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Theater and dance critic Clive Barnes dead at 81

From his obituary in the New York Post, where he had been an arts critic since 1977:

As powerful as his words were for making or breaking a Broadway show, Barnes had other goals: "My ideal criticism is to write a notice about a play I didn't like," he told Time, "and yet send people to the theater to see it."

And from the New York Times, where he wrote theater and dance reviews for many years before that:

Prolific and influential, he nonetheless maintained a consistently skeptical attitude toward criticism in general and his own in particular. “The job’s impossible,” he once said, “and one must pray that one will be only moderately incompetent.”

Words to live by. Rest in peace Mr. Barnes.

--Colin Dabkowski

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