All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Review: ‘On the Exhale’ Addresses Grief and the Attraction of an Assault Rifle by Ben Brantley

Martín Zimmerman’s play, starring Marin Ireland, approaches the subject of American gun violence from a startlingly original perspective.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: In ‘Escaped Alone’ Fears Small (Cats) and Large (Apocalypse) by Ben Brantley

Fear festers, burrows and blooms in Caryl Churchill’s short and wondrous play that plumbs the depths of 21st-century terrors.

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Review: ‘Evening at the Talk House’ Is Just the Dystopia Next Door by Ben Brantley

Wallace Shawn excavates moral cowardice in an authoritarian age, with Matthew Broderick as our guide.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review: ‘Man From Nebraska’ Delivers a Midlife Crisis of Faith by Ben Brantley

In this Tracy Letts play, an Everyman suddenly realizes he doesn’t believe in God and goes about re-examining all aspects of his life.

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Review: In ‘Good Samaritans,’ They Sing and Dance, but This Isn’t ‘La La Land’ by Ben Brantley

This Richard Maxwell production at the Abrons Arts Center could be described as a sugar-free version of the new Hollywood musical.

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In ‘Everybody,’ a New Angle on Race by Ben Brantley

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s new play is part of the Signature Theater Company’s Residency Five program.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: In ‘Life According to Saki,’ Whistling a Perversely Happy Tune by Ben Brantley

The author Katherine Rundell has repurposed some of Saki’s anarchic short stories for a 21st-century theater audience.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Review: It’s Norman Mailer vs. Feminists in ‘The Town Hall Affair’ by Ben Brantley

Maura Tierney, Kate Valk, Scott Shepherd and the Wooster Group recreate a firestorm of a panel discussion in the timely and time-bending piece.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review: That ‘Sunset Boulevard’ Close-Up, Finely Focused by Ben Brantley

The pared-down revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical relies more on Glenn Close’s astounding performance than the original lavish production could.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

5 Must-See Shows in New York This Month by Ben Brantley

Those setting fire to stages this month include Jake Gyllenhaal, Glenn Close and Joan of Arc.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

‘Life According to Saki,’ in the Trenches of World War I by Ben Brantley

Katherine Rundell’s work, directed by Jessica Lazar, begins previews at the Fourth Street Theater.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: ‘Yen’ Is a Den of Family Dysfunction by Ben Brantley

Lucas Hedges stars in this highly physical production about two dog-owning brothers who are short on social skills and living in a squalid suburban London apartment.

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: Hungarian Musicians Bare Their Dark Side in ‘Our Secrets’ by Ben Brantley

This unsettling and imaginative production from Bela Pinter and Company looks back at state surveillance, sexual desires and the folk dancing scene in Communist Budapest.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review: August Wilson’s ‘Jitney’ Magnifies Marginalized Souls by Ben Brantley

With soaring language and an improvisatory jazz spirit, Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s revival brings lives shaped by privation to throbbing life.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review: In ‘The Tempest,’ Liberation and Exhilaration by Ben Brantley

Set in a women’s prison, this production is the third and last installment of the director Phyllida Lloyd’s series of Shakespeare plays for Donmar Warehouse.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Review: ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’: Oh Gosh, I’ve Turned Into My Mother by Ben Brantley

A revival of Martin McDonagh’s play features Marie Mullen as the mother, Mag; almost 20 years ago she played Maureen, Mag’s daughter.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Review: ‘Time of Women’ Portrays Activists Haunted by a K.G.B. Ordeal by Ben Brantley

In this emotionally raw play from the Belarus Free Theater at the Under the Radar festival, three women relive their incarceration and interrogation.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What August Wilson Means Now by Ben Brantley and Wesley Morris

Our critics Ben Brantley and Wesley Morris talk about listening to the playwright, a great chronicler of the 20th century.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Review: ‘The Present’: Even in Russia, It’s Hard to Turn 40 by Ben Brantley

Cate Blanchett stars in this Sydney Theater Company production of a Chekhov work, which features an eruption of runaway hedonism at a birthday party.

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Review: ‘The Bitter Game’ Brings Black Lives Matter to the Fore by Ben Brantley

The play, by Keith A. Wallace, follows an African-American boy, Jamal, who from childhood on learns to keep his head up.

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Friday, January 6, 2017

‘Lula del Ray,’ a Spectral Parade of Fantastical Images by Ben Brantley

The action in this piece at the Under the Radar festival unfolds both on a screen and below it, as you watch illusion-makers work with video, shadow puppets and scrims.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Review: What if ‘Until Death Do Us Part’ Means a ‘Hundred Days’? by Ben Brantley

The married performers Shaun and Abigail Bengson fall in love and contemplate mortality in this concert-style memoir at the Under the Radar festival.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Review: The Devil Went Down to Chelsea to See ‘Prudencia Hart’ by Ben Brantley

You can get there in a handbasket, but the route proposed by “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart” is a lot more fun. And drinks are served.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: Jealousy and Lies in a No-Exit Theater of War in ‘Othello’ by Ben Brantley

Daniel Craig is the Iago to the Othello of David Oyelowo in this breathless interpretation of Shakespeare’s taut portrait of lives razed by jealousy.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: ‘In Transit’ Goes on an a Cappella Ride by Ben Brantley

This musical subway portrait intends to meld a group of diverse, stressed travelers into a single voice.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: Desert Awakening in ‘The Band’s Visit’ by Ben Brantley

The show, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek, abounds with signs of new and exciting life in the contemporary American musical.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review: Dear Audiences of ‘Tiny Beautiful Things,’ Prepare to Cry by Ben Brantley

This play at the Public Theater, based on Cheryl Strayed’s book, is a handkerchief-soaking meditation on pain, loss, hope and forgiveness.

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Review: In This ‘Winter’s Tale,’ the King Is Insane. It’s as Simple as That. by Ben Brantley

In Declan Donnellan’s production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the homicidal protagonist’s motives are all too clear.

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An Evening of Song, Dance and the Devil in a Barroom by Ben Brantley

“The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart,” at the McKittrick Hotel, is a rambunctious yarn imported from Scotland.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Review: ‘Rancho Viejo,’ Where Banality and Trouble Cohabitate by Ben Brantley

Dan LeFranc’s sweet and scary, lackadaisical and hypnotic play centers on a pending divorce and baby-boomer couples with a lot of time on their hands.

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The Best Theater of 2016 by Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood

Selections by Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood.

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