For a theater and Broadway fan, such as myself, there are a few relevant web sites that I turn to on a regular basis:
Internet Broadway Database (IMDB) – to fact check and learn about the professional history of actors, directors, producers, etc, on the Broadway stage.
Broadway World – for the more underground and community-based news. (Yes, for the forum, too. While it has its share of tweens and fangirls, I get some of my best news and gossip here. My ability to scan the forum for the most relevant items is a bit of an art).
Broadway Stars – a theatre news aggregator, rolling up all major news stories on a daily basis.
And finally, Broadway.com.
Broadway.com used to be more like Broadway World a handful of years ago. It was more gossip and chatty, with interesting articles and edgy reviews. Now the site has gone mainstream, with the primary goal of selling tickets. Which is fine. I get it.
What I like about the site are the very well produced and frequently posted videos, which give Broadway personalities their moment to shine. I also enjoy their Word of Mouth reviews.
Word of Mouth is the everyman review. Each theatre season, Broadway.com chooses a group of a dozen or so ordinary people to go out and see a recently opened show, and report back on it. When they introduced this feature a few years ago, I was annoyed. What about the art of theatrical criticism? What do these ordinary schmucks know about theatre? And how honest will their reactions really be, what with the site’s objective to sell tickets?
Well, I’ve come around, and actually look forward to seeing these Word of Mouth reviews following a show opening. Broadway.com has done a great job selecting people with different backgrounds and interests and letting them speak their mind, which allows for the average theatregoer to make an informed decision about spending $100 on a show.
But the whole reason behind this post is to announce that I’ve become a fan of one particular Word of Mouth reviewer: Maggie.
She’s the kind of woman you want to go see a show with. Open to anything, honest and candid in her opinion, and very well spoken, Maggie is a treasure. Just watch her review of Desire Under the Elms. Broadway.com seems to love her, too, as she’s featured in several Word of Mouth clips.
Keep up the good work, Broadway.com (and Maggie!)