Posts filtered by tags: Ben Brantley[x]


Do Critics Shape The Theatre Of Their Time? Ben Brantley Says —

“Has it really happened that way, though? To go back to my paragon, Pauline Kael, she was perceived as shaping the course of Hollywood, and I’m not sure she did when you look back at it. Culture — like history, and we know how perverse and also cyclical history can be — follows its own inevitable patterns. … I don’t think critics are shapers. I think we’re mirrors.” – American Theatre
Tags: Art, Hollywood, Theatre, Ben Brantley, Pauline Kael, 01.11.21

It Might Take A Pandemic To Learn To Watch Like A Critic

A parent, working with what she’s got – a kid eager to watch, an endless supply of streaming, critical faculties – explains by invoking Ben Brantley: “When we find ourselves isolated, and craving connection, we can find it (for a moment at least) though critical engagement with something wonderful someone has made for us. And thank god for WiFi.” – Glasstire
Tags: Art, Ideas, Ben Brantley, 01.02.21

Ben Brantley Predicts That, Before Long, Theater Critics As We Know Them Won’t Exist

“I think the notion of criticism may expand, and people will write more culturally comprehensive mixed-discipline pieces. But it’s hard for me to imagine. It will be interesting to see how much people are actually willing to read in the future online, and whether most communication will be single lines, single impressions, condensations.” – The Stage
Tags: Art, Theatre, Ben Brantley, 11.03.20

Ben Brantley: The Farewell Essay

“‘Don’t you ever want to just sit back and enjoy it?’ That’s a question I’ve often been asked during my 27 years as a daily theater reviewer for The New York Times. And … the short answer to that question is an undiluted ‘no.’ One of the main reasons I never stopped loving this job is that I can’t sit back and go limp, like a passive slab on a massage table.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, New York Times, Don, Ben Brantley, 10.13.20

Ben Brantley: The Exit Interview

“During quarantine, when I couldn’t feed that [reviewing] addiction, I found myself chafing at the place-holding journalism that was required. Then in a Zoom meeting with critics, The Times‘s executive editor, Dean Baquet, lingered over the question of whether arts reviewers should stay in their jobs indefinitely. And I thought, ‘That sounds like an exit cue to me.’ After that, it was a surprisingly painless decision.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Times, Ben Brantley, Dean Baquet, 10.13.20

Ben Brantley on Shutting the Stage Door Behind Him

After 27 years and more than 2,500 reviews, The Times’s co-chief theater critic reviews his own tenure and talks about why he’s...
Tags: The Times, Ben Brantley

Ben Brantley Retires As New York Times Co-Chief Theater Critic

“‘This pandemic pause … seemed to me like a good moment to slip out the door,’ Brantley said in a statement. … [He] joined the Times as its second-string theater critic in 1993, taking the chief critic job three years later. His last day on the job will be Oct. 15. The paper’s newish co-chief critic title currently is shared by Brantley and Jesse Green, who will remain on board.” – Deadline
Tags: Art, Theatre, Times, Jesse Green, Ben Brantley, Brantley, New York Times Co, 09.10.20

Theater, Zoom, And Coronavirus: Four Times Critics Discuss The State Of The Art In 2020

“Though we are still miles and months away from a resuscitation, who would have guessed that, in the meantime, the savior of the stage might turn out to be its perpetual enemy, the screen? … To sort out this new world, Scott Heller, the New York Times theater editor, convened a virtual conversation with Ben Brantley and Jesse Green, the chief theater critics, and Maya Phillips, the Times‘s arts critic fellow.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, New York Times, Times, Audience, Jesse Green, Ben Brantley, Scott Heller, 07.08.20, Maya Phillips

Ben Brantley And Jesse Green Size Up The Off-Broadway Season (Since It’s Now Over)

Ben : “In many of these productions, time seemed to be torn off its hinges, and the solid floor of what we think of as ‘normal life’ to have cracked open. Who knew how apt a preface such works would provide for the rudderless world we now inhabit?”Jesse: “‘Rudderless’ is exactly how a lot of these terrific plays (and a handful of musicals) wanted us to feel politically, existentially and even spiritually — I mean with actual ghosts.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Ben, Jesse, Jesse Green, Ben Brantley, 04.06.20

All The World’s Living Rooms Can Be Stages, With The Right Plays

Ben Brantley: “Remember that plays — even those lofty classics that show up on college reading lists — are meant to be spoken and heard. And saying their lines aloud, no matter how clumsily, helps you hear the music and cadences in them. This is true not only of Shakespeare, but also of linguistically rich latter-day writers like August Wilson, Caryl Churchill, Edward Albee, [and] Suzan-Lori Parks.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, World, Shakespeare, Ben Brantley, Suzan Lori Parks, 03.27.20, Wilson Caryl Churchill Edward Albee

