If there is a show I absolutely want to see, I don't read anything beforehand. Once it starts previews, I may scan the previews thread on here just to make sure it isn't a complete mess (in which case I might resell my tickets before word gets out), but never enough to anticipate what will happen onstage.Otherwise, I use the forums to gauge whether I should be buying tickets to things I don't know about, or didn't capture my imagination as something to see. Once I hit the point of deciding to buy, then I stop reading.So, I usually read just enough to know whether to buy or sell beforehand.
I read reviews (both "professional" and on this board), but I always take them with a grain of salt. I disagree with critics too often to allow them to determine what I see, and there have been too many shows that I loved, but would've missed, if I'd given too much credence to what people wrote about them. My primary interest in reviews is to learn a bit about how a show "feels" and how it is staged.
I have always read reviews first with one exception and that was when I saw "The Play That Goes Wrong" in London. We bought the tickets kind of last moment and all we knew was that is was a comedy.
I generally read the reviews as soon as they come out. Unless something is pretty much panned, I generally don't base a purchase on the reviews, for several reasons:I have not infrequently disliked / been disappointed by shows that have gotten raves or, at least, very good reviews, e.g., hated CATS, City of Angels and Fun Home, disappointed by the original productions of Billy Elliott, A Chorus Line (which I saw at least three times in its first year, because of visitors wanting to see it) and Annie; and a decent number of classic musical revivals', e.g., last Kiss Me Kate revival.I have thoroughly enjoyed a number of musicals which were not well reviewed or even panned. I have seen Finding Neverland 5 times, Cambridge, Broadway, and on tour, have recognized glaring deficiencies in each production, and have still loved them overall. Fifty years ago, I also loved Dear World, which I also knew had some serious flaws. The flaws, which resulted in the show receiving some real pans, did not keep me from loving parts of the show, as well as Angela Lansbury's performance...and etc.There are some shows that have been critically acclaimed and huge hits that I have had no interest in seeing, sometimes based on the rave reviews. Passion is a musical that I never had any interest in seeing, based the story itself. I never liked the score to Rent, so I managed avoid it for more than a decade...and etc.Bottom line: does the story sound interesting, have you liked previous works by the composer, director, et al, do you like the performers, do you want to see the work of new, unproven talents. If the answer to any of those questions is yes, go for it.
I usually try not to read the reviews as I prefer going in blind.
I think reviews are a great way to find out about shows you might otherwise miss, which is why I'm sad when coverage of smaller theater companies and productions get cut. But usually, I read reviews because I'm interested in the variety of opinions around a certain work, not as a way to determine whether or not I want to see something.
Agree.Other people's views effect our own without us even knowing it. So I like to go in fresh and then compare my thoughts with the reviewers after.
I read reviews, I like them. Will they change my mind about purchasing a tix? Occasionally. If every single review is a pan, probably. I can usually read into things when reviews are less in agreement. For example, The "why" a show is liked or not is more important than IF. I was excited about King Kong, but that quickly died upon the teports. And iIdon't regret for a second taking it off my list. I should have listened about HP.Also, if i hadn't listened to reviews about CFA, I would have missed out on seeing it as it sounded dreadful to me.
I read reviews– that's often how I find out that a show exists– but like a previous poster said, take them with a grain of salt! Same with movies. That's because the regular reviewers in the papers I read are male and significantly older than me, so their tastes often differ. For a recent example, if I'd obeyed reviews, I'd have missed out on "Head Over Heels," which I *loved*.
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