All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 03:18PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 12:18PM
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

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:04PM

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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:04PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:54PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 03:04PM
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?)

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:18PM
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

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:18PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 07:04PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:04PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 07:04PM
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

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 08:48AM
Monday, November 13, 2017

Brantley in Britain: On London Stages, Britain Considers Its Divided Soul by Ben Brantley

New plays from Mike Bartlett and James Graham pose E.M. Forster’s newly urgent question of who inherits England

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 02:33PM
Friday, November 10, 2017

Review: Charles Ludlam in the Cosmos Where ‘Queens Collide’ by Ben Brantley

Everett Quinton’s frantic revival of an intergalactic farce from 1967 reveals Charles Ludlam as a pioneer of cultural recycling.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:33AM
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: ‘The Band’s Visit’ Is a Ravishing Musical That Whispers With Romance by Ben Brantley

This singularly seductive show, based on an Israeli film, finds the ecstasy in ennui in a small desert town.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:04PM
Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review: ‘Junk’ Revives a Go-Go Era of Debt and Duplicity by Ben Brantley

Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Disgraced,” explores the shady side of 1980s Wall Street in an economics lesson of a play.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:12PM
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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

“Brigadoon” appears (briefly), Amy Schumer steps onto Broadway and an acclaimed musical returns to a bigger stage.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:12AM
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review: ‘The B-Side’ Is an Extraordinary Masterclass in Listening by Ben Brantley

Vinyl sings across the decades in the Wooster Group’s transcendent presentation of a 1965 album of songs from a Texas chain gang.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 03:33PM
Monday, October 30, 2017

Review: ‘Illyria’ Eavesdrops on a Young Joe Papp and Friends by Ben Brantley

Richard Nelson’s murmur of a play is set at a momentous time in the Manhattan theater world of the 1950s.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:06PM
Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: ‘Knives in Hens,’ a Wondrous Drama of the Lust for Language by Ben Brantley

David Harrower’s remarkable play, depicting a romantic triangle in a desolate, premodern world, finally receives its New York premiere.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 04:18PM
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review: ‘M. Butterfly’ Returns to Broadway on Heavier Wings by Ben Brantley

A powerful Clive Owen is the best thing about the didactic revival of David Henry Hwang’s breakthrough look at sexual delusion and East-West relations.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:12PM
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Review: In ‘The Last Match,’ Tennis Is Not Only a Game by Ben Brantley

Anna Ziegler’s new drama enters the heads of two players at the U.S. Open as they struggle toward match point

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:06PM
Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: Romancing the Bot in Zoe Kazan’s ‘After the Blast’ by Ben Brantley

This futurist play, starring Cristin Milioti, imagines a world in which reality (or the nonvirtual kind) is in retreat

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:18PM
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: A ‘Torch Song’ Burning With Emotion Behind the Laughs by Ben Brantley

Portraying mother and son in a fierce revival of Harvey Fierstein’s comedy, Mercedes Ruehl and Michael Urie are in peak form.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:36PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 02:04PM
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

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 06:18PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:18PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:12PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:06AM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:04PM
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.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:04PM

All that Chat

2017-2018 BROADWAY SEASON