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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Rules

In light of recent events here in Denver, and, in the interest of following my own advice, I am going to announce some changes here in the way that I handle my theatre recommendations on this blog.
In the past, my criteria for recommending - or, rather, not recommending a show - have been:
1. I haven't seen it.
2. I've seen it, but didn't like it.
3. I've seen it and liked it, but it's now closed.
4. I've seen it, liked it, and it's still running, but their accessibility for persons with disabilities is either ridiculous or non-existent.

From now on, I will make an effort to announce the upcoming shows of theatres that I think are pretty consistent in their quality, even before I've seen them. This includes companies like Paragon, Performance Now, and NextStage (even though I wasn't crazy about Chess.)
I will also recommend shows, sight unseen, that have performers of consistent quality and effort in featured roles: Michelle Merz, Melissa Benoist, Emily Paton-Davies, Wade Wood, Bernie Cardell, Courtney Capek, Gene Kato, Brian Hutchinson, Janelle Christie, Gregory Adams, Michelle Paul, Leonard Barrett, Regan Linton, and many others.
Same goes for directors and other artistic staff like: Terry Dodd, Gary Hathaway, Donna Debricini, Bernie Cardell, Amanda Farnsworth, Kelly Kates, and others.
If I see it and like it, I will still make every effort to write an additional "See? I was right," kind of recommendation, provided that the show isn't closed.
I will, somewhat begrudgingly, now include theatres with accessibility issues, but I will mention those issues in any recommendations, and I will seriously dog them on it.
Folks: Offering to "carry someone down stairs" is not an appropriate solution to accessibility problems, and you need to stop thinking that it is. A person in a wheelchair should also not be subject to sight-line issues just because he or she is in a chair. There's ADA compliant and there's Big Bad Wolf compliant. Work on it. You are excluding potential audience members, and I think you're smarter than that.
I still won't recommend shows that I've seen that I didn't like. I also won't put out notices for upcoming shows from companies that I feel don't deliver with any consistency.
I'll leave the writing of negative reviews to Lisa Bornstein. She seems to relish in them, anyway.
I would encourage you readers of this blog to use the comments section to "chime in" about a show that you saw and enjoyed. I know some of you aren't in Denver. (Some of you aren't even in the U.S.) Go ahead and recommend a show in your town, if you want. I am constantly surprised at where and by whom this blog is read.
Let's stick to recommendations, though, if you please. Feel free to write bad things about me if you must (I call you "piglets," after all, I should expect it), but let's try to keep everything else on a positive note.
Okay, so that's the "new deal." (Now I'm going to have to work harder, aren't I?)

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