All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Review: ‘All About Eve’ Gets the Vampire Treatment from Ivo van Hove by Ben Brantley

This London adaptation of the Oscar-winning satire, starring a misused Gillian Anderson and Lily James, is like a horror movie without a pulse.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Brantley in Britain: How She Survives: Strategies for Women on London Stages by Ben Brantley

Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney and Katherine Parkinson are three heroines in search of elusive selves in plays by Martin Crimp, Rona Munro and Laura Wade.

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Reviews: ‘Mies Julie’ and ‘Dance of Death,’ Love and Madness in Strindberg by Ben Brantley

Two productions at the Classic Stage Company channel the electric ambivalence of August Strindberg.

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Monday, January 28, 2019

Review: In ‘Joan,’ a Photographer Tries to Focus Her Past by Ben Brantley

Stephen Belber’s time-traveling drama, starring Johanna Day, connects the dots of woman’s conflicted existence during six decades.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano Go Mano a Mano in the Riveting ‘True West’ by Ben Brantley

In this unsettling revival, directed by James Macdonald, two fine actors find the existential terror in Sam Shepard’s portrait of battling brothers.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Review: In ‘Eddie and Dave,’ Van Halen Gets a Makeover by Ben Brantley

Amy Staats’s tale of the rowdy rise (and fall and rise and fall) of the rock band lets women loose in the glam metal boys’ club.

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: Reckoning With Medical Betrayals ‘Behind the Sheet’ by Ben Brantley

Charly Evon Simpson’s quietly commanding play chronicles gynecological experimentation on American slave women in the antebellum South.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

An Appraisal: Even From Afar, Carol Channing Served Up That Broadway Wow by Ben Brantley

How her outsize presence — and that “Hello, Dolly!” cast album — helped entice a burgeoning theater critic to New York.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Review: ‘On Blueberry Hill’ Looks Back in Radiant Regret by Ben Brantley

Sebastian Barry’s imbalanced new play, set in a Dublin prison, confirms its writer’s gift for finding the holiness in the everyday.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Demolition Artist: 3 Critics Debate Ivo van Hove by Ben Brantley, Elisabeth Vincentelli and Jason Zinoman

Visionary stylist or one-trick pony? With “Network” on Broadway and “All About Eve” on the horizon, the multimedia-mad stage director is ready for his close-up.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Obsession, Mourning and Migration at Under the Radar by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

Offerings at the festival include a riff on “Uncle Vanya”; a “Frankenstein” adaptation highlighting a mother’s grief; and an intimate tale of displacement.

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Monday, January 7, 2019

Review: Marin Ireland Brings Down the Halfway House in ‘Blue Ridge’ by Ben Brantley

Marin Ireland blazes furiously as an emotional terrorist in Abby Rosebrock’s emotionally congested comic drama, set in a Southern rehab center.

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Theater Reviews: Hate, Hope and Healing at Under the Radar by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

An eclectic opening weekend included sketches and songs by Nigerian women, two unsettling monologues and a punk-rock reminiscence (with mixtape to follow).

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

‘Clueless: The Musical’ Review: The Film’s Charm Is Replaced by Sparkle by Ben Brantley

Amy Heckerling’s amiable but limp adaptation of her classic 1995 film suggests a peppy fan club putting on its own makeshift show.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Review: In ‘The Prisoner,’ Peter Brook Ponders Crime and Punishment by Ben Brantley

This gnomic tale from the fabled director portrays a man expiating a patricide outside a prison’s walls.

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Critic’s Pick: ‘The Jungle’ Review: Migrants’ Heartbreaking Search for Home in Calais by Ben Brantley

This extraordinary, London-born work of immersive theater places its audience at the fraught and energetic center of a migrant camp in France.

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Critic’s Pick: Review: An Electrifying Bryan Cranston Is All the Rage in ‘Network’ by Ben Brantley

Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation of the 1976 film presents a pricelessly demented affair between a has-been anchorman and the cameras that love him.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Best Theater of 2018 by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

It was a year when classics were reincarnated in deceptively modest interpretations, conventional story forms were tossed aside and strong voices roared.

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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Critic’s Pick: Review: Reliving a Childhood Interrupted in ‘The Tricky Part’ by Ben Brantley

Martin Moran’s radiant memoir of a play recalls an experience of sexual abuse with a sense of luminous mystery.

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Review: Tom Stoppard’s ‘The Hard Problem’ Is a Mind-Body Gabfest by Ben Brantley

In this garrulous play of ideas, the author of “The Real Thing” and “The Coast of Utopia” takes on the essence — and ethics — of being human.

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Critic’s Pick: Review: Rage and Ritual in ‘What to Send Up When It Goes Down’ by Ben Brantley

Aleshea Harris’s remarkable new play brims with an expressly theatrical eloquence and anger.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Review: Reaching Across Korean Borders in ‘Wild Goose Dreams’ by Ben Brantley

Hansol Jung’s industriously imaginative play uses visions of winged flight to explore the loneliness of two ambivalent lovers in Seoul.

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Review: Raúl Esparza Becomes a Very Familiar Fascist in ‘Arturo Ui’ by Ben Brantley

John Doyle’s inventive revival of Brecht’s 1941 satire about Adolf Hitler is more impressive for theatrical ingenuity than topicality.

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Critic’s Pick: Review: Mike Birbiglia Is a Very Nervous Dad in ‘The New One’ by Ben Brantley

This one-man show, about the anxieties of impending fatherhood, makes a seductive case for seeing a comedian live in the age of Netflix.

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Review: Michael C. Hall Probes the Despair of ‘Thom Pain’ by Ben Brantley

In Oliver Butler’s revival, Will Eno’s reputation-making monologue of masochistic bleakness suddenly feels a lot less shocking.

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Jay O. Sanders on How an ‘Oak Tree’ Became Uncle Vanya by Ben Brantley

Mr. Sanders, a veteran of four decades of stage and screen work, is giving the performance of his career in his first appearance in Chekhov.

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Review: ‘King Kong’ Is the Mess That Roared by Jesse Green and Ben Brantley

The one-ton, 20-foot marionette is impressive, but the $35 million musical he stars in doesn’t even succeed as camp.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Review: In ‘Eve’s Song,’ the Ghosts Are Not the Scariest Part by Ben Brantley

Patricia Ione Lloyd’s macabre domestic comedy suggests that for African-Americans, every day is a potential horror movie in the making.

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Review: A ‘Waiting for Godot’ as Comically Futile as a Looney Tune by Ben Brantley

Garry Hines’s very funny interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s best-known work finds the kinetic cartoon humor in existential futility.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Critic’s Pick: Review: Lessons in Love From a Drama Queen in ‘Torch Song’ by Ben Brantley

In this brisk and entertaining revival of Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-winning play, Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl are mesmerizingly larger than life.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Critic’s Pick: Review: Remembering What Was and Wasn’t in ‘Good Grief’ by Ben Brantley

Ngozi Anyanwu’s tender new play, directed by Awoye Timpo at the Vineyard Theater, considers the nature of memory in the aftermath of a tragedy.

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