Reviews came out today. We don’t pay a whole lot of attention to them. And for sure, we try to counsel our young artists not to read them during the run of the production. Good or bad, they rarely have a beneficial effect on a young singer’s current performance or general development. The Post sent their theatre critic (rather than a music critic) to cover us, and I wasn’t sure we’d escape a bloodletting… But a general skimming of all of the press shows that we did OK. Now to keep copies of the reviews out of the dressing room corridor all week. Well-meaning staff, cast, and crew often post them, especially when they’re positive.

Also interesting to gauge how colleagues react to press. Good notices are usually cause for far too much rejoicing. (From a marketing standpoint, that’s probably not true, for good reviews sell tickets. But from an artistic viewpoint, we can’t get too invested in what the press thinks.) Response to bad reviews is even more entertaining, for folks start whispering and tiptoeing around like someone died…

Of course, we wouldn’t stay in business long if every review declared us worthless. It’s important to have public validation that can be used to generate interest and support for the company. But it’s hard to explain that getting good press doesn’t make us proud; our pride comes from our own assessment of the our work and its value. And we’re always our own worst critics.

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