The Minnesota Fringe Festival website has pretty much always had a five star rating system for audience members that want to post reviews, but just what the differences were was always fluid, varying from person to person, quality in art always being relative.
A couple of years back, a group from out of town had in their press a notice from the Fringe in Indianapolis (the Indy Fringe). They also use the five star system, but they slapped some handy modifiers on it, so I borrowed them...
5 stars - Life-Altering Experience
4 stars - Excellent
3 stars - Good Job
2 stars - Not Bad, Needs Some Work
1 star - Life's Too Short
0 stars - Run For It
I added a few intermediate categories of my own for things that fall in between those absolutes
1-1/2 stars - Life's Still Too Short
2-1/2 stars - Not Bad, Still Needs Some Work
3-1/2 stars - Good Job Plus
4-1/2 stars - Damn Near Perfect
Since no one sets out to do a bad show, it's rare that I dole out anything under 3 stars, but it happens. I also don't hand out the 5 star ratings lightly, but thankfully I'm inspired more often on that end of the scale by the things I see at the Fringe.
Normally anything 3 stars, I'll tag as Recommended
3-1/2 or 4 stars, Highly Recommended.
4-1/2 or 5 stars, Very Highly Recommended.
Generally, that's the lay of the land. You can leaf through some reviews from past years if you want to poke around and scope out some of my biases.
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