It is a tricky thing, this recommending shows...whether you're giving or receiving.
Of course it's hard with anything we recommend to people-books, restaurants, movies-but with theater, the often prohibitive cost and lack of options once you commit (unlike with a restaurant menu, for example) make it a serious responsibility if you're going to make a show recommendation. I think we all probably feel a bit regretful if we hear that someone really didn't like something we recommended to them.
As much as I get frustrated with professional theater critics, I do empathize with the burden they bear if they pen a rave, only to have readers angry because they spent their limited ticket funds on a show that wasn't for them...I get why a critic might want to err on the side of caution. On the other hand, I tend to have a greater fear of being a reason why someone misses a show they'd have an out-of-body love experience with...
But I do have opinions about shows, and if someone asks for one of those opinions, my legendary long-windedness would get much worse if I qualified every point when I answer. And it is often quite shocking to me when someone doesn't enjoy a show I thought they'd love.
Take the current hit "Once," for example...I (and a large contingent of others, including the Tony Award voters) passionately adore this show. I find it lovely, lyrical, very human, romantic and beautifully staged and performed. Most I've spoken with agree. However, a few have been less enamored...they found it slow, too quiet and not what they wanted from a musical. I am glad to have heard those opinions, as it helps me when others ask if I think they should see it.
How do I know what camp you will fall into? Being short a crystal ball or two...I guess I don't.
This is why I am such an avid proponent of seeing enough theater of various types to learn about your own tastes. And then not judging yourself. It is OK to say you don't like musicals...or plays...or Andrew Lloyd Weber shows. The more you see, the better you'll balance the recommendations you get from others; and the better questions you'll ask.
And gaining this insight into your theater personality can be done anywhere; local and touring productions work great. In fact, your city may be a "try out" city for shows heading to Broadway...and you can get a sneak peek at a potentially lower cost! If you have kids, introduce them to theater early...it's a good way to learn about their likes and dislikes (but you must be willing to allow their tastes to be different than yours :)). More importantly, a love of theater can be a lifelong joy...and open many doors along the way.
Bottom line? Trust your instincts! It's a good thing to do in life anyway, but important in choosing what show to see as well. Definitely ask for recommendations but be sure to bring some of yourself to the discussion!! I want you to be glad you saw a show; even if it wasn't your favorite-I will always hope it was a worthwhile risk :). It's perfectly acceptable to skip the blockbuster that the whole world is buzzing about because it just isn't your thing...but do stretch yourself if you can afford to...you might be very pleasantly surprised at your reaction!