Somebody asked me the other day, after reading the last part of my tirade a few weeks ago about handicapped parking spaces, "What's the deal with the shows you review?" (This question has been asked a few other times as well.)
Well, first, I don't exactly review shows. "Review" suggests that I write both the negative and the positive about a show I've seen. No, when it comes to local theatre, I just give recommendations: shows that I think are worth seeing.
I started my e-mail list (which evolved into this blog) originally, because I saw a really terrific local production (Boulder Broadway Company's Bat Boy) that had a dismally small audience. To me, that was unjust. I'd seen a number of sold-out houses for "mediocre" shows at some of the more established theatres around town who shall remain nameless (for now, but they'd better step it up).
So, now, I try to spread the word about good local shows that I see, with a few caveats that I have mentioned before but perhaps warrant both re-iteration and elaboration.:
1) I don't recommend shows that I didn't like. This one should be self-explanatory.
2) I don't write about shows that I see on closing night or if they're only a one night deal. It's too late for me to get them more audience members, so what's the point? If I really liked the show, I may reference it when talking about another show by the same company or actors or even mention it at the end of the year among other well-done shows I saw that year. On occasion, I may recommend a short-run or one-night-only show sight unseen if I really think it's going to be good, but that's really going to be rare.
3) I don't recommend shows that aren't performed in wheelchair accessible theatres. I have a number of friends -- ha, ha, I know, okay, okay -- I know a number of people who are in wheelchairs or who have other accessibility concerns. If they aren't able to watch your show (in a reasonable and dignified manner), you don't get to complain about small audiences. Everybody gets in, or you're on your own for promotion.
Now, I hope that answers the questions that some of you have had. Now, if I could only get the answer to my question: Why the hell does anybody care?