All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Glenda Jackson on Quitting Parliament, Playing Lear and Returning to Broadway by Ben Brantley

After winning two Oscars, she stopped acting for decades to fight Thatcherism. Now, at 81, she’s tackling an Edward Albee classic. But she insists, “I lead a very dull life.”

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review: ‘Is God Is’ Reinvents the Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Ben Brantley

Aleshea Harris’s sensational new play, at Soho Rep, sends twin sisters into a wild, wild West on a bloody mission of vengeance.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Review: ‘Riot’ and the Art of Kitsch as Protest by Ben Brantley

A rowdy Irish revue from the Dubin-based troupe Thisispopbaby asks the world to make love, not war, and dance, dance, dance.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

An Appraisal: Jan Maxwell Was a Star Made for the Stage by Ben Brantley

Ms. Maxwell, who has died at 61, transmitted an uncommon intelligence and love of craft found only in great theater performers.

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Critic’s Notebook: Tennessee Williams, Restless and Revising by Ben Brantley

A Morgan Library & Museum exhibition of the playwright’s letters and manuscripts showcases the hungers that drove and derailed him.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Review: ‘Returning to Reims’ and Those European Working-Class Blues by Ben Brantley

In this play directed by Thomas Ostermeier and starring Nina Hoss, a French philosopher ponders the move to the right in blue-collar France.

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: A Criminally Enjoyable ‘Hangmen’ from Martin McDonagh by Ben Brantley

This London import shows the director and writer of “Three Billboards” still utterly at home in the (dark) shadows of the stage.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Review: ‘He Brought Her Heart Back,’ Adrienne Kennedy’s Beautiful Nightmare by Ben Brantley

With her first play in nearly a decade, the 86-year-old playwright reminds audiences of her singular vision.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Review: Michael Urie Puts the Madcap in Hamlet’s Madness by Ben Brantley

Michael Kahn’s production for the Shakespeare Theater Company provides Elsinore with a new arsenal that includes smartphones and surveillance cameras.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: A Master Class in Passive Aggression in ‘Miles for Mary’ by Ben Brantley

The Mad Ones’ portrait of a group of teachers in a purgatorial staff meeting finds the entertainment factor in endless irritation

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review: Richard Maxwell Considers Life After Life in ‘Paradiso’ by Ben Brantley

In the bleak and buoyant “Paradiso,” a world beyond human existence is summoned with stark sentimentality and endless eloquence.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Review: A Fantasy Town Builds a Wall Against Time in ‘Ballyturk’ by Ben Brantley

Enda Walsh’s wild cosmic farce, in which two men act out the life of a fantasy village, finds the aching emptiness in words, words, words

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Review: Who Am I? ‘Panorama’ Says There Is No Easy Answer by Ben Brantley

In this multimedia, multidimensional performance piece, the boundaries of race, gender and ethnicity blur into a shifting pageant of identity.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

5 Shows to See if You’re in New York in January by Ben Brantley

For the new year, productions that aim to shake up your senses and challenge your assumptions. Plus: ’80s jargon and hair.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Review: Dancing to Destruction in Enda Walsh’s Fierce ‘Disco Pigs’ by Ben Brantley

This harrowing and exhilarating revival, featuring an inexhaustible cast of two, summons the agonies and ecstasies of being 17 in a blighted Irish town.

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Review: ‘Hamilton’ Conquers London (King George Slays Too) by Ben Brantley

The newcomer Jamael Westman steps out as a fully formed star in the title role of the triumphant London production of “Hamilton.”

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: A Wondrous ‘Pinocchio’ With That ‘Lion King’ Magic by Ben Brantley

In a creative master stroke, this National Theater adaptation of the Disney film uses oversized puppets to play adults, who tower over the title figure.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Review: Mark Rylance Returns to Broadway as a Mad Monarch to Cherish by Ben Brantley

In Claire van Kampen’s strange, enchanting “Farinelli and the King,” from Shakespeare’s Globe in London, music hath charms to spare.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: Finding Serenity in a Tempest-Tossed ‘Twelfth Night’ by Ben Brantley

Fiasco Theater’s agreeable production of a much-performed play finds the clarity in a comedy of confusion.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Dreaming of ‘Home,’ With a Magical Guide in His Underwear by Ben Brantley

Geoff Sobelle’s hallucinatory performance piece at the Brooklyn Academy of Music is set in a house that comes to life before your eyes.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Best Theater of 2017 by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

Our chief theater critics on their favorites this year, from “Bruce Springsteen on Broadway” to a host of playwrights tackling life’s chaos.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ a Watery Wonderland on Broadway by Ben Brantley

This ginormous adaptation of the beloved Nickelodeon television series perfectly captures the innocently idiotic spirit of its prototype

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Review: Waltzing With Love and Death in ‘Hundred Days’ by Ben Brantley

A revised version of a musical memoir from the Bengsons affectingly reimagines commitment-phobia in existential terms.

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Review: Sleepwalking Through the ’70s in ‘Downtown Race Riot’ by Ben Brantley

This narcoticized production of Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s play, starring a drug-glazed Chloë Sevigny, revisits a dirty old New York of yore.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Review: Sailing on Silly Seas With ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ by Ben Brantley

The Hypocrites’ blithe production of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic offers the perfect restorative alternative to holiday drudgery.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: ‘The Fountainhead,’ High-Tech, Juicy and Full of Pulp by Ben Brantley

Ivo van Hove’s hypnotic adaptation of Ayn Rand’s notorious 1943 novel speaks to the primitive narcissist in all of us. (Mr. Trump, are you listening?)

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Eye-Openers in London: 19th-Century Women with 21st-Century Problems by Ben Brantley

Revivals of plays by Ibsen and Wilde, and a new work about the young Karl Marx, find strong women chafing under the yoke of dominating men

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Showgirls, a Monster and a Drag Queen: Singing Songs of Self by Ben Brantley

New musicals on London’s stages include a merciless and compassionate “Follies,” a revitalized “Young Frankenstein” and a timely saga of an aspiring drag queen.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review: ‘The Wolves’ Are Back in a Rush of Combustible Energy by Ben Brantley

Sarah DeLappe’s remarkably assured first play, a group portrait of a girls’ soccer team, is now at Lincoln Center Theater.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Review: Agatha Christie’s Murder Most Orderly and the Comfiest Seats in London by Ben Brantley

A site-specific revival of “Witness for the Prosecution” finds the comfort factor in a murder trial.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Review: ‘Network,’ With Bryan Cranston Is Convulsive, Immersive and Still Mad as Hell by Ben Brantley

A stage adaptation, directed by Ivo van Hove, confirms the prophecy of a 1976 movie about populist rage and manipulative technology

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