All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

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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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Review: What the Singing Dead Remember in ‘Spoon River’ by Ben Brantley

This exuberant musical out of Toronto, adapted from the poems by Edgar Lee Masters, presents an all-souls hootenanny.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: The Greatest of Danes, as Oscar Isaac Takes On ‘Hamlet’ by Ben Brantley

Sam Gold’s funny and heartbreaking production treats Shakespeare’s daunting masterpiece with disarming familiarity.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When You Switch Up on a (Broadway) Star by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

One night a week, Donna Murphy takes over the title role in “Hello, Dolly!” from Bette Midler. Alternates, like her, and replacements can help make or break a hit show.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: Thinking Outside (and Inside) B.F. Skinner’s Box by Ben Brantley

A British theater troupe considers the uses and abuses of psychological experimentation in “Opening Skinner’s Box.”

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: A Mother Fervently Tries to Protect Her Son in ‘Pipeline’ by Ben Brantley

Dominique Morisseau’s new play at Lincoln Center plunges us into the fatalistic worldview of the mother of an African-American teenager.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Exploring the Public School/Private School Divide in ‘Pipeline’ by Ben Brantley

Dominique Morisseau is one of the theater’s most penetrating voices. In her latest play, she focuses on issues of class and education.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Doubling Down on Doublespeak in ’1984’ by Ben Brantley

An often irritating British-born adaptation of George Orwell’s novel suggests that all facts are alternative.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: An Immersive ‘Seeing You’ Sends Its Audience to War by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

Our chief theater critics went to see the interactive performance piece on the same night, expecting to have vastly different experiences. They didn’t.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: ‘Fulfillment Center’ Finds the Poetry in Missed Connections by Ben Brantley

In this impeccably realized play by Abe Koogler, four mismatched characters reach out to each other in a New Mexico desertscape.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Specters of the Stage Enchant in ‘Ghost Light’ by Ben Brantley

Third Rail Projects turns the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center into a haunted house of theatrical ego.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

An Appraisal: A Patrician Older Gentleman Morphs Into an Angry Young Man by Ben Brantley

A.R. Gurney’s passion for theater spilled over the edges of his work, from “The Dining Room” through “Love Letters”

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: In ‘Bella,’ an Indomitable Heroine Goes West by Ben Brantley

Kirsten Childs’s musical at Playwrights Horizons is a picaresque tale about a young woman and her unusual protector.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Review: The Unspeakable Pain of an African-American Afterlife by Ben Brantley

In James Ijames’s play “Kill Move Paradise,” four young black men try — and fail — to understand how and why they died.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: A Shaggy Fish Story With a Bounty of Questing Heroines by Ben Brantley

In Alex Borinsky’s “Of Government,” life keeps taking the most unexpected turns for a group of eccentric women.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: ‘Raw Bacon’ Finds Fearful Poetry in an Iraq War Vet’s Mind by Ben Brantley

An actor and a playwright mesh seamlessly in Christina Masciotti’s “Raw Bacon From Poland,” starring Joel Perez as a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: A Virtuoso of Depression Broods Again in ‘Animal’ by Ben Brantley

Rebecca Hall demonstrates why she’s the master of the dark mood in Clare Lizzimore’s bleak play

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review: In ‘The Government Inspector,’ Dumb and Dumber, Deliciously by Ben Brantley

Red Bull Theater’s rollicking production of this Gogol play finds the cathartic value of satirizing bad behavior.

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

June brings a comedy for those who prefer to be weirded-out; a show for theatergoers with itchy feet; and Kevin Spacey in the role of Clarence Darrow.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Giddy ‘Government Inspector,’ Restaged by the Red Bull Theater by Ben Brantley

The cast of a new adaptation has such masters of mayhem as Michael Urie, Arnie Burton, Stephen DeRosa, Michael McGrath and Mary Testa.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

A ‘Hamlet’ Poised Between Cultures (and Languages) by Ben Brantley

In this reimagined version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, the Prince of Denmark becomes the Prince of Persia.

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