I thought I’d write an article on another issue that seems to be rather important within the “Wicked” community – respectful criticism vs. bashing. When critiquing a performance, one should not be expected to be all sunshine and rainbows – it actually makes a review better if it can see both good and bad in any give production. That being said, it is most certainly not a good thing when a review is filled with, “OMG that girl who played Elphaba sucked so terrible I hope she never plays it again…”
Many people need to learn to express dislike respectfully. If you truly think she sucked, say something along the lines of, “I did not care for so-and-so’s interpretation of Elphaba at all – I thought it was pretty awful BECAUSE…” The word “because” is also very important – if you’re going to say something, at LEAST back it up. I feel that that is the difference between constructive, respectful criticism and bashing. Always remember that the actor or actress who you are reviewing may read what you said – and they’re much more likely to take offense at bashing than constructive criticism.
Closely related, when somebody criticizes your favorite actor in the role, don’t jump down his or her throat. Everybody is entitled to his or her opinion; not that there’s anything wrong with saying you disagree, but getting into a “No, I think so-and-so is miles ahead of what’s her face” is just silly and proves absolutely nothing: it’s an opinion, nothing more, nothing less.
I think if we all learned how to be respectful when reviewing a show, it would make the world of “Wicked” a much better place.