If you’ve ever had to write a book report, you may, like me, find that nothing takes the fun out of something like having to critique it. Lately, I’ve been feeling that reviewing theatre is deeply unfair. It involves nitpicking a single performance – there usually isn’t time to see more than one before deadline. It’s emotionally difficult to critique the work of people in your community, people you admire, many of whom are working for very little, if any, compensation.
At worst, theatre reviews can turn into annotated synopses of the play, giving away more than they should, with comments about the quality of individual performances, of costumes, lighting, sets. Sometimes a reviewer runs out of room and can’t comment on every aspect of a play, leaving someone out.
So, to coincide with the start of the Union’s fifth year, I’m taking a break from reviewing, in favor of previewing, bringing you the backstory behind the play, starting with Ferndale Rep’s Little Shop of Horrors. I think of it as akin to a special feature you’d find on a DVD, something to enhance your experience. I hope you will enjoy reading these stories as much as I will telling them. See you at the theatre!
You can contact Scene Editress Lauraine Leblanc at [email protected].