Sitting in the Middle Row

Indianapolis, Indiana, Theater Reviews

anton-ego.-ratatouille-critics-quoteWhy the middle row?

When it comes to covering local theater, I try to find the happy medium between paying audience member and critic. These two perspectives are quite different. The audience members want to be entertained and get their money’s worth. This part is pretty easy. Did I like it? Did I laugh? Cry? Was it a good story? Did the people around me have good reactions?

The critic has to look more, well, critically, at what is happening on stage and also has to look past the plot of a play and into the play’s presentation (actors and directors should not be held responsible for a flawed script). What was the director’s vision? Was the lighting distracting? Are the costumes appropriate for the setting and period? Did the actors fully embody their characters? How was the blocking and/or choreography? If it’s a musical, how were the numbers? Does the ticket price accurately reflect what the audience can expect? (Yes, if a theater’s tickets are $50 as opposed to $15, I will have higher expectations of it, as well as if it’s an Equity house or not.) These are just some of the questions I ask myself when I write.

I try my best to walk this line between audience and performers, and I take it seriously. But I also have a lot of fun. I hope you do too.


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I have been reviewing local theater since 1998, mostly for NUVO Newsweekly at first, with a hiatus from 2009 to 2015 after I had my son. I still do the occasional story for them. While I have written cover stories, feature stories, and whatnot, my focus at NUVO remains on local theater.

I initiated independent show reviews here on my blog in 2015 to help fill the gap of coverage where many publications work against space and budget constraints.


We are not alone! Read more voices here:

Plays with John and Wendy

Lou Harry’s A&E

Stage Write

Jay Harvey Upstage



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