Addendum: A Chorus Line, the commercial musical, and the review

by Jane

My piece on A Chorus Line and the thoughts I had surrounding reviewing such an existing entity had spawned a very interesting discussion on the role of the review and the reviewer (please join in if you have more to add).

But, what I’m asking from you now is what do you want from a review of an existing, commercial musical?  If that’s a thirty-seven year old production of A Chorus Line or if that’s, say, a replica of a current mega-musical such as Wicked – what do you want a review to tell you about the locally playing production, when you can just as easily google dozens from NYC or around the world?

I want specific answers. In the comments on the first post Keith said:

pointing out sound problems is a big deal and mentioning current actors in the cast is important, too. (The cast will use ACL reviews like an indepedent theatre company would, for pull-quotes and to build their reputations.) But you’re just a different part of the conversation with a show like this; you’re speaking to people who will see this cast on that stage – and probably not to any future readers with interests in ACL.

So is it these things: execution of production qualities, more detail of individual performances?  Is it more background and context, or is it less?  Does it matter that it’s been running for forty-odd years?

What do you dear reader of this blog – you audience member, you artist, you marketer – read a review of such a show for?  What didn’t I talk about in my first review which I should have?  What did I talk about which you wish I’d left out?  What do you want to know, or want to discuss with me, or discuss with anyone when you leave a show like this?

You help me, and I might learn to be a better writer.  I might even try and write you another review.