Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RIP Clive Barnes, 1927-2008

RIP Clive Barnes, 1927-2008

Sad news for the New York theatre community, which today mourns the loss of veteran theatre critic Clive Barnes.

As recently as yesterday, Barnes was listed by the New York Post as "on leave" at the end of a review from Barbara Hoffman, without any further explanation.

According to his own paper, the London-born Barnes died this morning at the age of 81 after battling cancer. Barnes' final Broadway review was posted on October 24 for the current production of Speed-The-Plow, which the London-born critic awarded four out of four stars.

Barnes had served as the arts critic for the New York Post for 31 years, and he used his mighty pen for The New York Times during the twelve years prior to that.

According to the notice of his death in the New York Post, he was clearly a theatre lover not bent on destroying a show like many of his contemporaries:
My ideal criticism is to write a notice about a play I didn't like, and yet send people to the theater to see it.

Quite frankly, if Barnes liked a show, I knew I wanted to see it. His rational voice in theatre discourse will be greatly missed. This is truly the end of an era.

Condolences to his wife Valerie Taylor and the rest of his family.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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