My first musical was “Evita,” at the Music Center in downtown L.A. Other than the movies, I’d never been to a theatrical performance, and it blew my mind. I knew I wanted to be a part of the theater, just not as an actor. I didn’t think much about it until decades later.

Fast forward do 1997 at my alma mater, California State, L.A., where I secured a paid job working on the school paper. I reviewed a few movies, but when a show at the Pantages, “Evita,” came on, I was sent to review it.

It all came together, my two greatest loves, writing and the theater. Since then, I’ve been reviewing shows, mainly theater, and most recently, music performances.

I feel a review is more than describing what I saw, who the characters were, and the details of their story. I give the reader a reason to care about the characters and their issues. And most importantly, enjoy what they’ve seen.

— Mary E. Montoro