Wikipedia offers this definition of a critic:
"a person who offers reasoned judgment or analysis, value judgment, interpretation, or observation".
I have worked in theatre for many years, the last 16 here in Lansing, and have read many reviews, both good and bad. And each time a bad review is written by a critic there seems to be a public outcry; 'it was too harsh', 'it was great ignore him/her', 'they can't write', and, to me, the most blasphemous 'it's only community theatre'.
Community Theatre should not be judged less harshly just because the actors do not get paid. Audiences still pay to see the performance, albeit less, and deserve to be entertained by the best production possible. Yes, perhaps, it should be taken into account that there is less of a budget for costumes, sceneography and props, but for acting? No. No way. A community theatre actor works just as hard (or should) as a professional. As a matter of fact, we have to work much harder (or should) because most of us have day jobs. And the audience deserves all of our hard work, and attention to detail and characterization.
Tom Helma has been a critic for most of the years I have been acting in Lansing, and while I have not always agreed with him, and his writing lacked a bit of finesse in the beginning years, he has grown into a fine critic. One whom I consider to be honest in his criticisms — his 'interpretation or observation."
Joe Ritz, in his response to the criticism of LCP's "Skungpoomery" ("A new synonym for 'stinkeroo,'" 07/14/10), states that Mr. Helma "omits detail", but in reading Mr. Helma's review he clearly details events in Act One and Scene Two. And as for Mr. Helma being "mean spirited" (definition: base, petty, malevolent, nasty) in his review, I saw exactly the opposite. He did not mention actors by name or defile them. He simply said — this show stinks and this is why I think so.
Lastly, to attack Mr. Helma and the City Pulse for printing the review is heinous. Mr. Ritz's critique lacks "reasoned judgment". The City Pulse gives all the local theatres the best coverage of any newspaper in the area, more than we ever had before its inception. I think everyone should stop caterwauling (To make a shrill, discordant sound; To have a noisy argument) and be grateful for the coverage we receive from the Pulse.
— Kerry Waters Lansing