I started Cherry and Spoon in 2010 with a two-fold purpose. The first purpose is purely selfish - this blog functions as a personal journal through which I can express my thoughts about and process my experiences with theater, and it also helps me to remember shows I've seen in the past. The second purpose is to be a voice in the larger community of Minneapolis/St. Paul theater, to promote and support local theater companies, and to inform the local theater audience about what's available to them so that they can make choices about what to see. I have no training or background in theater, except as an audience member. I do not consider myself a "theater critic," because who am I to criticize? Theater, like all art, is subjective. I represent and write for the audience, not critics or theater artists. I don't write reviews, grading productions as to their quality. What I write are reflections on my experiences in theater. My greatest hope is that my reflections inspire people to go see some local theater.
People often ask me how I got started doing this. Unfortunately I don't have a great answer for that. I went to some live theater as a kid, but not a lot, and I don't have any clear memories about those experiences. The seed was probably my love of movie musicals like The Sound of Music and West Side Story. The closest I ever got to the stage was playing clarinet in the pit orchestra for a couple of shows in high school (The Sound of Music again, and Anything Goes). It was the most fun I had in high school, and it was a thrill for me to be at every dress rehearsal and performance. Another pivotal experience for me was seeing RENT on tour in 1997, which remains to this day my favorite musical. I can't explain why, except that it hit me at the perfect time and I really connected to it. Like the characters in the play, I was in my early 20s, trying to figure out this thing called life. In 2001 I traveled to NYC for the first time, which started my obsession with Broadway musicals. For a while I mostly attended the big touring musicals that came to town. After attending Six Degrees of Separation at the Guthrie in 2003, I got a phone call asking if I wanted to subscribe to the Guthrie season - just $100 for five shows. I thought, sure, why not? I'm now in my eleventh season as a subscriber, and I credit the Guthrie for leading me deeper into the local theater scene. I followed actors I liked to other theaters, and saw some theater companies for the first time at the Guthrie (Penumbra, Walking Shadow, Pillsbury House). It created a snowball effect - the more theater I saw, the more I heard about, the more I saw... Fast-forward to 2010, and I found myself attending an unusual amount of theater, and decided to start a blog for the above reasons. Since then it's been a crazy whirlwind of more and more theater, getting quoted by theaters, and getting offered free tickets. I've had the great pleasure of meeting many of my favorite theater artists, accompanied by the thrill that sometimes they actually know who I am! I'm not sure where this train will lead, but I intend to ride it as long as I can!
P.S. Read my original thoughts on this subject in my very first post, entitled "Origins," in August of 2010 - I was such a baby! ;)
P.P.S. Click here to read what MN Playlist columnist Ira Brooker has to say about Cherry and Spoon in his "Review of Reviews," including "whose engaging, first-person approach is a big part of what's gained her a following and made her stand out amongst dozens of come-and-gone Twin Cities theater blogs" and "She never implies that she's speaking to anything but her own experience, but she also makes it clear that she knows what she's talking about" and "This is the work of a theater-lover who knows the mechanics of a no-nonsense review."