Theatre Matters

Contemplations on the dramatic arts from a national perspective

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Steven Oxman has contributed to such publications as the Los Angeles Times, American Theatre, Stagebill, and, most frequently, Variety, for which he has written over 300 television and theatre reviews.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Everyone's a Critic

Hey, anyone notice yet that the web is interactive?

Both the NY Times and the LA Times now allow readers to post brief critiques of shows, and this seems to be picking up some steam. I've been reading the postings of late, and once the number of reviews reaches a certain critical mass (maybe 5 or 6 of them), they give a great overall impression of the show. Some provide fine insights, some are just raw opinion (loved it, hated it).

I'm enormously entertained by them. And I'm hoping that some of the role of the newspaper critic -- the burden of telling people whether or not they should see it, depending on their tastes -- can be taken over by this ability to post a variety of perspectives. That would allow me to respond with greater depth to the work at hand.