Often, we use critical reviews as consumer guides, helping us decide which movie or TV show or theatrical production to see. They give us a professional perspective on what is worthwhile or what suits our mood or complements our taste.

But reviews also serve as historical records, documenting what happened only once and never can be experienced again.

Last month, Russ Bickerstaff, from the Shepherd Express, reviewed the March performance of the monthly show T.I.M., The Improvised Musical. Because the musical is improvised, it's one-and-done. It's never the same. There's no going back.

Yet, the review specifies insights into the spontaneous, toe-tapping, heart-pumping creativity that audiences have found at T.I.M. shows since 2011. From Mr. Bickerstaff's review of the show "Book of Ninja," suggested by the audience (emphasis added):  

"Now in its third year, the show regularly sells out. This month’s show was no exception with an enthusiastic crowd enjoying the presentation. A very charming Amanda Carson played the central heroine, a timid young woman studying to become a ninja. The cheesy action-musical plot played traditional journey-of-the-hero themes that were manipulated with some considerable efficiency by a group of students and a sassy spirit played by Mara McGhee as they followed the heroine to her triumphant finale."

So it won't be the same. A review is not a preview. But the next T.I.M. is at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 17. It's at ComedySportz, which will have its bar and restaurant service open for the show. The address is 420 S. 1st St. And it's only $5 cash.

You can wait for someone to review the show afterward. But by then you'll have missed it. You can reserve seats by calling weekdays at (414) 272-8888.

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