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.”


THE BETTER LEMONS "THEATRE HOUND" CRITIC AWARD FOR 2019 GOES TO...

SHARI BARRETT - Broadway World

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

Congratulations to Shari from all of us!

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. After teaching in local secondary schools, working in marketing for several studios, writing, directing, producing, and performing in productions for several non-profit theaters, Shari now dedicates her time and focuses her skills as an independent publicist to "get the word out" about smaller theaters throughout the Los Angeles area. As a founding member of the LA Stage Alliance Leadership Council Task Force, she and reps from theaters throughout the city worked together to articulate a vision for the theatre community of Greater Los Angeles. Shari has received recognition from the City of Los Angeles for her dedication of heart and hand to the needs of friends, neighbors and fellow members of society for her devotion of service to the people of Los Angeles, and is honored to serve the theatre world in her hometown.

To view all of Shari's review excerpts, visit her Better Lemons page HERE.

To view all the Registered Critics on Better Lemons who post their own review excerpts and give each show a LemonMeter rating, go to Better-Lemons.com/Registered-Critics.

All Registered Critics write theater and art reviews for their own publications and then rate registered shows on our website and add their LemonMeter rating. Please contact them through their own website to congratulate them and to get them to review your production.

Tomorrow we will announce the winner of the "I Love LA" Award - the critic who did the most to promote LA Theatre in 2019.

THE BETTER LEMONS "FOMENTER OF REVOLUTION" CRITIC AWARD for 2019 went to Ed Rampell from Hollywood Progressive.

THE BETTER LEMONS "NAME DROPPER" CRITIC AWARD for 2019 went to Jill Weinlein from Onstage Blog.

THE BETTER LEMONS "SAY WHAT" CRITIC AWARD for 2019 went to Lorenzo Marchessi from The Geek Authority.

THE BETTER LEMONS "SILVER TONGUE" CRITIC AWARD for 2019 went to Vanessa Cate from Stage Raw.

THE BETTER LEMONS "DIRECTOR" CRITIC AWARD for 2019 went to Ernest Kearney from TheTVolution.

THE BETTER LEMONS "UP LATE" CRITIC AWARD for 2019 went to Eric Gordon from People's World.


"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.