All stories by Ben Brantley on BroadwayStars

Monday, August 12, 2019

Hot Priests and Wayward Libidos Run Wild on London’s Stages by Ben Brantley

Andrew Scott, John Malkovich and Clive Owen are among the West End actors portraying men hopelessly in thrall to erotic impulses.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:36PM
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Restorative Power of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Ben Brantley

The trapezes disguised as bedding may encourage you to trip the enchanted glade with the frisky cast of this London production. Feel free.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 04:03PM
Monday, August 5, 2019

Review: An Electrifying ‘Coriolanus,’ Addicted to War by Ben Brantley

Jonathan Cake finds the cracks in the macho surface of Shakespeare’s strangest tragic hero in Daniel Sullivan’s fiery production in Central Park.

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Review: ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ Offers a Party, and a Playlist, for the Ages by Ben Brantley

Forbidden pleasures abound in this spectacular musical, starring a dazzling Karen Olivo as a doomed Parisian chanteuse.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:36AM
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Review: History’s Shadows Haunt ‘The Black Clown’ by Ben Brantley

In this musical theater piece adapted from a Langston Hughes poem, the bass-baritone Davóne Tines embodies the evolving, divided soul of black America.

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review: Black Lives Trapped in a Reimagined ‘Penal Colony’ by Ben Brantley

Miranda Haymon’s play relocates Kafka’s horrific tale of punishment to a contemporary world where African-American men are expendable entertainment.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:06PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Review: A Mexican Medea Heads to New York in ‘Mojada’ by Ben Brantley

In this retelling of Euripides’ tragedy of an abandoned lover, the heroine is a shy seamstress in seclusion in the Queens neighborhood of Corona.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:03PM
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Review: Piety Laced With Poison in the Uganda of ‘The Rolling Stone’ by Ben Brantley

In this latter-day variation on Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” the young British dramatist Chris Urch creates a portrait of gay love under siege.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Review: In ‘Acquanetta,’ a Cult Movie Star’s Eyes to Die For by Ben Brantley

Michael Gordon and Deborah Artman’s unsettling chamber opera, directed by Daniel Fish, unfolds with the scraping sounds of a horror film.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Review: Putting Outlaw Music on Trial in ‘Rock and Roll Man’ by Ben Brantley

A by-the-numbers jukebox musical weighs the evidence for and against the groundbreaking ’50s disc jockey Alan Freed.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 04:32PM
Monday, July 1, 2019

Review: ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ Burns With New Fire by Ben Brantley

Robert O’Hara’s interpretation of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic, starring a brilliant S. Epatha Merkerson, puts the audience in the hot seat.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 12:36PM
Thursday, June 27, 2019

Review: A Singing Nun Struggles With PTSD in ‘In the Green’ by Ben Brantley

Grace McLean’s eccentric and opaque new musical considers the traumatic roots of the sainted medieval mystic and composer Hildegard von Bingen.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:42PM

Review: A Familiar Set of Laborers Join the Cast of ‘Working’ by Ben Brantley

This revival of the 1977 musical about the monotony of earning a living custom-tailors the original for City Center’s 75th anniversary.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 02:48PM
Sunday, June 23, 2019

Review: Decapitating American History in ‘King Philip’s Head’ by Ben Brantley

Daniel Glenn’s astutely goofy portrait of legislative gridlock in the Plymouth Colony casts women as some seriously conflicted founding fathers.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Review: ‘A Strange Loop’ Is a Self-Portrait in a Hall of Mirrors by Ben Brantley

Michael R. Jackson’s gutsy, exasperated musical is set within the mind of a black, queer man who’s writing a musical about a black, queer man who’s writing a musical …

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:48PM
Monday, June 10, 2019

The Best and Worst of the Tony Awards 2019 by Ben Brantley, Jesse Green, Scott Heller and Margaret Lyons

Swinging lights. Broadway beefs. Words of wisdom. And a restroom serenade. If only some of the highlights were on TV.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Review: It’s Cain and Abel Redux in ‘Long Lost’ by Donald Margulies by Ben Brantley

This formulaic offering from the author of “Dinner With Friends” chronicles the havoc wrought when a black sheep returns to the family fold.

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Review: Doubling Up on Toxic Manhood in ‘Dying City’ by Ben Brantley

This revival of Christopher Shinn’s 2007 drama about a widow of the Iraq war keeps its audience at a distance.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:18PM
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review: A Sex Crime Disarranges a Tidy World in ‘Something Clean’ by Ben Brantley

A splendid Kathryn Erbe plays a sheltered housewife thrown into limbo in Selina Fillinger’s thoughtful, poignant new play.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:18PM
Sunday, May 26, 2019

Review: Agony, Ecstasy and a Dancing Ménage à Trois in ‘Cabin’ by Ben Brantley

Sean Donovan’s multidisciplinary performance piece, set in an isolated rural retreat, finds the chill in summer hedonism.

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Friday, May 24, 2019

Review: ‘The Ferryman’ Is a Tale That Keeps on Giving by Ben Brantley

Jez Butterworth’s Tony-nominated family drama retains its fierce grip with a new cast led by Brian d’Arcy James.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 02:24PM
Sunday, May 19, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: The Human Voice Versus the Internet in ‘Octet’ by Ben Brantley

In Dave Malloy’s ravishing new a cappella chamber musical, members of an addiction support group compare notes on getting lost in the web.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:18PM
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review: In ‘Happy Talk,’ Susan Sarandon Escapes Into Amateur Acting by Ben Brantley

Jesse Eisenberg’s wobbly new play, which also stars Marin Ireland, casts Ms. Sarandon against type as a flamboyant suburban community theater diva.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:36PM
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Heavenly or Hellish? Our Critics Debate the Broadway Season by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

Adventurous directors and galvanizing performances made for unexpected — and very welcome — departures on what once felt like the Staid White Way.

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Tony Awards 2019: Who Will Win (and Who Should) by Ben Brantley and Jesse Green

The chief theater critics for The Times choose who they think should win and who should have been nominated.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 04:36AM
Monday, May 13, 2019

Review: In ‘Curse of the Starving Class,’ a House Is Really Divided by Ben Brantley

Terry Kinney’s unbalanced Sam Shepard revival, with Maggie Siff and David Warshofsky, finds the prophecy in a wild and woolly play from the 1970s.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:48PM
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Review: A Con Man Without a Sting in ‘High Button Shoes’ by Ben Brantley

The last of this season’s Encores! musicals in concert, starring Michael Urie, resurrects a 1947 show that feels nostalgic for nostalgia.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:36PM
Sunday, May 5, 2019

Review: Blazing a New Trail Through a Familiar ‘Passage’ by Ben Brantley

Christopher Chen’s contemplative drama at Soho Rep uses E.M. Forster’s “A Passage to India” as a template for exploring, and exploding, nationalism.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:18PM
Friday, May 3, 2019

Review: ‘Caroline’s Kitchen’ Cooks Up an Eve of Destruction by Ben Brantley

Torben Betts’s comedy of catastrophe, at the Brits Off Broadway festival, portrays a television cooking show host in a state of disastrous denial.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 01:04AM
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Critics’ Notebook: When It Came to the Tony Nominations, the News Is the New by Jesse Green and Ben Brantley

New York Times theater critics on a Tonys roster that highlighted originality, if not diversity, and made room for some welcome surprises.

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Critic’s Pick: Review: What the Crow Knows in ‘Grief Is the Thing With Feathers’ by Ben Brantley

An amazing Cillian Murphy portrays both a grieving dad and the mythical bird who takes over his life in Enda Walsh’s adaptation of Max Porter’s novel.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:45PM

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