Speaking of Performances...How Do You Feel About Reviews?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 11:20 AM

Recently I went to see the play RED on Broadway.  Because I knew that it was about the artist Mark Rothko, I spent some time reading about his life and work before I went. However, I did not read any reviews or informational pieces about the actual play until after I saw it. A couple of days after the performance, I had a ball reading as many reviews as I could find! For the most part, I found I agreed with the various critics.  But, there was one who I felt missed the point of the show entirely. Interesting.

As a general rule, I find it much more effective to read what the critics have to say after I’ve been to the performance.  That way, I bring my own thoughts to the table and am able to have a ‘virtual conversation’ as I read the reviews.   I am also more likely to be thrilled by an outstanding performance if I discover it on my own.  

So, how do you feel about reviews?

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Comments [6]

Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

As a performer myself, I look forward to critiques reviewing my performances. The better educated the reviewer, especially if the reviewer has been a performer or composer or writer, the more likely that the reviewer will appropriately assess the piece or performer. Bravo to reviewers who see and hear and honestly review!!!

May. 04 2010 08:02 PM
John Christiano from Franklin NJ

"Never pay attention to the critics. No one ever erected a monument to a critic"

Apr. 28 2010 11:47 AM
Michael Waldman from Red Bank NJ

I have always believed that if you want to review art, paint; music, compose; novels, write; etc., etc. It has always seemed to me, Ms Woolsey, that our worst subjective tendencies rear their Medusa-like heads when we tread upon the toes of those who know whereof they speak, because they have done it. Kind of like, "a little learning is a dangerous thing"? Besides, I gave up on all reviewers when, as a student years ago, I heard some musicologist (I am being kind) refer to a piece by Beethoven as being mindless. I find that reading the labels on products I buy in the super market far more enlightening and instructive.

Apr. 27 2010 09:26 PM

What I really wonder is if someone reviewed your radio program Midge...( would you be afraid to give it a peek?..lol) I'd give you an triple A+++ (SOUSA BOY)

Apr. 27 2010 01:55 PM

Paula - I love the idea of trying to 'recapture the virgin audience'. What a great way to think of it! Thank you!


Apr. 27 2010 01:55 PM
Paula Glatzer from NYC

I agree! Read reviews only after viewing! In fact, I read reviews only if I'm sure I'm not going. The biggest sin is revealing the whole plot. I say this as a Shakespeare scholar, who obviously enjoys his plays even though I know the story. The New Yorker's review of West Side Story broke my heart. All those people who had never seen it did not need to know the ending. In Shakespeare studies, we try to recapture the "virgin" audience. Reviewers who tell all ruin that experience.

Apr. 27 2010 01:20 PM

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