All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Review: Partying to End the Patriarchy in a Dionysian ‘Girls’ by Ben Brantley

This head-tripping play from Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, inspired by Euripides’ “The Bacchae,” allows women past and present to find catharsis in one truly wild bash.

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

‘Linda Vista’ Review: A Womanizer Who Devastates as He Charms by Ben Brantley

Tracy Letts, the author of “August: Osage County,” reinvents the midlife crisis play with a hilarity that scalds in this Steppenwolf production.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:42PM
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Review: ‘The Wrong Man’ Sets a Universal Nightmare to Music by Ben Brantley

Ross Golan’s dark chamber musical, based on a concept album, stars the excellent Joshua Henry as an innocent man on the lam.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:48PM
Monday, October 7, 2019

Review: Love Among the Shadows in Edgar Oliver’s ‘Victor’ by Ben Brantley

In this haunting memoir of his relationship with a homeless man, Mr. Oliver confirms his status as a poet laureate of New York’s dispossessed.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:36AM
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ Review: Hip-Hop Saves the World by Ben Brantley

This exultant evening of improvised rap — created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale — turns out to be a perfect fit for Broadway.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:06PM
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

What to See? Why So Pricey? Our Theater Critics Have Your Answers. by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

Ben Brantley and Jesse Green respond to readers curious about the Tony race, hungry for happy fare, and heading to London.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:42AM
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Review: Paging Pablo Escobar in ‘Our Dear Dead Drug Lord’ by Ben Brantley

Alexis Scheer’s vibrant play about four teenage girls, a Ouija board and a narco-terrorist summons the truly scary spirits that keep us awake at night.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:18PM
Monday, September 23, 2019

Review: Being Young and Bored in a Book Club on ‘Sunday’ by Ben Brantley

In Jack Thorne’s listless new play, a group of feckless friends gather to discuss Anne Tyler and share their self-consciousness.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Review: The Lists We Live by in Daniel Fish’s ‘White Noise’ by Ben Brantley

This distillation of Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel, by the director who deconstructed “Oklahoma!,” catalogs the clutter of the American mind.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 12:18PM
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

For Peter Brook, the Experimental Showman, ‘Nothing Is Ever Finished’ by Ben Brantley

His eyesight failing but schedule still packed, the 94-year-old stage director reflects on a globe-spanning career that includes a New York premiere this week.

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Review: In ‘Wives,’ the Other Halves Have Their Say by Ben Brantley

Jaclyn Backhaus’s slapdash comedy, at Playwright’s Horizons, travels through time to coax oppressed spouses out of their powerful husband’s shadows.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:24PM
Sunday, September 15, 2019

Review: Being Brainwashed Into Joy in Derren Brown’s ‘Secret’ by Ben Brantley

This one-mentalist show, in which Mr. Brown peers into the minds of his audience, offers exhilaration and comfort to New York City’s head cases.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:06PM
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: Tom Hiddleston in a Love Triangle Undone by ‘Betrayal’ by Ben Brantley

Mr. Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox portray three friends in flux in Jamie Lloyd’s revelatory interpretation of a Harold Pinter classic.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:18PM
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

What’s Broadway Got to Do With It? More Pop Musicals by Ben Brantley

New York stages will bop to the songbooks of Bob Dylan, Alanis Morissette, Tina Turner and David Byrne this season. And that’s not counting the 70 songwriters of “Moulin Rouge!”

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Review: Opinions Collide in the Explosive Comedy ‘Eureka Day’ by Ben Brantley

Jonathan Spector’s lively portrait of a debate over mandatory vaccinations is the perfect play for our age of disagreement.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:42PM
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Review: A Nose by Any Other Name in a Hudson Valley ‘Cyrano’ by Ben Brantley

Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers’s adaptation of “Cyrano de Bergerac” at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival asks us not to take anything at face value.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 03:42PM
Monday, August 12, 2019

Hot Priests and Wayward Libidos Run Wild on London’s Stages by Ben Brantley

Andrew Scott, John Malkovich and Clive Owen are among the West End actors portraying men hopelessly in thrall to erotic impulses.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:36PM
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Restorative Power of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Ben Brantley

The trapezes disguised as bedding may encourage you to trip the enchanted glade with the frisky cast of this London production. Feel free.

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Review: An Electrifying ‘Coriolanus,’ Addicted to War by Ben Brantley

Jonathan Cake finds the cracks in the macho surface of Shakespeare’s strangest tragic hero in Daniel Sullivan’s fiery production in Central Park.

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Review: ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ Offers a Party, and a Playlist, for the Ages by Ben Brantley

Forbidden pleasures abound in this spectacular musical, starring a dazzling Karen Olivo as a doomed Parisian chanteuse.

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Review: History’s Shadows Haunt ‘The Black Clown’ by Ben Brantley

In this musical theater piece adapted from a Langston Hughes poem, the bass-baritone Davóne Tines embodies the evolving, divided soul of black America.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 05:18PM
Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review: Black Lives Trapped in a Reimagined ‘Penal Colony’ by Ben Brantley

Miranda Haymon’s play relocates Kafka’s horrific tale of punishment to a contemporary world where African-American men are expendable entertainment.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:06PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Review: A Mexican Medea Heads to New York in ‘Mojada’ by Ben Brantley

In this retelling of Euripides’ tragedy of an abandoned lover, the heroine is a shy seamstress in seclusion in the Queens neighborhood of Corona.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:03PM
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Review: Piety Laced With Poison in the Uganda of ‘The Rolling Stone’ by Ben Brantley

In this latter-day variation on Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” the young British dramatist Chris Urch creates a portrait of gay love under siege.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Review: In ‘Acquanetta,’ a Cult Movie Star’s Eyes to Die For by Ben Brantley

Michael Gordon and Deborah Artman’s unsettling chamber opera, directed by Daniel Fish, unfolds with the scraping sounds of a horror film.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Review: Putting Outlaw Music on Trial in ‘Rock and Roll Man’ by Ben Brantley

A by-the-numbers jukebox musical weighs the evidence for and against the groundbreaking ’50s disc jockey Alan Freed.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 04:32PM
Monday, July 1, 2019

Review: ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ Burns With New Fire by Ben Brantley

Robert O’Hara’s interpretation of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic, starring a brilliant S. Epatha Merkerson, puts the audience in the hot seat.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 12:36PM
Thursday, June 27, 2019

Review: A Singing Nun Struggles With PTSD in ‘In the Green’ by Ben Brantley

Grace McLean’s eccentric and opaque new musical considers the traumatic roots of the sainted medieval mystic and composer Hildegard von Bingen.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:42PM

Review: A Familiar Set of Laborers Join the Cast of ‘Working’ by Ben Brantley

This revival of the 1977 musical about the monotony of earning a living custom-tailors the original for City Center’s 75th anniversary.

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Review: Decapitating American History in ‘King Philip’s Head’ by Ben Brantley

Daniel Glenn’s astutely goofy portrait of legislative gridlock in the Plymouth Colony casts women as some seriously conflicted founding fathers.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Review: ‘A Strange Loop’ Is a Self-Portrait in a Hall of Mirrors by Ben Brantley

Michael R. Jackson’s gutsy, exasperated musical is set within the mind of a black, queer man who’s writing a musical about a black, queer man who’s writing a musical …

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:48PM

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2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
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