Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The First Review! (and a lot of blogs...)

Here's the first actual publication review Sherlock Holmes/Carol has received--a shortish blurb but it's a good review. Give it a read.

“Taproot’s got good news: a brand new mashup of the Dickens classic.” - Mark D. Fefer, Seattle Weekly

That was the first publication review. But it's the seventh review for this show.

Just five years ago I used "blogging" as a punchline in one of my plays, where an obsessive theatre critic starts publishing his journal online after he quits his job. But now? Bloggers are all over the place, and not a punchline. Increasingly they're becoming part of the necessary press coverage theatre uses to spread word about a show.

Bloggers vary widely, as do blogs--not just professional or amateur status, but in their fundamental approach to their writing. Many of these folks, like myself, are writing about a variety of subjects, including but not limited to theatre. Sometimes these reviews mix a lot more personal narratives in, and there seems more interest in offering opinions, not an overall critical response.

“my biggest gripe was the fact that the show was eventually going to end.” - Steven Gomez, The Russians Used a Pencil

“For some reason, the holidays are never complete without a good performance or two. Thankfully, I was able to locate just the right diversion this Christmas – Taproot Theatre is performing ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol.’” - Kim Martinez, Kim Martinez Staying Focused

Others are community-based blogs with multiple writers that mirror the fast-disappearing neighborhood newspaper.

“Stephen’s interaction throughout the performance is a stunning display of American theater at its best.” - Andrew Davis, Seattle P-I Greenwood-Phinney

“It’s the best of Dickens and Doyle. … You won’t want to miss this cheery, insightful and hilarious journey with some of literatures best.” - Meredith Pechta, Examiner.com

There are even magazines that have a blog element.

“It’s elementary, really. … it works seamlessly. … Holmes aficionados will find numerous delights.” - Machelle Allman, Seattle’s Child

What's interesting about all of these reviews is that with the exception of The Seattle Weekly and arguably The Seattle PI, these are are new voices that weren't writing about theatre just five years ago.

Which leads me to what is my favorite review, even though the reviewer probably liked the show less than anyone else:


Emma M. didn't like the show as much as most of the other writers. Some bits bored her and she's got some other criticisms. But right there at the top of the blog, you know what it says?

"Teenagers write this blog. Deal with it."

There are teens out there who actually want to go see theatre? And write about it? It warms the cockles of my ex-critic heart.

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