Lawrence DeVine, theatre critic of The Detroit Free Press for 30 years, announced his retirement Sept. 18.
It's estimated the sixty-something DeVine wrote as many as 4,000 reviews and articles for the largest of the two dailies still publishing in the Motor City. His retirement is effective "late October," according to the Free Press.
DeVine's announcement surprised members of the theatre community, particularly since the 1998-99 season had just begun. DeVine oversees the Detroit Free Press Theatre Excellence Awards every spring, doling out what artists informally call "Larrys." It is the city's only major gathering of resident theatre artists.
DeVine received a citation from Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer Sept. 30 at an event to celebrate Arts and Humanities Month.
"Larry DeVine has brought our city honor and recognition," said Mayor Archer, according to the Free Press. DeVine, an active founding member of the American Theatre Critics Association and a past judge on the Pulitzer Prize panel, is known for his elegant writing style and humorous observations. Last month, the Michigan Allied Professional Theatres (MAPT) bestowed a media excellence award for his support of resident theatre over the years.
A successor for DeVine has not been named.
-- By Kenneth Jones