First off, the matter of distributing comps has always been at the discretion of the producer. The house, not the press, gets to decide who is "key media" and who is not….
There is, of course, a simple reply: buy a ticket at the box office. Even a "black-listed" critic will not be denied a cash purchase. And there's much to be said for this approach. After all, Consumer Reports insists on buying every product it evaluates on the open market.
A critic unwilling to put his money where his text is betrays the trust of readers who must reach for their wallets to enjoy the performance the writer had enjoyed for free.
Yo Michael, is it the work or is it the perk?
Thanks for the above Morris. It clears up all of my questions. Unfortunately for me, I review for FREE! So, just work, no PERK! If companies expect good reviews all because they perk free tickets, well they are living on a different planet than the rest of us. Any publication that needs free passes obviously does not have a readership large enough to publish the review. In that case, the publication should not bother to review the performance if they are not willing to give an honest review.
I am fascinated by the sensitivity by dance companies over reviews. I don’t see what the big deal is over a poor review when in most instances, ticket sales are mostly done before the premiere. Even if a review is rushed out for the next day’s publication, in many cases it will only effect tickets purchased for 2 to maybe 7 performances. As Bogie said: “Take it and like it!” I was very surprised about the comments I received from my review of ‘the contract.’ Not everybody is going to like everything you do.