Better Lemons Announces 2019 ‘Critics of the Year’ Awards

Southern California - Better Lemons has announced the 2019 “Better Lemons Critics of the Year” Awards featuring 10 categories, with the winners selected by audience vote.

Ed Rampell from Hollywood Progressive received the Fomenter of Revolution Critic of the Year Award, Jill Weinlein from Onstage Blog was given the Name Dropper Critic of the Year title, and Lorenzo Marchessi from The Geek Authority was recognized as the Say What? Critic of the Year 2019.

The Silver Tongue Critic of the Year Award went to Vanessa Cate from Stage Raw, Ernest Kearney from The TVolution was honored with the Director Critic of the Year Award, and the Up Late Critic of the Year Award went to Eric Gordon from People’s World.

Shari Barrett from Broadway World earned the Theatre Hound Critic of the Year Award, while the I Love LA Critic of the Year Award was given to Paul Myrvold from Paul Myrvold’s Theatre Notes, and the Enlightenment Critic of the Year Award was accepted by Deborah Klugman from Stage Raw.

When the voting dust had settled, Steven Stanley from Stage Scene LA was honored as the overall Southern California’s 2019 CRITIC OF THE YEAR.

According to Better Lemons publisher Enci Box, “So much energy is put on attracting theater critics, reviewers and writers; we decided it was time to put the spotlight on them and to thank them for the work they do in celebrating Southern California’s creative community. This is the first time we have conducted a poll to select the best of the best, and we were overwhelmed by the response.”

Critics who register with Better Lemons, called “Registered Critics," post their own review excerpts to the site's production pages for shows running throughout Southern California. They also give each production a “Sweet,” “Sweet and Sour” or “Sour” LemonMeter rating.

In 2019, Better Lemons had 46 registered critics and 1200 registered productions. Out of these productions, 336 were recognized as “Sweet” by Southern California’s theater critics.

Better Lemons is Southern California’s only theater review site with a LemonMeter rating, and it is also Southern California’s #1 event calendar. Producers and publicists can register their productions for free on the site. Once a production has received a minimum of three reviews from audience members or critics, the listing will receive a LemonMeter rating and become eligible for the year-end “Best of Show Awards.”


Vote for your Favorite Critic of 2019

LA's Theatre Critics are an integral part of LA Theatre and now it's our turn to recognize them with the Better Lemons Critic Awards.

There are nine categories for the Better Lemons Critic Awards that you can vote for:

"I LOVE LA" Award - the critic who did the most to promote LA Theatre in 2019

"Up Late" Award - the most prolific critic in 2019

"Say What?" Award - the most provocative critic

"Enlightenment" Award - the critic who does the most to inform and educate

"Name Dropper" Award - the critic most likely to review the big shows in the big theatres with the big names and the big budgets

"Theatre Hound" Award - the critic most likely to review the hidden gems, off the beaten path, those with short runs and small budgets

"Silver Tongue" Award - the most persuasive critic, capable of enticing anyone into a theatre seat

"Director" Award - the critic who is most likely to write reviews that inform the artists

and the

"Fomenter of Revolution" Award - the critic most likely to stir a conversation about theater, politics, and social justice

Click here to vote!

If you'd like to know more about the critics, go to Better-Lemons.com/registered-critics.

Better Lemons has two groups of Critics: those who have registered with us and those who have not.

Those who are registered with us, we call Registered Critics. These Registered Critics post their own review excerpt to production pages that are registered on Better Lemons. They also give each production a Sweet, Sweet and Sour, or Sour LemonMeter rating. (We don't send out critics to review shows, so please contact the critics directly via their publication if you need a reviewer!)

Critics who have not registered with us, post their reviews online and those reviews get submitted to us by the publicists, directors, or producers of shows that are registered on our site.  The Better Lemons team also finds reviews, and then selects the pull-quote, determines the Sweet, Sweet and Sour, or Sour LemonMeter rating, and links to the original source of the review.

We appreciate and celebrate the work of all Critics, but are especially grateful for the Critics that have registered with us! Their review excerpts and LemonMeter ratings are published as soon as they submit it (their submission doesn't need to wait to be approved).

These Registered Critics ensure that the productions are getting a LemonMeter rating quickly and that their submission reflects their own opinion, not that of a publicist, producer, or a Better Lemons team member.

We appreciate these Registered Critics and we’d like to thank them, each and every one of them.

To celebrate these Critics, we are having our first Annual Top Critics Award, where our readers will be able to vote for their favorite Critic from our list of Registered Critics.

Please look at the profile pages of each Registered Critic, read their reviews if you are not familiar with them, and place your votes on the form below by 10pm on Wednesday, January 22nd.