The (Nearly) Complete Musicals Of Stephen Sondheim: A New York Times Critics’ Guide

Ben Brantley and Jesse Green give their takes on the 15 shows for which Sondheim wrote music and lyrics and the three for which he was lyricist (with music by Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne, and Richard Rodgers). – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Stephen Sondheim, Sondheim, Jesse Green, Richard Rodgers, Ben Brantley, New York Times Critics, 03.12.20, Leonard Bernstein Jule Styne

Stephen Sondheim At 90: The Master Of Mixed Emotions

Ben Brantley: “When it comes to emotions, Sondheim — more than any other composer from the Broadway songbook — is the one I trust to tell me the truth. That’s because in the world of Sondheim, feelings never come singly but in battalions. Even his simplest, most assertive melodies usually sound as if they’re being pulled in contradictory directions.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Stephen Sondheim, Broadway, Sondheim, Ben Brantley, 03.12.20

Save Up to $40 on Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway Revival of CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

Direct from a smash-hit run on London's West End, this new production of Tony Kushner Angels in America and Jeanine Tesori's Fun Home explosive musical launches to 'the titanic dimensions of greatness' Ben Brantley, The New York Times. In a triumphant, Olivier Award-winning performance, the 'incandescent' Holly Williams, Time Out London Sharon D Clarke stars as an African-American maid working for a Jewish family, as their colliding worlds in 1963 Louisiana ripple with change, both large and sma...
Tags: London, Theatre, America, New York Times, Broadway, Clarke, Louisiana, West End, Jeanine Tesori, Ben Brantley, Contests - Broadway, Tony Kushner Angels, Holly Williams Time Out London Sharon

‘The Most Powerful And Relevant Theater Being Written Today’ — Ben Brantley On New Plays By Black Writers

“I can’t remember a more electrifying run of new, innovative plays during my 25-year tenure as a New York theater critic than the heady spate of works by African-American playwrights that have opened Off Broadway during the past two seasons.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, New York, Theatre, Broadway, SJ, Ben Brantley, 04.25.19

10 Works Over 5 Years by Black Playwrights, All Intended to Unnerve

“Oftentimes, the most outrageous of plot twists are what make that happen,” say Ben Brantley and Jesse Green. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Jesse Green, SJ, Ben Brantley, 04.25.19

10 Works Over 5 Years by Black Playwrights, All Intended to Challenge

“Oftentimes, the most outrageous of plot twists are what make that happen,” say Ben Brantley and Jesse Green. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Jesse Green, SJ, Ben Brantley, 04.25.19

La Cage aux Folles

"We are what we are,And what we areIs an illusion."That's the first lyric in La Cage aux Folles, and though on the surface, it's talking about drag, it's saying way more than that. Just like the show it introduces. Those few line encapsulate the entire story and all its themes.Nobody realizes that the first time they hear it, but it's all there.It introduces us to two ideas that will permeate every moment of the show. First, "we are what we are" -- in other words, we accept and embrace ourselve...
Tags: Musicals, Theatre, Gay, New York Times, Broadway, Theater, St Louis, Zaza, Scott Miller, La Cage aux Folles, Harvey Fierstein, Ben Brantley, Brantley, Jean Michel, Georges, Douglas Hodge

How Did A Quiet Belgian Director Become ‘The Most Important Auteur On The International Stage Circuit’? Three New York Times Critics Debate Ivo Van Hove

“In this edited conversation, Ben Brantley, co-chief theater critic for The Times, and the critics Elisabeth Vincentelli and Jason Zinoman aim to make sense of Mr. van Hove’s ascent, from Off Broadway to a Tony Award, David Bowie to All About Eve.” — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, David Bowie, Broadway, The Times, Ivo van Hove, Van Hove, Ben Brantley, Jason Zinoman, Elisabeth Vincentelli, 01.09.19, International Stage Circuit, New York Times Critics Debate

NY Times Critics Try To Make Peace With The Jukebox Musical

“Ben Brantley and Jesse Green, the Times‘s chief theater critics, joined the critic Elisabeth Vincentelli to answer the big questions: Why are the bad ones so bad? Why are the good ones better? And are there good ones? Scott Heller, the theater editor, played referee. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation, set to the music of Abba, the Go-Go’s, Donna Summer, Bob Dylan and more.”
Tags: Art, Theatre, Times, Ny Times, Jesse Green, Ben Brantley, Elisabeth Vincentelli, 08.29.18, Scott Heller, Donna Summer Bob Dylan

Brantley in Britain: What’s in a List? Two Critics on Theater’s Special Relationship

Ben Brantley and his London counterpart Michael Billington find much that’s enthralling about the state of playwriting in their countries.
Tags: London, News, Britain, Theater, Michael Billington, Billington, Ben Brantley, Brantley, Writing and Writers, Guardian (British Newspaper, Michael (1939-

