Do reviews make or break a production?

Wickedlover56 Profile Photo
Think this is a very interesting article. I find it interesting that they quote some of the message board members.
Broadway Legend
Folks from Wall Street and Utah and Japan do not follow the message boards. They buy based on word of mouth ("My co-worker loved it!"), name recognition ("I love Cyndi Lauper!") and critics' quotes they see in the papers and on the marquis ("The best musical of this century!"). The last will never be replaced by says "I love anything with Kelli O'Hara!"
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
Look at the successes of The Addams Family and Motown. So, no.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
James885 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I think there are a lot of variables that go into the success or failure of a production, so it's hard to give a definite answer. However I would lean towards no, since I'd be willing to bet that most people who attend Broadway shows don't read reviews and rely more on word of mouth.
"You drank a charm to kill John Proctor's wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!" - Betty Parris to Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Crucible
Often people just adopt the opinion of reviewers. It can harshly effect people's opinion. I know that I personally don't care much for reviews because most critics see things I honestly couldn't care less about
Broadway Legend
Like this article stated, I think the critics still play a role into getting a show established until it can get some positive word of mouth help.
Broadway Star
The article does not distinguish between the impact of reviews of plays v. musicals, but I believe that the Broadway League has published data on the question. If my memory is correct, positive reviews are far more important to the success of plays, and bad reviews of plays will basically kill them. On the other hand, word of mouth is what is critical to the success of a musical. If a musical gets very good word of mouth, it can overcome poor reviews. I guess the best example I can think of now would be Wicked.
<--------Curtain call, opening night of A Little Night Music, Dec. 13, 2009
Broadway Legend
I thought "Wicked" got mixed reviews. It was nominated for Best Musical and lost in what most people considered a major upset so IMO it was not entirely word of mouth that made "Wicked" the huge hit.
musicaljen Profile Photo
The only review I care about is my own. There were lot of shows that were praised by
critics and I found myself getting bored only 10 minutes after the curtain goes up.
Sorry but I am also a person who couldn't get into both Rent and Wicked.
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Legend
RaisedOnMusicals, do you think Cinderella counts? That one tore critics in half and yet the word of mouth for it was incredible.

Updated On: 7/5/14 at 04:05 PM
GavestonPS Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
In terms of musicals, reviews have not mattered much since Broadway producers discovered TV commercials.

It's much harder to get a good ad out of a non-musical play.