translator to come with me and thankfully didn't need to rely on her too much. She explained what a pick and roll was and what the hell a point guard did but other than that I was good as I was simply immersed in a lovely story of three men at different points in their life and from very different backgrounds each trying to find their own truth during a tumultuous time.

BWW Review: Showtunes' BOYS FROM SYRACUSE Confused About Twins but Not About FunBWW Review: Showtunes' BOYS FROM SYRACUSE Confused About Twins but Not About Fun
March 25, 2018

I was speaking with a friend the other day about the current show from Showtunes Theatre Company, "The Boys from Syracuse". He's a somewhat new, fledgling musical theater geek and I said, that it was filled with great Rodgers and Hart songs many of which are standards now. I went through a few and got nothing but blank stares. And that, Dear Readers, is why Showtunes is so important. We need someone to keep bringing us these underdone, and often times older shows such as "The Boys from Syracuse" so established geeks like me can sit there and well geek out, and for a place for newbies to come and be exposed to these grand old shows so they might actually learn what a "standard" is.

BWW Review: Problematic MERCHANT OF VENICE from Seattle ShakesBWW Review: Problematic MERCHANT OF VENICE from Seattle Shakes
March 24, 2018

Seattle Shakespeare Company has never been one to shy away from a challenge and with their current production of "The Merchant of Venice" they certainly seem to have a challenge on their hands. As I see it they have one challenge they can, and hopefully will overcome as the production continues, the pace of the show, and one challenge inherit to the piece that they can never defeat but only embrace, the overt antisemitism.

BWW Review: ACT and 5th Ave's RIDE THE CYCLONE - A Haunting Thrill Ride You Must TakeBWW Review: ACT and 5th Ave's RIDE THE CYCLONE - A Haunting Thrill Ride You Must Take
March 23, 2018

ACT and The 5th Avenue Theatre's current joint production, 'Ride the Cyclone', now playing at ACT, is one of those quirky little musicals that on the surface should not work. I didn't really know what to expect going in but based on what it is, it's problematic at best. Fortunately for us the brilliant writing team of Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond have done it in such a way that it definitely does work and then some. Allow me to explain.

BWW Review: Onward Ho's BIG ROCK - As Solid as Its TitleBWW Review: Onward Ho's BIG ROCK - As Solid as Its Title
March 17, 2018

Ah, the family drama. I've seen too many to count. Parent and child don't see eye to eye even though they're more similar than they realize. Rift comes from neglect/abuse/death of other parent/etc. Catalyst opens wounds further to let secrets out and begin healing. Some work and some are merely someone else's therapy on stage (a thing, Dear Readers, you know I despise). Onward Ho! Productions is currently presenting one such family drama at West of Lenin with the World Premiere of local playwright Sonya Schneider's 'Big Rock'. And I'm thrilled to report that I did not catch Ms. Schneider's therapist anywhere near the stage but then how could I with such a well-crafted, engaging play told by three of Seattle's finest actors.

BWW Review: Village's STRING Plucks Some Good Notes but Feels IncompleteBWW Review: Village's STRING Plucks Some Good Notes but Feels Incomplete
March 16, 2018

I'm fortunate enough to have been to a few of the Village Originals Festival of New Musicals where they present concert stagings of new shows in workshop. I've seen shows that I've felt needed to polish a bit but then get that bigger, mainstage production and I've seen shows that I've felt should have been placed carefully back in the writer's desk drawer and forgotten. 'String' was definitely in the former camp, a fun little tuner with a bunch of potential that has now made it to the Village mainstage. Unfortunately, the rework of this show feels like it went in the wrong direction as the story now only has one focus leaving all others out in the cold.

BWW Review: THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF NOW from Thalia's Umbrella a Sweet Twist on the RomComBWW Review: THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF NOW from Thalia's Umbrella a Sweet Twist on the RomCom
March 12, 2018

Many have wished they could alter the personality of their significant others in some way but it's usually something small. Don't eat in bed. Stop telling corny jokes. Don't spend all our money on geeky toys. But what if your spouse suddenly had a whole new personality and you liked it better? Such is the conceit of the world premiere from Thalia's Umbrella with Y York's 'The Impossibility of Now' currently playing at 12th Avenue Arts. And with York's rich dialog and characters and the fantastic cast this sweet little romantic comedy is a delight.

