All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Critic’s Notebook: Bodies in Pain, Protest and Resistance by Ben Brantley

Works from the Belarus Free Theater and the Freedom Theater explore the drama of confronting authority.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: A Requiem Mass With a Southern Twang in ‘Animal Wisdom’ by Ben Brantley

Heather Christian communes with — and possibly exorcises — the spirits of the dead in a truly one-of-a-kind performance piece

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: A Richard III Who Steps Straight Out of the Land of Id by Ben Brantley

An astonishing Lars Eidinger is a hunchback to remember in Thomas Ostermeier’s Halloween treat of a production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review: Shakespeare Meets Elevator Repair Service. Mayhem Ensues. by Ben Brantley

The experimental theater troupe’s rendition of “Measure for Measure” is frenzied but not especially insightful.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Critic’s Notebook: The Pain of Fame, With Sondheim, Warhol and Capote as Guides by Ben Brantley

A definitive revival of the musical “Merrily We Roll Along” and a new play about Andy Warhol and Truman Capote dissect the discontents of celebrity.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Review: Jefferson, Dickens and Tolstoy Debate Jesus. ‘Discord’ Ensues. by Ben Brantley

Titans of literature and politics are asked to look deep into their souls and admit their bad faith in Scott Carter’s careful debate of a play.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: In ‘The Treasurer,’ a Son Remembers Mama, as She Forgets Everything by Ben Brantley

Max Posner’s tender yet unforgiving new play considers a son’s inability to love a mother who has dementia.

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Review: Sam Shepard’s ‘Simpatico,’ Cut Loose and Roaming Wild by Ben Brantley

In this production from Chicago, starring Michael Shannon, goofball farce and existential despair are by no means incompatible.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: A Flock of Shylocks Transforms ‘Merchant of Venice’ by Ben Brantley

Karin Coonrod’s inventive production of Shakespeare’s notorious comedy has five actors playing the moneylender. It sounds gimmicky but it works.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: ‘KPOP’ Sings and Dances Its Way Through a Divided Culture by Ben Brantley

A new immersive musical set in a Korean hit factory moves to the beats of satire, soap opera and everything in between.

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Amy Herzog’s New Play Mines the Personal and Political by Ben Brantley

“Mary Jane” is a portrait of a mother’s relationship with her chronically ill young son. Carrie Coon of “The Leftovers” stars.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: ‘In the Blood’ and the Singular Talent of Suzan-Lori Parks by Ben Brantley

The play, about a single mother with five children, explores the dimensions of American sexual and societal guilt in a first-rate revival.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Review: 3 Generations Aching to Connect ‘On the Shore of the Wide World’ by Ben Brantley

Simon Stephens’s play explores the dreams and disappointments in one working-class family.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: A Play With a Crude Name and a Powerfully Dark View by Ben Brantley

Suzan-Lori Parks’s Brechtian riff on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” returns to the stage with a new vitality.

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An Appraisal: Michael Friedman, a Man of Many Voices and a Gift for Prophecy by Ben Brantley

His versatility as a composer of musicals was matched by his emotional ardor and political shrewdness.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reinventing Shakespeare, According to the Gospel of Joseph Papp by Ben Brantley

A new play about Papp, the founder of the Public Theater, sets the tone for a season of audacious interpretations of the Shakespeare canon.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review: In ‘Inanimate,’ a Forbidden Love Dares to Speak Its Name by Ben Brantley

Nick Robideau’s sly new comedy at the Flea considers the pain and pleasures of objectophilia in small-town Massachusetts.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: A Prince’s Broadway Kingdom is Scattered to the Winds by Ben Brantley

“Prince of Broadway,” an anthology musical of shows overseen by the mighty Harold Prince, travels aimlessly through the decades.

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The Last Days to Catch ‘The Great Comet’ Are Here by Ben Brantley

The musical “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” ends its exuberant run on Broadway on Sept. 3.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Critic’s Notebook: Overcoming Through Song in a Summer of Discontent by Ben Brantley

“Primer for a Failed Superpower,” a concert in Brooklyn directed by Rachel Chavkin, asked an audience to raise its voice in protest songs of many generations.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: Listening (Yes, Listening) to the Beauty of van Gogh by Ben Brantley

An exquisite multidisciplinary performance piece blurs the senses in considering the life and work of this Dutch artist.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hard Truths or Easy Targets? Confronting the Summer of Trump Onstage by Ben Brantley, Jesse Green and Alexis Soloski

Theater has quickly taken on the Trump presidency. Whether what’s onstage can change minds or spark action is open to debate.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Retrogressing in London With Meat Loaf and Adrian Mole by Ben Brantley

Stage adaptations of “Bat Out of Hell” and “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾” allow the middle-aged to retreat to the age of innocence.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

7 Shows for President Trump to Watch on His Vacation by Neil Genzlinger, Mike Hale, Margaret Lyons and Ben Brantley

The president is spending 17 days in New Jersey and New York. A few of our critics weigh in with recommendations of shows to watch (besides the news).

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Women Without Options and Spoiled for Choice by Ben Brantley

Plays in London spanning more than a century suggest how much and how little has changed for British women.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Brantley in Britain: How Rupert Murdoch Became the King of England by Ben Brantley

On London stages: A new look at the rise of a media mogul, and two anniversary revivals that explore a nation tilting between hedonism and despair.

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Must-See Shows if You’re in New York This Month by Ben Brantley

Political plays by Suzan-Lori Parks and Michael Moore, Harold Prince’s hit anthology and New York premieres from Simon Stephens and Bruce Norris.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Review: In ‘Girl From the North Country,’ Rolling Stones Gather Regrets by Ben Brantley

The Irish playwright Conor McPherson weaves an American tale of nomads out of the Bob Dylan songbook in this play at the Old Vic Theater in London.

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Williamstown Theater Festival: Three Sisters and Lots of Kvetching by Ben Brantley

In “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow,” the playwright Halley Feiffer reimagines Chekhov.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Review: Sienna Miller Coaxes New Life From an Old ‘Cat’ by Ben Brantley

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” has rarely ignited in recent years. But this production in London dazzles.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Brantley in Britain: Hamlet and the Surveillance State of Denmark by Ben Brantley

Andrew Scott’s portrayal in a London production of “Hamlet” almost banishes other performances from memory.

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