I don’t read reviews and when I do I am just looking ever so briefly to see if it’s good or bad. Basically, it’s not me I care about but all the people who put their time, energy, and money making the play work. The one thing on my mind: Did the show meet its projections? I don’t believe I have ever had a play not meet its projections.
I had a play produced about two years ago. After six months or so had passed and I knew it had done its job, I went back and skimmed the mostly positive reviews. When I say mostly positive, I am just looking to see if there are at least three lines that can be pulled from it. Not one or two words but three lines. How many times do we walk by a theater and read in quotes “spectacular.” That really means nothing. The critic may have called the play a “spectacular set design wasted on a meandering play.”
Anyway, one review did catch my eye. It was bad at first and then it got worse. It’s conclusion was…well, in order, to give this writer a second chance to be heard I will quote from that last paragraph. Enjoy:
“Leaving the theater and its bejeweled opening-night crowd on this cold night, I passed a homeless person relieving herself on the Loop sidewalk before retiring to her doorway boudoir. It was a pointed if unwitting comment on the longterm human and social costs of unrestrained militarism, more truthful than anything said or done on stage.”
The one thing I wonder is if this critic did anything about what they witnessed. The review ends there. We can only guess.