My love of theatre began in 1969, when as a first-quarter freshman I attended Boys in the Band at the University of Tennessee as my first-ever, full-stage production. Needless to say, my eyes popped out of my head, and I have never been the same since. I was an English/Psychology major, and I subsequently took every ‘drama as literature’ course that was offered. I loved (and still love) reading scripts and then thinking/writing about them.
Throughout my early-to-mid adult life, I became increasingly an active theatregoer. My ex, Joyce, (as in wife) and I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 22 years straight, eventually seeing the entire canon. We started subscribing to the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco in 1981 and to Palo Alto’s TheatreWorks in the mid-80s. I became Board member and then Board Chair of TheatreWorks in the late ’90s and was the Board representative on the initial planning committee for what is now the “New Works Festival” of TheatreWorks.
After coming out in 2002 and immediately partnering with my now-deceased husband Ed (who worked in South Bay theaters for 17 years in box office and administration management), I increased with him my theatre attendance to the point we consistently saw 90-120 (or more) productions each year for our first ten-plus years together. Our record was to see 41 shows in 8 days at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival — a theatre fest I have now returned three more times, the last two times as a reviewer of some seventy shows in total.
My reviewing began while doing mini-reviews for friends after my and Ed’s annual New York trip, where in 2014 we saw 14 shows in 8 days. At the end of each year, we began picking “The Eddys,” our Top 10 Plays and Top 10 Musicals for the Bay Area (and our top non-Bay Area shows); and I sent our write-up to a list of about 150 friends as well as posted on FaceBook. This led to my being asked again and again throughout the year “What should I see?” by scores of friends, friends of friends, etc.
In January 2014, Ed handed me a gift that is now his legacy, a website he designed and entitled Theatre Eddys — misspelled on purpose, he said at the time, in order “to grab others’ attention.” Knowing that his multi-year battle with cancer was coming to an end, he urged me to begin writing reviews of the plays/musicals we saw so that “when I am gone, you will have something to occupy your time that is your passion”.
Within six months of beginning to write reviews – several a week most weeks – I became a full member of the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and the American Theatre Critics Association. I also was asked to initiate a new region in San Jose/Silicon Valley, CA for the oldest, online, national, theatre site – Talkin’ Broadway. I now write upwards of 175+ reviews a year, all posting on Theatre Eddys and many also on Talkin’ Broadway.
Additionally, I am currently a singing member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, where I was the two-year Project Chair for the world premiere of Andrew Lippa’s I Am Harvey Milk and was Community Outreach Chair for our recent production of Jake Heggie’s For a Look or a Touch. I have also commissioned in my dear Ed’s memory SFGMC’s 40th Anniversary Concert entitled Unbreakable, once again composed and starring my dear friend, Andrew Lippa.
Professionally, I am now a retired independent, organization development consultant, having working with a hundred-plus executive teams in both the for- and not-for-profit sectors from 1989-2014. I retired in order to devote myself full-time to my reviewing.
Personally, I have
six grown children (three, my natural kids; three, my step-kids through
Ed). And although I lost the first man
of my life who was and always will be my biggest HERO (deserving to be so in
all-caps), I am now blessed to be the husband of an equally wonderful man, Hernan
And yes, Hernan is now as big a Theatre Queen as I am!
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Contact Eddie Reynolds
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