By aesthetic absolutism what I guess I mean is the belief in an objective gauge of excellence in aesthetic matters. I do truly believe that this exists. I believe a person can say, unapologetically, that Life as a House is a bad movie. Or that King Lear is a great play. This matters.
Often people ask in dressing rooms or on barstools what gives a critic the right to judge art. The answer is simple, the critic has seen the show. Everyone who sees the show is the critic and everyone has a right to an opinion. But in the same way that a person's opinion on cats doesn't change whether or not cats exist, or one's opinion of a single cat doesn't change whether it is male or female, calico or black, one's opinion of a production will be influenced but not necessarily defined by the production's excellence. Down Periscope is a film I enjoy, but it is not a great film. The Homecoming is a good play, but I don't really care for it. The ability to distinguish these makes a good critic, the harmony of them, perhaps, makes an excellent one.
At any rate, enjoy these reviews if you can. I'll post more as they crop up. Also here's a link to buy tickets to the show to see if these clowns are right.