BWW Feature: 2800 Students in the Room Where It Happens, and Then SomeBWW Feature: 2800 Students in the Room Where It Happens, and Then Some
March 9, 2018

If downtown Seattle was feeling a little more electric, a little more amped up this afternoon maybe that's because 2800 students from around the northwest got the chance to take in the hottest theatrical commodity. I refer, of course, to 'Hamilton' currently at the Paramount Theatre. But this was so much more than a simple school outing as the students were given an opportunity to really dive into the subject and for some, that meant their own moment to shine.

BWW Review: ArtsWest's HIR Takes Gender/Family Issues to an Absurd Level, and That's Funny?BWW Review: ArtsWest's HIR Takes Gender/Family Issues to an Absurd Level, and That's Funny?
March 5, 2018

There seems to be a spate of plays getting a lot of critical acclaim these days that take on societal changes and amp them up to an extreme and absurd level. For example, the recent "Straight White Men" that looked at white male privilege. And now we have the gender conformity examining "Hir" by Taylor Mac, currently playing at ArtsWest. The thing is they keep billing these as comedies and touting them for their daring. Daring, maybe as they tackle subjects that make people uncomfortable, but comedy, no. As was the case with "Straight White Men", "Hir" takes everything to an absurd level, and don't get me wrong I love an absurd comedy, but they do it in such a way that by the end there is not one likable character.

BWW Review: Seattle Rep's HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN Spotlights an American IconBWW Review: Seattle Rep's HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN Spotlights an American Icon
March 1, 2018

Dear Readers, if you're anything like me you grew up with a love for old standards. Those songs from a bygone era that used to dominate the radio waves, many of which came from musicals of the day. And if you love those old standards then you know and love the name Irving Berlin as a hefty number of those gems came from the prolific genius of Berlin. So, you can imagine spending an evening with the man and those songs would be heaven and the Rep has brought that heaven to us with 'Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin'.

BWW Review: Sound Theatre's YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU a Roller Coaster of CommitmentBWW Review: Sound Theatre's YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU a Roller Coaster of Commitment
February 25, 2018

Even before Sound Theatre Company's current production of "You Can't Take It With You" began, it showed promise with a stunning, well-appointed set by Robin Macartney. Then the effervescent Shermona Mitchell walked on stage to begin the show with tons of energy, conviction and intent to her character of Penny, the matriarch of the Sycamore clan and I thought, "Excellent! Let's do this! I'm in for a good night." Unfortunately, that excitement continued to ebb and flow all night long as others would enter the stage. Some with the same level of exuberance as Mitchell, while others weren't quite there yet, and while others still had much work to do as they never were quite able to convey their intent or character or in some cases even remember their lines. What resulted was a roller coaster of energy, pace, intent and commitment that didn't leave me joyful over the quirky family winning out, but just left me tired.

BWW Review: Can Can's ROMEO + JULIET SizzlesBWW Review: Can Can's ROMEO + JULIET Sizzles
February 24, 2018

It may be cold outside but it is so very hot inside the Can Can with their dazzling production of "Romeo + Juliet". But this is not your typical R+J with its rockin' vocals, thumpin' beat, and just the highlights of a storyline. Oh, and did I mention the cast seems to have trouble keeping their clothes on?

BWW Review: HAMILTON at the Paramount Does Not Throw Away Its ShotBWW Review: HAMILTON at the Paramount Does Not Throw Away Its Shot
February 15, 2018

Yes, it's true. The undeniable juggernaut that is the multiple Tony Award winner, including for Best Musical, 'Hamilton' has descended upon Seattle. Just like in New York for so long, theatergoers here will now be uttering the same query to each other, 'Have you seen 'Hamilton' yet?' And if you were lucky enough to snag some tickets through a Season subscription, the general sale or maybe the daily 'Hamilton' lottery you'll be able to answer with a resounding 'YES, and it was AMAZING!' But why is it amazing and how does this one stack up to the original cast with which most are so familiar? Well, Dear Readers, let's talk.



...
1