Theater in WNY / Where to find coverage of Buffalo theater
In choosing what coverage to trust, it’s advisable to see where your tastes and opinions align with the reviewers’. So often, we hear people say, “They gave it two stars,” without acknowledgment that “they” is one person with whom you might not agree. It’s best to read the words, which often belie the stars.
Once upon a time, the Buffalo News and the Courier Express both ran reviews, which sometimes contradicted each other. Online theater criticism outlets offer a similar choice: you once again have access to more than one opinion, so if you’re interested in a show, don’t read one and be done! After checking in with Buffalo Spree's theater coverage, check out these resources:
Theater Talk: Airing in WBFO (wbfo.org) Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45, Theater Talk co-hosts Anthony Chase and Peter Hall give you five minutes of theater news, critique, insight, and history.
Buffalo News (buffalonews.com): With the elimination of a staff critic, a team of stringers review here, so get to know each voice as they are vastly different in taste and depth of criticism. One’s two-star review is another’s three-point-five, which means looking at stars alone provides no sense of consistency or reasoning for deduction (e.g., an actor not having lines down cold on opening night could result in a half-star loss that has nothing to do with overall quality).
Buffalo Vibe (buffalovibe.com): Reviews by self-described “theater lover” Ann Marie Cusella cover all aspects of production and include strong opinions.
Buffalo Rising (buffalorising.com): With reviews most often by Theater Talk’s Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising reviews are the no-holds barred “everyman’s” take. A plus is the five-buffalo system, which is clearly defined, and consideration of who might enjoy a show—even if the reviewer didn’t.
Buffalo Theatre Guide (newyorktheatreguide.com): Generally positive, mostly synopsis-style reviews by a team of reviewers. You’ll get more story here than in other coverage.