Category Critics and Criticism

I’m feeling critical. Gimme tickets. (An experiment.)

So as not to bury the lede, let me just get to the announcing: I’m going to do an experiment in theater reviewing on this blog this year. I hope those of you who produce theater will help me out with it. For the next year, I will be open to reviewing your productions in […]

Donald Munro’s contribution to Fresno theater is immeasurable – clicks or no clicks.

It’s almost like the last few weeks of arts news have been setting me up for Tuesday’s local shocker: That McClatchy Newspapers has gutted coverage of the arts and culture from both print and online. . . and that Donald Munro, the region’s resident arts journalist, was also out of a job. After the announcements […]

Let It Go, James Franco. (Or How Not to Engage with Your Critics.)

Someone please take this man’s Instagram account away from him. In the space of just a few weeks, James Franco managed to prove to the world again that he is not too swift at the social media thing. This time, he pulled the amateurish move of calling critic Ben Brantley an idiot for his review […]

Best Practices of Being a Critic

For those who love to blog, status update, twitter or tumblr about shows they’ve seen, things they’ve eaten, places they’ve gone to: I loved this read from Terry Teachout, the theater critic for the Wall Street Journal.  It outlines 15 best practices for arts journalism and journalistic criticism of most varieties.  We all know I […]

Theater Reads: Julie Taymore, Israeli Shakespeare, Pro-Ams, and Criticism

 A few theater related articles around the web I found of interest this week: Julie Taymor Roars by Jacob Bernstein, The Daily Beast, May 21, 2012 The director speaks about her career, the Spiderman issues, and where she’s going. Maybe my taste is different than 80 percent of the people that go to Broadway, but […]

If you can’t say something nice. . .

Gentle readers, I have been taken to task.  Taken to task for not being “nice”.  Yes, indeed. . . a grave lapse of character on my part, I know, but there it is. Or is it?  No, not being “nice” is actually a revelation of my character, not a lapse thereof. “Nice” is something I […]

The Critical Series: and yet. . .

Having said all of that. . . I want to remind everyone creating anything about this: “It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic, is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt The trick is to keep criticism in […]

The Critical Series: p2p review, it’s all in the timing. . .

On the subject of peer-to-peer review, more than anything else I cannot emphasize that there is a time and a place and a way for it.  And it isn’t at the post-opening night revels at the bar. Here is one playwright’s list of do’s and don’ts. How to tell a playwright you didn’t like his […]

The Critical Series: Critic, Audiences, Idiots, Genius

Can a reviewer be expected to give honest critical feedback while simultaneously cheerleading the artistic community? This question has come up on the Fresno Beehive twice: the issue of the critic’s–in both cases, Donald Munro’s– poor review being taken to task for not being supportive enough of local artistic endeavors. The topic coming up once every […]

The critical series: Advantages

Quick List: Advantages to being reviewed 1. As an artist, it gives you an outward, tangible veneer of legitimacy. I’m not talking about your intrinsic feeling as a legitimate artist, I’m talking about public perception. Being reviewed by someone unconnected with the production/producer means you’re putting your work out there for public response and not […]