I grew up in New York City and theater has always played a leading role in my cultural life. My mother’s best friend was Marian Seldes, a glorious Broadway actress who secured a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for having never missed a performance of the long-running Death Trap. It was she who gave me my first peek backstage at live production.
Although I eventually moved into television professionally, the stage remained my first love as an audience member. I was, therefore, thrilled to be offered membership in the Drama Desk in 2015 followed by the American Theatre Critics Association in 2017. I have learned a great deal about writing from my fellow critics and maybe more importantly from the playwrights I have had the pleasure to meet.
It is essential that theater in this city stays vibrant, varied, and accessible. This can only happen if audiences are driven by their own tastes and not solely by buzz. It is from that viewpoint that I created my column and make this pledge to my readers:
1) It is critical that the experience of attending live theater remains available to all. I will do my best to help you determine how to spend your ticket money wisely by giving you a sense of what makes each event special. I will also balance my reviews of better-known Broadway productions with offerings at smaller houses with more reasonable ticket prices.
2) If a character reminds me of a particularly annoying relative or an actor’s poster was once hanging over my bed, that information will be included in my critique. You deserve to know about any personal experiences which may affect my reaction to a piece or performance.
3) If you are looking for a blow-by-blow plot description, look elsewhere. I love to watch a play unfold and will strive to preserve that experience for you.
If all of this sounds good to you, then read on. And feel free to leave your comments if you have a suggestion for how I can better serve the theater-going community.