Monday, February 10, 2014

Reviewing Shows vs Previewing Shows

More than reviewing shows in Utah, I love to preview them.  

Sometimes an outside set of eyes sees something that a person heavily involved in the show doesn't see after two months of daily rehearsals.

I've been asked to review several shows and I have a blast thinking that someone out there may value my opinion. 

However, I've also been asked to see a couple of shows a week or two before they open.  Why?  To share my feedback on what is or isn't working.  I love this so much more than reviewing.

Previewing a show is certainly more entertaining in it's own right, but not for value of the show.  I like to see how hard people are working and the human side of the actors.  Most of all, I like knowing that what I have to share with them can actually make a difference in the quality of the show.  We all love reviews when they are good.  What about when they are bad?  The worst feeling for me is when I have something negative to say about a show and I know it could have been fixed prior to the show opening.  How can you give constructive criticism when all of the construction is already finished?

I'm not an expert, let me be clear on that.  I think my lack of "being an expert" is just what makes my observations poignant.  How many people seeing community theater in Utah are experts?  How many people are folks who know a thing or two about theater and simply enjoy the show?  I have quite a lengthy list of experiences both on and off the stage for over 20 years and I have seen over 100 Broadway productions in New York City - this doesn't make me an expert, but it sure does give me an eye for a good performance. 

I love reviewing shows, however, if anyone out there ever wants another pair of eyes at any point in the rehearsal process, I'd love to come and give my two cents.  I love making a difference.

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