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Ben Brantley Steps Down- Page 2

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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/26/08
Ben Brantley Steps Down#26
Posted: 9/11/20 at 5:00pm

MadonnaMusical said: "Phantom of London said: "Surprising news.

I wonder if he left under his own accord? He could have just picked up his pay checks for another 6 months, before theatre, is likely to start again in March. So the timing of his departure makes no sense?

However the position isn’t what it was and wasn’t a sure fire ticket seller for a rave like Frank Rich, we saw this with the early demise of Bright Star and Groundhog Day despite both being raves.

It is also worth noting that the position is /was the powernot the person, when Clive Barnes left for the New York Post his reviews didn’t hold the weight they did with the Times, despite the same faculties at the show.

I wish Ben well and have enjoyed reading his reviews over the years, a person who had a genuine love forthe genre.
"

There is no way he left of his own accord. In this economy?!?! It’s much more likely that his services are no longer needed due to the lack of actual theatre.
"

I think he didn’t walk, so hence if he was let go then he would be a staff writer and not a freelancer. If he planned to retire he could’ve just waited out for another year, not doing much and have another year on his pension. Makes no sense for Ben to retire now on his own accord, but very much hope to be wrong.

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uncageg
Broadway Legend
joined:5/13/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/13/04
Ben Brantley Steps Down#27
Posted: 9/11/20 at 8:34pm
Wick3 said: "I’m guessing next time he goes to the theatre he’ll have to pay for a ticket versus getting a media comp from the producers."



Which he can probably afford to do and won't mind doing.

Just give the world Love.
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IdinaBellFoster
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/5/06
Ben Brantley Steps Down#28
Posted: 9/12/20 at 1:39am
Seems like the right time. I’m excited to see who they get to replace him. A woman of color would be great.

I’ll always remember his incredible pan for THE LITTLE MERMAID.
"Oh look at the time, three more intelligent plays just closed and THE ADDAMS FAMILY made another million dollars" -Jackie Hoffman, Broadway.com Audience Awards
fredric47
Understudy
joined:7/18/04
Understudy
joined:
7/18/04
Ben Brantley Steps Down#29
Posted: 9/12/20 at 9:21am

I am overjoyed that Ben Brantley is leaving "The New York Times." He should never have been their drama critic in the first place. He writes unintelligible reviews where his opinion always gets lost in his sentence structure.

The only downside about getting a replacement for Ben Brantley is that once again I must face the fact that it won't be me. I have spent my entire life aspiring to becoming  one of the drama critics for "The Times." However, since I don't have the illustrious credits that this most prestigeous newspaper requires, I will be considered inelligible.

I graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications with a dual major in newspaper and radio-TV journalism in 1973. While attending Syracuse, I was the Entertainment Editor for the weekly pennysaver newspaper, "The Syracuse New Times," I spent the summer following my graduation working for Gannett Newspapers in Saratoga Springs, NY as a general assignment reporter who covered the performing arts.

But after this experience, I only did occasional writing but enormous dreaming of becoming a scribe for "The New York TImes" Arts and Leisure Section. I subscribe to the on-line edition of the newspaper and try to read several of the leading theatre and show business publications on line every day. But I haven't written much over the past 47 years since I graduated from Syracuse University.

The moral of my life is to dream less and to write more.

LarryD2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/1/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/1/14
Ben Brantley Steps Down#30
Posted: 9/12/20 at 9:21am

Wick3 said: "Even though he doesn’t work for NYT anymore, do you think he has enough of a following or influence where if he continues to review shows on his own and post them on his own website or blog or something, people would read it?"

His retirement announcement stated that he would still occasionally contribute to the Times, though I imagine it likely won't be as a regular reviewer. I would guess he'll write essays or profiles from time to time. The actual size of his influence as divorced from his position remains to be seen. People in the industry still talk about Frank Rich constantly, nearly 30 years after he stopped being a theater critic. Charles Isherwood, on the other hand, is all but forgotten already. 

Brantley held the chief theater critic job for a quarter century, which is practically unheard of, and he would have been able to keep it as long as he wanted. I highly doubt we'll see him starting his own blog or working for some smaller outlet when he could have just continued on in the country's most powerful theater-critic job. What sense would that make?

yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/14/12
Ben Brantley Steps Down#31
Posted: 9/12/20 at 10:54am

I will miss his reviews and even when I did not agree enjoyed reading them. I wish him well.

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uncageg
Broadway Legend
joined:5/13/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/13/04
Ben Brantley Steps Down#32
Posted: 9/12/20 at 11:26am
I wish Theater Talk was still around. He would have been a nice addition to that panel.
Just give the world Love.
VintageSnarker
Broadway Legend
joined:1/30/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/30/15
Ben Brantley Steps Down#33
Posted: 9/12/20 at 2:50pm

They need to hire a woman. Preferably a WOC but at the very least a woman. 

Brantley is still capable of taking delicious jabs at productions or choices that deserved the derision. Flat acting, lazy writing, baffling scenic design. He wrote some of the best pans. But he would also take some weird shots at female characters, actresses, shows for a teen girl demographic, etc. that I'm surprised got past the editors in these supposedly PC times. 

MollyJeanneMusic
Broadway Star
joined:3/10/19
Broadway Star
joined:
3/10/19
Ben Brantley Steps Down#34
Posted: 9/12/20 at 5:40pm

VintageSnarker said: "They need to hire a woman. Preferably a WOC but at the very least a woman.

Brantley is still capable of taking delicious jabs at productions or choices that deserved the derision. Flat acting, lazy writing, baffling scenic design. He wrote some of the best pans. But he would also take some weird shots at female characters, actresses, shows for a teen girl demographic, etc. that I'm surprised got past the editors in these supposedly PC times.
"

I still can't totally get over his comment in the Head Over Heels review making a joke out of the transgender and nonbinary characters in the show - even if it was a "reference," as he said in his apology, it's not as though the reference was well-known enough at that point for anyone to get it - and even in that context, it still sounded like a jab at the characters' identities.  As for who should replace him, my vote is for Diep Tran, an incredible writer who happens to be a woman of color.

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
Eddie3
Swing
joined:12/4/14
Swing
joined:
12/4/14
Ben Brantley Steps Down#35
Posted: 9/12/20 at 8:06pm

Brantley did a reasonable job, but the late great Mel Gussow should have got the gig in the first place.  I don't think Jesse Green is up to the task. To some extent, in the age of "everyone's a critic," the job is not that necessary any more. 

 

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uncageg
Broadway Legend
joined:5/13/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/13/04
Ben Brantley Steps Down#36
Posted: 9/12/20 at 10:33pm

Eddie3 said: "Brantley did a reasonable job, but the late great Mel Gussow should have got the gigin the first place. I don't think Jesse Green is up to the task. To some extent, in the age of "everyone's a critic," the job is not that necessary any more.

 

I agree regarding Jesse Green. I really enjoyed him on Theater Talk but don't care for him as a critic for the Times.

"

 

Just give the world Love.
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/14/12
Ben Brantley Steps Down#37
Posted: 9/13/20 at 8:26am

"They need to hire a woman. Preferably a WOC but at the very least a woman."

I thought Elisabeth Vincentelli already works for NY Times and does limited reviews. Previously, she had done reviews while at the NY Post.


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