NYT Theatre Critic Makes Flippant Gender Reference In Review And Gets Pummeled Online

In a review of Head Over Heels, the hybrid Go-Go’s jukebox musical and Elizabethan farcethat opened on Broadway last night, the New York Times’s chief theater critic Ben Brantley misgenders the character of an oracle played by former Drag Racecontestant Peppermint, who happens to be making her debut as the first openly trans woman actor to create a principal role on Broadway.
Tags: Art, Theatre, New York Times, Broadway, Ben Brantley, 07.27.18

'I'm A Pretty Antisocial Socialist': Glenda Jackson Talks To Ben Brantley About Her Return To The Stage From Politics

"Appearing before a live audience again, she says she felt no more nervous than she had before any performance from decades earlier - which is to say, she was terrified. 'You can go onto that stage every night, and it's always the equivalent of going onto the topmost diving board, and you don't know if […]
Tags: Art, People, Glenda Jackson, Ben Brantley, 02.20.18

Actress Jan Maxwell, Five-Time Tony Nominee, Dead At 61

"Ms. Maxwell was a longtime favorite of critics. Ben Brantley of The New York Times, for one, praised her again and again. In 2005, when she played the world-weary Baroness of Vulgaria in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the role led to her first Tony nomination and a Drama Desk award), he called her 'the real […]
Tags: Art, People, New York Times, Maxwell, Baroness, Tony, Ben Brantley, 02.12.18, Actress Jan Maxwell Five Time Tony Nominee Dead, Vulgaria

Why The New York Times Will Recommend A Play With A Dirty Word In The Title But Won't Print That Title

When Ben Brantley reviewed a revival of Suzan-Lori Parks's Fucking A (a take on The Scarlet Letter), he wrote, "since I am not a character in this work but an employee of The New York Times, I shall be referring to this play only as 'A.' (The full title places an Anglo-Saxon adjective before the […]
Tags: Art, Theatre, New York Times, Audience, Ben Brantley, Suzan Lori Parks, 09.19.17

Why Michael Friedman Was The Best Musical Theater Composer You Had Probably Never Heard Of

Ben Brantley: "I don't think Mr. Friedman" - who died last week at age 41 - "was accorded his due as an innovator. He wrote so fluently in so many styles, that it was tempting to dismiss him as a pastiche artist. ... He was willing to let his music blend into the background in […]
Tags: Art, People, Friedman, Ben Brantley, Michael Friedman, 09.11.17

Ben Brantley And Jesse Green Talk Broadway Musical Second Casts (Donna Murphy Rules As Dolly)

Green: "Not that we and the rest of the world didn't adore Ms. Midler in the part. But Ms. Murphy so immediately makes it her own, and has such a different take on it, that you are not left wanting what you cannot have." (They also talk about Brendon Urie in Kinky Boots and Norm […]
Tags: Art, Theatre, Murphy, Midler, Brendon Urie, Jesse Green, Ben Brantley, Donna Murphy, 07.12.17

'Indecent' Is Closing On Broadway; Bitter Playwright Blames Ben Brantley And Jesse Green

Paula Vogel tweeted, "Brantley&Green 2-0. Nottage&Vogel 0-2. Lynn, they help close us down" and gave the two New York Times critics the hashtag #footnotesinhistory. The "Lynn" of the tweet, Lynn Nottage, whose play Sweat is also closing its Broadway run, replied by describing Brantley and Green as "the patriarchy flexing their muscles to prove their […]
Tags: Art, Theatre, Green, New York Times, Broadway, Lynn, Lynn Nottage, Jesse Green, Ben Brantley, Brantley, Paula Vogel, 06.14.17, Brantley Green, Nottage Vogel

Who's the Best Guesser? Check Brantley & Isherwood's Tony Prediction Track Records

The theatre critics for the New York Times have perhaps the most influential and respected voices when it comes to Broadway. Every awards season they comeup with a list of Tony nominees who they think will win and should win the coveted prize in June. Click here to check out Ben Brantley and Jesse Green's predictions for this year. [Author: BWW News Desk]
Tags: Theatre, New York Times, Tony, Jesse Green, Ben Brantley, Brantley, BWW News Desk, Isherwood, Tony Prediction Track Records, Broadway Every

Ben Brantley And Jesse Green Debate The Entire Broadway Season

Jesse uses the phrase "morally bankrupt" to describe one of the season's top new musicals. Ben says, "Bette was Beyoncé for the old folks." They (not quite) completely disagree on Come From Away, and they both think the season's best new musical wasn't on Broadway at all.
Tags: Art, Beyonce, Theatre, Broadway, Ben, Jesse, Bette, Jesse Green, Ben Brantley, 05.11.17