In a perfect world, everybody would experience art without first having it explained: no program notes, no wall labels, no interviews with the author, and–above all–no reviews. You’d go simply because you were interested, because you made a habit of going to see new things. Then, after the immediate experience, you’d seek out further information to help you put that experience in perspective (or, as my correspondent remarks, simply for fun). I think it’s hugely important to make a serious and sustained effort to come to new works of art this way. But in order to do so, especially when you’re talking about Broadway shows, you’ve got to have (A) a lot of spare time and (B) a lot of spare money. Otherwise, it’s essential to call your shots, if only to avoid bankruptcy, and good reviewers can help….
(If it’s new to you, read the whole thing here.)