|Can you guess who the gentleman with his back to us is?|
If memory serves me correct, it was my first introduction to the
great Joe Bailey way back in May 2002!
Every year around Wilde Awards time I'm asked the following questions: How many reviews have we done over the years? And how many shows have I personally reviewed?
Although I've kept track of every review published by Between The Lines and/or EncoreMichigan.com from the start of my editorial career in the fall of 2001 through its end in August 2016, much of it has been in different types of documents (Word vs. Excel, for example) and in formats that varied considerably from document to document. And so because of the sheer volume of information and the differences in which it was recorded, I'd never taken the time to sort through it all and assemble the material into a single, coherent, easy-to-follow document.
Until now, that is.
And once I'd collected the information into a database that allowed me to analyze it in great detail, I decided it would be interesting to view it a number of different ways. The results, I discovered, were quite intriguing. I think you will, too - which I'll separate into two separate posts. Today's analysis will cover the years in which I first joined Between The Lines as a critic and ends with my simultaneous retirements as theater and arts editor of BTL and editorial director of EncoreMichigan.com, both of which occurred with the last review of 2014.
But first the usual caveats: Every attempt was made to be as accurate as possible while assembling this data. However, it's possible that a show or two may have been missed, or that last minute changes to our review schedule may not have been documented in the original records. As such, we apologize for any errors that may appear in this data.
The Calamia Years:
I call these "The Calamia Years" because except for my first few months at BTL during which I reported to an editor, the vast majority of my 14 years there was as an editor. As such, the decisions regarding which shows to review, preview or otherwise write about were mine. And all copy was edited by me. In other words, other than the rates paid to our freelancers, I was in control of our theater coverage - and that continued until my retirement on Dec. 20, 2014.
So how did I do?
In total, 1700 shows produced or presented by 125 companies were reviewed by 22 critics in 14 years. That averages out to approximately 121 productions per calendar year. That's pretty damn good, don't you think?
Here's the number of years for each of the 14 calendar years:
This next chart breaks down the number of reviews by critic. My first review for BTL was "Guys & Dolls" at Detroit's Fisher Theatre on Oct. 9, 2001 (or possibly the 10th, I'm not sure), and I was the sole critic for the first 102 reviews. John Quinn joined me almost two years later (in September 2003), and the rest - as they say - is history!
One thing you'll notice as you match this chart to the one above is that the total number of reviews don't match. That's OK; they're not supposed to, because multiple critics were used to review two years of the BoxFest Detroit Festival. As such, each critic is credited separately in the chart below.
This next chart documents which theaters were reviewed and how many times we visited each. To make it easy for my readers who want to easily find their favorite theater, this chart is listed alphabetically.
Today's final chart presents the same data as the chart above, but sorted by the number of times we reviewed at each theater, from the most visits to the least. Would you have guessed the Top 5 theaters in the following sequence?