What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review?

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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review?#1
Posted: 1/27/12 at 7:28pm
If you don't know Ben Brantley is Chief Drama Critic for the New York Times.

Please feel free to add pull quotes, that would never make it on a marquee!!
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #2
Posted: 1/27/12 at 7:46pm
Worst as in most scathing? He's not much of a bitch queen.

Worst as in dunderheaded? Well, your can take your pick there, but I'd have to go with his pan of CAROLINE OR CHANGE for just flat-out not getting it.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #2
Posted: 1/27/12 at 8:14pm
For any post made, you are likely to get 5 more posts arguing that it was "wrong".
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #3
Posted: 1/27/12 at 8:35pm
I always thought his most scathing review was his review of Jekyll and Hyde.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #4
Posted: 1/27/12 at 8:49pm
Bonnie and Clyde was mean. Specially the first paragraph. If he left that out, it wouldn't have been so bad.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #5
Posted: 1/27/12 at 9:00pm
The first time he reviewed Spider-Man, it was pretty bad. The second time was better, but he still didn't like the show.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #6
Posted: 1/27/12 at 9:19pm
Worst?

Has he ever written a good one? (good= of value)
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #7
Posted: 1/27/12 at 9:45pm
I doubt it.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #8
Posted: 1/27/12 at 9:48pm
What exactly is the point of a Ben Brantley in a city that has a Michael Feingold?
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #9
Posted: 1/27/12 at 9:56pm
This just makes me want to post Charles Isherwood's Yogurt Shop.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #10
Posted: 1/27/12 at 10:11pm
I remember the Women On The Verge review being pretty tough where midway through the review he mused on a ladybug that distracted him from the show.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #11
Posted: 1/27/12 at 10:16pm
Oh god. I just went and looked at that. He was distracted by the lady bug while writing the review. Because, see, he thought the *production* had ADD so he thought that would in some way illustrate it.

He's not a smart writer.

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Updated On: 1/28/12 at 10:16 PM
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #12
Posted: 1/27/12 at 10:23pm
What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review?

Loved the shoes. Loathed the show. O.K., I exaggerate. I didn’t like the shoes all that much. But the wheel-heeled footwear known as merblades, which allow stage-bound dancers to simulate gliding underwater, provides the only remotely graceful elements in the musical blunderbuss called “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” which opened on Thursday at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater.
Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #13
Posted: 1/27/12 at 10:47pm
I'd have to agree that his review of the original Spiderman was the most scathing review I've read of his. If I remember correctly he referred to it as "a Broadway superlative, for all the wrong reasons" -- and that was only the intro.


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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #14
Posted: 1/27/12 at 10:50pm
He's also written a few reviews that were more summaries than his opinion.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #15
Posted: 1/27/12 at 11:29pm
I find it strange to only have one or two main critics because they're human so they're just going to not like/not get certain things. And it just blows that an entire production could potentially shut down because of said review. But I guess that's life.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #16
Posted: 1/27/12 at 11:33pm
Even years later, I still remember reading this paragraph of his review of the latest Grease revival and cringing:

"...in live theater, if you’re a reasonably polite person, you stick with the show you’ve paid for, at least for the first act. With “Grease” this means that if you last until intermission, you sit through more than an hour of a musical set in a high school that feels like a musical put on by a high school — and I don’t mean a high school of performing arts."
"Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos."-Stephen Sondheim
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #17
Posted: 1/27/12 at 11:37pm
On Love Never Dies:

"To think that all this time that poor old half-faced composer hasn’t been dead at all, just stewing in his lust for greater glory. Being the title character of “The Phantom of the Opera,” the most successful musical of all time, wasn’t enough for him. Oh, no. Like so many aging stars, he was determined to return — with different material and a rejuvenated body — to the scene of his first triumph. So now he’s back in the West End with a big, gaudy new show. And he might as well have a “kick me” sign pasted to his backside."

"This poor sap of a show feels as eager to be walloped as a clown in a carnival dunking booth."

"Its plot is so elaborate and implausible it makes the libretto of “Il Trovatore” read like a first-grade primer. If you don’t know the first “Phantom,” you will be very confused; if you do know the first “Phantom,” you will also be very confused."

"The score is, for the most part, so slow that you have time to anticipate Mr. Slater’s next leaden rhyme. Each of the songs — which range from bathing-beauty frolics to power-chord operetta ballads — spins a single tune until it loses its tread."

You could tell that he had a lot of fun trashing this show.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #18
Posted: 1/27/12 at 11:40pm
Alright, I'll come out and say it: I really love to read Brantley's especially bitchy reviews. Call it schadenfreude or what you will, but they're always entertaining (whether I agree with his opinions or not). I suppose they're a guilty pleasure of mine. I know, I'm a terrible person.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #19
Posted: 1/27/12 at 11:59pm
If only he could write them well. If only he weren't overly dependent on parentheses. If only, if only.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #20
Posted: 1/28/12 at 12:13am
Addams Family

"Imagine, if you dare, the agonies of the talented people trapped inside the collapsing tomb called “The Addams Family.” Being in this genuinely ghastly musical — which opened Thursday night at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater and stars a shamefully squandered Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth — must feel like going to a Halloween party in a strait-jacket or a suit of armor. Sure, you make a flashy (if obvious) first impression. But then you’re stuck in the darn thing for the rest of the night, and it’s really, really uncomfortable. Why, you can barely move, and a strangled voice inside you keeps gasping, “He-e-e-lp! Get me out of here!”

"Fans of the “Addams” television show will be pleased to learn that Thing (the bodiless hand) and Cousin Itt make cameo appearances. They receive thunderous entrance applause and then retire for most of the night. They are no doubt much envied by the rest of the cast."
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #21
Posted: 1/28/12 at 12:29am
I don't get why so many people dislike Ben Brantley. I've been reading his reviews for what, fifteen years now, and he's a very entertaining, articulate, and insightful reviewer. Then again, if I or one of my shows were ever subjected to one of his taunting pans, I'd probably hate him too. But as of now, I always enjoy him.
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #22
Posted: 1/28/12 at 12:39am
You're saying he's never given a negative review to a show that you liked? Never ever?
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #23
Posted: 1/28/12 at 2:50am
Yeah, Betty, his VERGE review was brutal. I was expecting something bad, but not THAT brutal. I still have yet to read it for a second time.

Updated On: 1/28/12 at 02:50 AM
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What Is Ben Brantley's Worst Review? #24
Posted: 1/28/12 at 1:07pm
some of these quotes you guys have posted make me think of Addison DeWitt from ALL ABOUT EVE...lol..i love bitchy writers...