by Darwyn Carson  —  With an eye and a heart dedicated to cohesive connection and support of local theatre, Better Lemons has become a premiere go-to review aggregate hub on the web.

To that end, a Theatre Critic’s Panel was convened on Saturday, June 2, hosted by Better Lemon’s co-founders Enci and Steve Box.

Gracing the stage of Theatre West — “the oldest continually-operating theatre company in Los Angeles” — were 11 critics and reviewers who took all questions from and offered their opinions to the lively theatre community.

The full house was replete with Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018 participants; equally represented by the production teams and cast members from many of the 380-plus registered Fringe shows.

The panel consisted of, mostly, online arts and entertainment websites; although one or two panelists also cover shows for print media. Below, in alphabetical order, are the critic’s who participated:

  1. Broadway World – Shari Barrett
  2. Stage Raw – Katie Buenneke
  3. LA Theatre Bites – Patrick Chavis
  4. The TVolution – Ernest Kearney
  5. ShowMag – Leigh Kennicott
  6. Los Angeles Beat – Monique LeBleu
  7. Tin Pan LA – Ryan M Luevano
  8. LA Weekly – Bill Raden
  9. Edge Media Network – Dale Reynolds
  10. The Hollywood Reporter – Jordan Riefe
  11. This Stage LA – Michael Van Duzer

Here are just a few of the questions presented during the, two-and-a-half-hour plus, Q &A session:

  1. Is there a specific genre you focus on when looking for a show to review?
  2. How should folks contact you and what do you look for in that initial contact?
  3. Should they contact the reviewer directly or through their imprint?
  4. In what way can they better attract the attention of the critic to get them to see their shows?
  5. What are the no-no’s when reaching out to a critic?
  6. What’s the difference between a reviewer and a critic?
  7. What excites the critic about storytelling shows?

There was a sense of the panel coming to an end, only because the dance cards of those in attendance were previously filled-in with obligations to Fringe plays for the day: either to see or be seen in. However, the air virtually vibrated as inspiration cups were refilled and forward-march energy tanks topped off.

There’s a lot to celebrate artistically in Los Angeles. After all, it’s Fringe Month in Hollywood.

Below is a Soundcloud Audio Podcast of the Critic’s Panel, courtesy of Better



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Written by

TVolution Founder and Managing Editor DARWYN CARSON completed a six-year stint as Managing Editor of Leonard Maltin’s Annual Movie Guide in 2015. She has been covering film since her early association with entertainment journalist Michael Symanski at She also covered film and restaurant news in her column Carson’s Corner for a variety of social publications. Her articles have appeared on Zap2It, Indiewire, and, of course, The TVolution. Follow Darwyn @bnoirlikeme. Follow The TVolution @thetvolution. Please Like The TVolution on Facebook.

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