PODCAST: An Interview with Playwright Steven Vlasak of 'Nights at the Algonquin Round Table'

Local screenwriter and playwright, Steven Vlasak, premiered his Encore Award-winning play "Nights at the Algonquin Round Table" at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2017.
The play opened at the Three Clubs bar and cabaret in Hollywood, a theatre perfect and appropriate in its speakeasy-themed cabaret and bar space, which earned it a "Double Sweet" LemonMeter rating on Better Lemons.
Since then, the show has been picked up by the Studio Player's producers in Lexington, Kentucky, where the show is due to open soon in January next year.
In this interview, at Oeno Vino Wines, Vlasak talks on writing, prohibition, the Roaring Twenties, women's liberation and early sexual revolution, as well as on his very favorite subject–Dorothy Parker and the famous journalists and notorious "wise-cracking" writers of her "vicious circle," Robert Benchley, Franklin Pierce Adams, Alexander Woollcott, and George S. Kaufman, and their luncheons at New York's legendary Algonquin Hotel.
For more information on Steven Vlasak and "Nights at the Algonquin Round Table", its history and its future, visit Algonquinwits on Facebook.
"Nights at the Algonquin Round Table" by Steven Vlasak opens in Lexington, Kentucky, at The Carriage House, January 10, 2019, and plays January 13-27, 2019.  The Carriage House Theatre is located at 154 W. Bell Ct. and tickets for these shows are available through their ticketing agency.

For more podcasts like these visit Better Lemons on Soundcloud.


"Meet the Critics" Panel Podcast

On Saturday, June 2, Better Lemons and Theatre West hosted “Meet the Critics!” featuring several of LA's premier critics for a panel discussion of theatre criticism.

The following critics attended:

Shari Barrett from Broadway World
Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six - acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. Shari now dedicates her time and focuses her skills as a theater reviewer, entertainment columnist, and publicist to ""get the word out"" about theaters of all sizes throughout the Los Angeles area.
Dale Reynolds from Edge Media Network
Dale Reynolds, a SoCal native, has been a critic for theatre, film and DVD since 1970, for a wide variety of outlets in NYC and L.A., including StageAndCinema.com, StageHappenings.com, EDGELosAngeles.com, and for Frontiers Magazine for many years, in addition to being West Coast Editor of A&U Magazine for four years.
Monique LeBleu from Los Angeles Beat
Monique A. LeBleu is a reviewer, writer, photographer, videographer, shameless foodie and wineaux. She has won multi JACC Journalism awards for her feature writing, critical journalism, and social media statewide competitions.
Patrick Chavis from LA Theatre Bites
Patrick Chavis is the creator, designer, podcast writer, and head editor of LA Theatre Bites. Because of the massive size of the Los Angeles area and its theatre presence, Patrick decided his reviews should take the form of podcasts en lieu of more traditionally written articles. He is also one of the creators of the Orange County based theatre review site, the Orange Curtain Review.
Bill Raden from LA Weekly
Since Bill wrote his first review for LA Weekly over 30 years ago, he has covered theater on both coasts, won multiple awards for his political journalism, and today continues to focus on Los Angeles' experimental and intimate stage scenes for LA Weekly as well as for the online stage journal, Stage Raw.
Leigh Kennicott from ShowMag
Leigh Kennicott has an extensive background in theatre, film and television and a Ph.D. degree in Theatre, awarded in 2002. A writer, director and actor, Leigh Kennicott began theatrical reviewing at Backstage, followed by Pasadena Weekly and Stage Happenings blog before joining showmag.com in 2018.
Katie Buenneke from Stage Raw
Katie has been a theater critic for over a decade, and has been reviewing Los Angeles theater for 7 years. She ran Neon Tommy's theater section for three years before freelancing for LA Weekly for another three years. She joined the LA Drama Critics Circle in 2015, and she's currently a regular contributor to Stage Raw. She earned her BA in theater and MFA in film producing from USC.
Jordan Riefe from The Hollywood Reporter
Currently serves as West Coast theatre critic for The Hollywood Reporter, while also covering art and culture for The Guardian, Cultured Magazine, and KCET Artbound. Cover theater for OC Register/Coast Magazine in Orange County and theatre and film for LA Weekly. Assigned beat for THR focuses on touring productions of Broadway shows.
Ernest Kearney from The TVolution
He is presently the cultural critic for The TVolution.com.
Michael Van Duzer from This Stage LA
Michael Van Duzer has reviewed opera performances, both locally and nationally, for over 30 years in a variety of print and online media outlets. After leaving his job in 2014, he was finally able to add theatre to his reviewing schedule.
Ryan M Luevano from Tin Pan LA
Ryan Luévano is a professor of music at Woodbury University and Santa Ana College. During the summers he is a regular teaching artist at A Noise Within Theatre Company in Pasadena. When he's not making music he pens as a theater critic for his blog Tin Pan L.A. where you can read all about the L.A. theater scene.
 


FREE WORKSHOP - FILL THE HOUSE - BETTER LEMONS POWER TOOLS

Have you ever wished you could squeeze our brains so you could ask questions about how to make the most out of our website?
Here is a FREE workshop where you will be able to do just that!
DATE AND TIME
Sat, May 19, 2018
10am - 12 noon
LOCATION
Theatre West
3333 Cahuenga Boulevard West
Los Angeles, CA 90068
DESCRIPTION

  • Do you register your shows on Better Lemons?
  • Do you use the playbill insert to encourage audience reviews?
  • Do you use your sweet ratings to further promote your shows?
  • Do you review shows that you've seen on Better Lemons?
  • Do you use the resources page of the Better Lemons website?
  • Introduction to new website features
  • and more

Come to this free workshop to learn all there is to know about Better Lemons and bring your friends and family! Film, Theatre, and Event Producers, Publicists, Reviewers, Performers, and everyone else who goes to live theater, film festivals, art events, etc. will benefit from this workshop!
Join us! It's FREE!