Saturday, August 16, 2008

Theater Professionals Comment on Christine Howey’s Reviews

(Christine's spiritual guide, Anton Ego, Ratattouille)

Christine Howey is a theatre reviewer of remarkable acuity and knowledge of theatre. Over the years, her reviews have proven, time and again, to be exactly what we must expect of a reviewer: sensitive to the endeavor, clear, concise knowledge of the play and a true love of the art of acting and directing. I have been reviewed many times by Christine Howey, and even when she has laid me open with a knife, she has always been correct and never demeaning - showing a remarkable balance of skill and insight. Robert Frost said that doing theatre without a reviewer is like playing tennis without a net. I believe Christine knows this and always reviews with an intense love of the game, and as such, furthers the art of theater by raising all of our expectations. As a director and actor, I look forward to Christine's reviews. She brings a fresh vision, a bright and witty commentary, and a grounded understanding of what makes great theatre. Cleveland would poorer without her work as a writer/reviewer. For myself, as she begins this new web review endeavor, Rave and Pan, I will support her with the same kind of professional enthusiasm I bring to my own dreams of theatre as an art. Good Luck Christine - and thank you for your compassion and judicious eye.

Tom Fulton
Director, Actor, Acting Teacher, and
Executive Artistic Director of the
Fairmount Center for the Arts

I would be just as honored to be given a negative review by Christine Howey as to be given a glowing review by her. She is the only critic who I've agreed with on every review I've read, and enjoyed reading because of her skill. Such is my respect for her talent as a writer and for her opinion as a critic.

Alanna Romansky

Christine Howey gets theatre. She gets that it’s a unique form of arts/entertainment different from movies, documentaries, concerts, etc. She also gets that there’s no one way that theatre is “supposed to be” - that there are seemingly countless ways to do theatre. And she gets them all: from tried-and-true classics and musicals at one end of the spectrum, all the way to alternative, avant-garde experiences at the other. (I am, of course, particularly gratified about the latter.) Whatever the type of production, Ms. Howey brings a wealth of knowledge and appreciation of the particular subject at hand. She responds to shows on the merits of what they are and what they’re trying to do. And she tells it like it is when it comes to how well they did it, and gives insights into what kind of experience it was – all with a wicked sense of humor that’s a joy to read. I trust Christine Howey. She gets theatre.

Clyde Simon
Artistic Director

One of the most unique things about Christine's contributions as a NE Ohio theatre critic is what local theatre professionals (actors, directors, designers) say about her reviews. So often heard is "Well... if there's one reviewer's content and criticism I seem to agree with the most, it's Chris Howey's." I think it's a testament to her clarity and fair-mindedness that seems to set her apart from the rest. We all should be truly glad that this voice will not be lost as a tremendous advocate of live theatre in our community.

Scott Spence
Artistic Director
The Beck Center

I always enjoy reading Christine Howey's reviews. Like most really good critics, she comments on whether the production elucidated the theme and intent of the play and if the company succeeded in telling the story in compelling way. She also really enjoys theatre, which is the number one prerequisite to be a successful critic.

Fred Sternfeld,
Theatre Director
Member, SSDC

For as many years as I can remember Christine Howey has been a driving force in the Cleveland theatre scene. As a reviewer she has always been a true professional—always there for us to review on opening night. I even remember recently during one of our horrific winter storms she was able to make it to the theatre. Her reviews have always been on target. Even if they are not "glowing," she always tells it like it is. I am hoping her blog will become popular, and as important to the theater community as she has been to us. Give ‘em hell Christine and don't let anyone silence you! Let them Hear You!

Pat Mazzarino
Ensemble Theatre

Christine writes in a clear and passionate voice. You can tell that she loves theatre and she is passionate about sharing her love with others. She has a keen eye and she shares her knowledge of theatre in an active way that engages readers and gets them thinking. Her writing style is fun and engaging without talking down, and she has a good sense of humor. Though I don’t always agree with her, I find her reviews to be even-handed and, most importantly, dedicated to promoting the best of what theatre has to offer.

Raymond Bobgan
Artistic Director
Cleveland Public Theatre

Christine Howey's informed writing on contemporary theatre in reviews,
offer keen insight, humor, critical intelligence and entertainment. Ms.
Howey's understanding of the artistic process and trends both locally
and nationally bring a kind of chimera to her writing style. Between
her 'rave and pan' is witty reasoning.

Greg Cesear
Artistic Director
Cesear’s Forum

Christine Howey has been a regular theater critic of performances each summer, of Shakespeare and theater (musical and otherwise), at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, produced in partnership with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Don’t miss Ms. Howey’s well-written reviews which are insightful and clever, giving the reader a substantive and fair analysis of a production, with great information about what to expect out of a particular performance.

Donna Spiegler
Communications Manager
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

Christine Howey is a talented writer/reviewer who gives her audience an honest, and sometimes raw, dish on what’s happening in the Cleveland theatre scene. Her “slightly” cynical style of writing allows readers to enjoy her reviews for their freshness, not to mention the frequent hearty laughs that they instigate. I read her reviews for the entertainment value!

Eftihia Tsengas
Director of PR/ Marketing
Kent State University of Theatre & Dance

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