All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review: Dirty Dancing to Henry James in ‘The Beast in the Jungle’ by Ben Brantley

This labored adaptation of a James short story, starring Tony Yazbeck, features a boldface creative team that includes John Kander and Susan Stroman

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Review: ‘Tin Cat Shoes,’ a Commentary on the Silliness of the System by Ben Brantley

This initial, mind-frisking comedy from Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks festival is a reminder of the particular pleasures of warm-weather goofiness.

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Review: In the Relationships in ‘Singlet,’ One and One Make One by Ben Brantley

Erin Markey’s disciplined performance piece, a collaboration with Emily Davis, examines the dissolving boundaries of intense intimacy.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Review: In ‘Operation Crucible,’ Terror and Reassurance by Ben Brantley

Kieran Knowles’s gripping play about the Sheffield Blitz, part of the Brits Off Broadway festival, focuses on the interdependent lives of four steel workers.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Review: Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville Lead a Hard-Run ‘Long Day’s Journey’ by Ben Brantley

In this highly adrenalized production of Eugene O’Neill’s harrowing family portrait, everybody seems to be acting as fast as possible.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: Conjuring the Ghosts of Theater Past in ‘A Pink Chair’ by Ben Brantley

This exquisite Wooster Group evocation of Tadeusz Kantor’s work becomes an ode to the ephemerality of theater and its creators.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Tony Awards 2018: Who Will Win (and Who Should) by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

Passionate agreement on best musical, but after that all bets are off.

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Loving and Hating the Broadway Season: Our Critics Could Have Argued All Night by Ben Brantley, Jesse Green and Scott Heller

Disagreeing on classic musicals, agreeing on “The Band’s Visit,” and worried about a season when revivals outshone new plays.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Review: ‘Dance Nation,’ the Power and the Terror of Girls at 13 by Ben Brantley

Clare Barron’s glorious new play, at Playwrights Horizons, examines the anguished and ecstatic inner lives of a middle-school dance team.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:18PM
Sunday, May 6, 2018

Review: Building the Wall (Not That One) in Aristophanes’ ‘The Birds’ by Ben Brantley

This rambunctious riff on an ancient Greek comedy, at St. Ann’s Warehouse, considers the crazier consequences of the quest for utopia

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Review: ‘A Brief History of Women,’ an Alan Ayckbourn Comedy of Tragedies by Ben Brantley

This master farceur’s play, believed to be his 81st, charts social changes through six decades in a single stately home, inhabited by people as silly as they are sad.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 07:18PM
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In a Slim Season, the Tonys Show Love to Brits, Classics and Sponges by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

Our chief critics offer reaction to the nominations, which were hard on jukebox musicals and “Frozen” but good to “My Fair Lady” and “Carousel.”

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5 Shows to See in New York: ‘Me and My Girl,’ ‘Dance Nation’ and More by Ben Brantley

May is a good month to venture away from Times Square blockbusters. “Our Lady of 121st Street” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” are Off Broadway highlights.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Review: In an Energized ‘Iceman,’ the Drinks are on Denzel by Ben Brantley

George C. Wolfe’s entertaining production allows the large ensemble, including Mr. Washington, to charm one another and play to the crowd.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 07:48PM
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review: Screwball Eggheads Tear Up the Library in ‘Travesties’ by Ben Brantley

This exuberant revival of Tom Stoppard’s 1974 comedy of the intellect, starring Tom Hollander, is one of the sweetest and strangest defenses of art.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 08:18PM
Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: ‘Transfers’ and the Anguished Art of the College Interview by Ben Brantley

Lucy Thurber’s compassionate but clunky play follows the bids of two young men from the Bronx to win scholarships at a New England college

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Raises the Bar for Broadway Magic by Ben Brantley

J.K. Rowling’s ever-popular boy wizard is all grown up in this enthralling two-part play, directed with seamless magic by John Tiffany.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:18PM
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: Matthew Broderick Finds His Inner Satan in ‘The Seafarer’ by Ben Brantley

In the Irish Repertory Theater’s solid revival of Conor McPherson’s Christmas classic, the Devil sits down for Yuletide wassail and a game of cards.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review: In the Hotel in ‘Zürich,’ Room Service Comes With a Bang by Ben Brantley

Amelia Roper’s portrait of disparate — and desperate — lives in a Swiss hotel becomes an indictment of moral blight in the 21st century.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Review: An Elephant’s Ghost Stalks the World in ‘Mlima’s Tale’ by Ben Brantley

Lynn Nottage’s beautiful, reverberating portrait of a murder and its consequences follows the global path of illicitly obtained ivory.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:45PM
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Review: A ‘Carousel’ That Spins on a Romantically Charged Axis by Ben Brantley

Jack O’Brien and Justin Peck’s heartfelt, half-terrific revival of an American classic stars a wonderfully ambivalent Joshua Henry and Jessie Mueller.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:45PM
Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: ‘This Flat Earth’ Traces Childhood Fears No Parent Can Allay by Ben Brantley

Lindsey Ferrentino’s ambitious but ungainly drama, at Playwrights Horizons, assesses the effect of a school shooting on one uncomprehending survivor.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 07:15PM
Sunday, April 8, 2018

Review: ‘Mean Girls’ Sets the Perils of Being Popular to Song by Ben Brantley

Tina Fey’s adaptation of her 2004 screenplay about high school cliques comes to Broadway with wit, fetch and a surplus of songs.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:45PM
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Review: Head Tripping the Light Fantastic in ‘Symphonie Fantastique’ by Ben Brantley

The puppeteer Basil Twist’s singular riff on a Berlioz symphony returns with enhanced production values and undiminished hallucinatory magic.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:45PM
Monday, April 2, 2018

Review: Reliving Those Arabian Nights in ‘Pay No Attention to the Girl’ by Ben Brantley

Target Margin Theater’s tantalizing reconception of “The Thousand and One Nights” reminds us that there have always been unreliable narrators.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Review: A Blistering Billie Piper Unravels Brilliantly in ‘Yerma’ by Ben Brantley

Simon Stone’s latter-day riff on Lorca’s poetic tragedy dares to go to extremes, in this portrait of a journalist trying to conceive a child.

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Review: Chris Evans and Michael Cera Tell Lies to Live by in ‘Lobby Hero’ by Ben Brantley

This astutely acted revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s play presents conversation as an ongoing act of deception and betrayal.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Review: An ‘Angels in America’ That Soars on the Breath of Life by Ben Brantley

Marianne Elliott’s London-born production of Tony Kushner’s masterwork is blazingly reimagined with a cast including Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:30PM
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Review: Divine Decadence Revisited in ‘Grand Hotel’ by Ben Brantley

This sumptuous if uninvolving Encores! production invites you to wallow with the beautiful and damned in old Berlin.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Review: They Meet Again in ‘Later Life.’ Will Fireworks Follow? by Ben Brantley

The Keen Company’s limpid revival of A.R. Gurney’s 1993 play makes a case for this eloquent portrait of a man who can’t change.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: ‘The Fall’ Delivers Stirring Protest in South Africa by Ben Brantley

This ensemble piece from the Baxter Theater Center of Cape Town traces the exhilaration and ache of group activism.

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