All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

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 …

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Monday, June 10, 2019

The Best and Worst of the Tony Awards 2019 by Ben Brantley, Jesse Green, Scott Heller and Margaret Lyons

Swinging lights. Broadway beefs. Words of wisdom. And a restroom serenade. If only some of the highlights were on TV.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Review: It’s Cain and Abel Redux in ‘Long Lost’ by Donald Margulies by Ben Brantley

This formulaic offering from the author of “Dinner With Friends” chronicles the havoc wrought when a black sheep returns to the family fold.

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Review: Doubling Up on Toxic Manhood in ‘Dying City’ by Ben Brantley

This revival of Christopher Shinn’s 2007 drama about a widow of the Iraq war keeps its audience at a distance.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review: A Sex Crime Disarranges a Tidy World in ‘Something Clean’ by Ben Brantley

A splendid Kathryn Erbe plays a sheltered housewife thrown into limbo in Selina Fillinger’s thoughtful, poignant new play.

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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Review: Agony, Ecstasy and a Dancing Ménage à Trois in ‘Cabin’ by Ben Brantley

Sean Donovan’s multidisciplinary performance piece, set in an isolated rural retreat, finds the chill in summer hedonism.

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Friday, May 24, 2019

Review: ‘The Ferryman’ Is a Tale That Keeps on Giving by Ben Brantley

Jez Butterworth’s Tony-nominated family drama retains its fierce grip with a new cast led by Brian d’Arcy James.

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: The Human Voice Versus the Internet in ‘Octet’ by Ben Brantley

In Dave Malloy’s ravishing new a cappella chamber musical, members of an addiction support group compare notes on getting lost in the web.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review: In ‘Happy Talk,’ Susan Sarandon Escapes Into Amateur Acting by Ben Brantley

Jesse Eisenberg’s wobbly new play, which also stars Marin Ireland, casts Ms. Sarandon against type as a flamboyant suburban community theater diva.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Heavenly or Hellish? Our Critics Debate the Broadway Season by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

Adventurous directors and galvanizing performances made for unexpected — and very welcome — departures on what once felt like the Staid White Way.

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Tony Awards 2019: Who Will Win (and Who Should) by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

The chief theater critics for The Times choose who they think should win and who should have been nominated.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Review: In ‘Curse of the Starving Class,’ a House Is Really Divided by Ben Brantley

Terry Kinney’s unbalanced Sam Shepard revival, with Maggie Siff and David Warshofsky, finds the prophecy in a wild and woolly play from the 1970s.

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Review: A Con Man Without a Sting in ‘High Button Shoes’ by Ben Brantley

The last of this season’s Encores! musicals in concert, starring Michael Urie, resurrects a 1947 show that feels nostalgic for nostalgia.

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Sunday, May 5, 2019

Review: Blazing a New Trail Through a Familiar ‘Passage’ by Ben Brantley

Christopher Chen’s contemplative drama at Soho Rep uses E.M. Forster’s “A Passage to India” as a template for exploring, and exploding, nationalism.

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Review: ‘Caroline’s Kitchen’ Cooks Up an Eve of Destruction by Ben Brantley

Torben Betts’s comedy of catastrophe, at the Brits Off Broadway festival, portrays a television cooking show host in a state of disastrous denial.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Critics’ Notebook: When It Came to the Tony Nominations, the News Is the New by Jesse Green and Ben Brantley

New York Times theater critics on a Tonys roster that highlighted originality, if not diversity, and made room for some welcome surprises.

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: What the Crow Knows in ‘Grief Is the Thing With Feathers’ by Ben Brantley

An amazing Cillian Murphy portrays both a grieving dad and the mythical bird who takes over his life in Enda Walsh’s adaptation of Max Porter’s novel.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Review: In ‘Beetlejuice,’ the Afterlife Is Exhausting by Ben Brantley

Adapted from Tim Burton’s 1988 film, this hyperkinetic musical, starring Alex Brightman as a madcap ghoul, tries too hard to haunt.

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Critic’s Notebook: Broadway on Race: Still More Likely to Comfort Than Confront by Ben Brantley

While electrifying new plays challenged their audiences, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and colorblind musicals catered to the crowds.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: In ‘Ink,’ a Mephistopheles Named Murdoch Takes Charge by Ben Brantley

James Graham’s invigorating play about London journalism goes on a journey to the tabloid underworld — and the American present.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Review: Love Bites, Hard, in ‘The Pain of My Belligerence’ by Ben Brantley

Halley Feiffer stars opposite Hamish Linklater in her new comedy of anguish, which begins with a memorably chilling first date.

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: In ‘The Appointment,’ the Fetus Sings Out by Ben Brantley

This uncanny, phantasmagorical work from the Lightning Rod Special troupe is a musical cabaret about abortion. That’s right.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: In ‘Hillary and Clinton,’ Codependence, and, Yes, Camaraderie by Ben Brantley

As a born-to-lose presidential contender, Laurie Metcalf is exasperation incarnate in Lucas Hnath’s play, which also stars John Lithgow.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: Adam Driver Heats Up a Wobbly ‘Burn This’ by Ben Brantley

In this imbalanced revival of Lanford Wilson’s play, also starring Keri Russell, Mr. Driver unleashes the full, scorching power of his talent.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review: Marilyn Monroe Goes to War in ‘Norma Jeane Baker of Troy’ by Ben Brantley

Ben Whishaw and Renée Fleming provide the oxygen in Anne Carson’s hypnotic and exasperating work, which imagines the actress as a Euripides heroine.

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: A Smashing ‘Oklahoma!’ Is Reborn in the Land of Id by Ben Brantley

Daniel Fish’s wide-awake revival of an American classic gives us an “Oklahoma!” for our own age of anxiety, without ever betraying its source.

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Review: Glenda Jackson Rules a Muddled World in ‘King Lear’ by Ben Brantley

In Sam Gold’s haphazard production of Shakespeare’s bleakest tragedy, Ms. Jackson demonstrates her singular intelligence as an actress.

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Review: ‘Do You Feel Anger’ Plumbs the Depths of Office Humor by Ben Brantley

In Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s fitfully funny play, a female empathy coach faces the insuperable challenge of teaching men some compassion.

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: A Magnificent Road to Ruin in ‘The Lehman Trilogy’ by Ben Brantley

This three-hour-plus portrait of the creation and destruction of the house of Lehman, directed by Sam Mendes, is an endlessly absorbing epic tragedy.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: An All-Star Team in the Temptations Musical ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ by Ben Brantley

This shrewdly assembled show, directed by Des McAnuff, considers the interchangeability of a crew of Motown’s finest, though there’s plenty of star shine, too.

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