About the Reviewer

Robert Montgomery has a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of New Orleans, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy.  He is a veteran of the stage, having worked on everything from amateur community theatre up through Equity productions.  He is at home on either side of the curtain, having worked as an actor, director, fight choreographer, scene designer, lighting designer, and many times as stage manager and stage crew.

Robert finds himself at a time in his life where he cannot be as actively involved as he would like, but feels he can still contribute to the vibrant theatre community in Huntsville, Alabama, and has decided to try his hand at providing critiques of as many shows as he can afford to attend.  Robert hopes that these reviews will provide food for thought for both the theatre community, and the wide pool of audience members.

Robert wishes to remind readers that the contents of this theatre review blog are one person’s opinion–a fairly educated and experienced opinion, but an opinion nonetheless.

Comments or feedback can be left below, or emailed to Robert at HuntsvilleTheatreReviews@gmail.com.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. fredtd says:

    Robert,
    While your reviews have been most interesting, I am curious as to why you attend/review the opening night of every show. When I attend, I always figure that the small bugs and glitches are still going to be worked out the first night with a real audience. When I lived in Chattanooga, the newspaper reviewer always attended the second night, and I remember that after having gotten through opening night, our (the cast’s) energy really ramped up. Maybe you wouild consider reviewing the second night of shows? (Just a suggestion.)

    Thanks for all your work!

    Fred Tamm-Daniels

    Like

  2. Fred,
    Good question. I never considered coming on anything other than opening, because that is what _I_ am used to. In other places I’ve lived, where there were reviewers, they always came on opening night, so that’s what I’ve been doing. It just never occurred to me to do it otherwise. But since you brought it up, I have been thinking about it. I can see what you are saying about opening night jitters, and that is certainly true. However, I think I will continue to attend opening nights, for a few reasons. Firstly, the earlier I can see a show, the earlier I can get the review published, which allows more time for the review to spur audience attendance. Secondly, given that this is all a “free time” activity for me, working on a review Friday night/Saturday morning works better for me than Saturday night/Sunday morning.

    That said, I DO understand your concerns about wishing the review would be of a more “settled” show. In response, I’ll say that opening night jitters don’t affect the technical designs and the directing, so I can’t see how attending on any other night would change my comments about those aspects. Yes, jitters would affect the acting, and sometimes the technical execution. For tech execution issues, I generally write that things were rough (assuming they were), but will likely improve during the run.

    That just leaves the acting. I think THIS is really what has you concerned–that I am not always seeing the actors at their best–and it’s a valid point. Since I consider myself an actor, first and foremost, I can certainly sympathize with this line of thought, but I can’t justify moving the reviews to a later night, just for one aspect of a show. And as I think about what tends to happen on opening night, versus later nights, it’s things like forgetting lines or blocking. That kind of stuff doesn’t bother me, even if I can tell that it’s happening. That’s part of the ephemeral magic of live theatre. As long as the person stays in character, I’m not going to ding them for that. Generally, the things that I am personally dissatisfied with about an acting performance, are not the kinds of things that are going to change from one night to the next. If someone is inaudible, or their singing voice is cracking, or their character is unconvincing, that’s probably going to be true on more than opening night. Likewise, if someone is blowing me away on opening night, they’ll be even better as the run progresses.

    So, I hear you, and I appreciate your point, but I think I’ll stick with opening nights. If nothing else, it’s what works best for my personal schedule. Thank you for your interest, and I hope I can keep providing you interesting reviews.

    Sincerely,

    Robert M.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hughmorg says:

    Echo your reply on reviewing opening night performances. My experience is that technical glitches and performer nerves may be there and affect slightly the total experience that night, but hey do not detract from the bones of the production. The bones–script, plot, acting, timing, set, costumes, lighting design, sound design, and the director’s concept–are there from opening to closing. And if the production is available for only one weekend, a review of the opening night is the best use of the reviewing process. I’m thankful for Huntsville Theatre Reviews. It fills a genuine need. I appreciate its thoughtful and comprehensive reviews.

    Like

  4. hughmorg says:

    I also appreciate the Huntsville Theatre Reviews website design. Pleasant to see, easy to use.

    Like

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