New York City is one of the best cities in America for theater. From the flashy spectacle of Broadway to the experimental downtown shows, there’s always something to see. With so many options, though, it can be hard to pick what to go to. What makes a choice even harder is that anyone can write a review and post it online – how do you know what you can trust? Here are some tips to understand what makes some NYC theater reviews trustworthy, interesting and just plain good.

Pictures

One of the simplest bits of due diligence a theater reviewer can do is reaching out to the publicity team behind a stage show to get a picture or two from the production. Photos will give you information about the show: Is it high quality or not? Is it flashy or minimal? You want to see a show that fits your mood, and nothing can make this more challenging than a website that doesn’t run pictures with its reviews.

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Critical Thought

You might think this goes without saying, but if you’re reviewing a show, you should provide an opinion on it. Some reviewers summarize the show they saw without commenting on it. Look for NYC play reviews that take some sort of stance on the quality of the production. If a review just gives you a rundown of the plot, skip it.

Production Information

Where is the play? Who’s putting it on? When does it run and how much are tickets? You want to find a theater review that’s a one-stop shop: It should tell you how good the show is or isn’t and then give you everything you need to buy your tickets and mark your calendar.

New York City theater is unlike any other theater in the world. With so many choices, it’s important to keep your eye out for trustworthy sources to tell you what’s worth your time. Watching for well-written reviews will help you figure out what to see and what to skip.