Today, on the first wintry-feeling day of Philly’s advancing autumn, I’ll post a picture of some hot coffee.

Well, does it make you feel warmer anyway?
“[. . .] a solfatarra of deeply felt verbal solfeggio.”
Oops, that’s not what that is. Well, do you feel warmer anyway?

More articles coming up, marking my adventures through Fringe-land.

Must-see: Ant Hampton and Tim Etchell’s The Quiet Volume. I would say that this is a must-see show.

Worth seeing: EgoPo’s A Doll’s House, directed by Brenna Geffers and performed by 14-year-old Maula Mackenzie.

I didn’t quite like This Is Not a Theater, at historic Plays and Players; though the art was nice.

Also worth commenting on is this review of A Doll’s House by Victor Fiorillo.

From my experience so far, Fiorillo is not anti-small theater nor is he the kind of reviewer who patently enjoys destroying companies and shows, so it is a bit puzzling to me how he could write some of the stuff in here. Lines like “[the audience’s] lukewarm (that’s generous) response at the end of the performance” seem to be completely fabricated; the audience around me seemed to enjoy the show even more than I did.

But “this show is not fit for public consumption”; I wonder if a reviewer should ever pen this. Does anyone reading this paragraph think that it’s an okay thing to say? Particularly for a show that has a lot of value in it. I wouldn’t say that this is the best show in the festival, nor near EgoPo’s or Brenna Geffers’ potential. However, it’s still great in a lot of ways and I think that any general audience (not one with Fiorillo’s or my high expectations) will enjoy the shit out of it.

“. . . not fit for public consumption.”

Not to be snitty, but maybe “consumption” is too much on Fiorillo’s mind. His article starts with two paragraphs of lamenting an empty belly and the anxiety of getting to his next show on time. That can make me like a show less than I should. I’d rather not chalk it up to lack of professionalism. But I wonder if anyone reading this can tell me: is it the reviewer’s role to say that a show is absolute shit?

Particularly when it’s actually pretty good?

It exists in the between-area; it’s not fully realized dramatic orgasm, like Ajax: the Madness; but it is surely not worth the panning Fiorillo gave it. Yet that review, which is the first that comes up on Google when you search for EgoPo and A Doll’s House, is surely going to cut down on audiences until the end of the run. Cheers to those audience members who, in the comments below, give their own opinion. Notice that no one in the comments agrees with Fiorillo’s opinion.

This is part of a larger discussion on the role of the reviewer, which I am slowly learning about. Here are two much more well-thought-out discussions about it.

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