I defend the art of criticism in the TCG Circle blog. Choice snippet:
Based on what I was taught and what I noticed in practice (reviewing for student dailies, websites, print publications and my personal blog), the respect of the theatre artist is a sometimes-handy byproduct of a review. It is not why critics write.
In the words of Chris Jenson, a stage columnist for the SF Weekly, “My primary role is not to be a cheerleader for local theatre, but to be of service to readers.”
Read the rest at the circle (and see if you can get the play reference in the title).