Quotes by Ben Brantley

Ben Brantley

American theater critic and journalist

Alive from: 1954-

Category: Media

Quotes 1 till 6 of 6.

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    I've seen plays that are, objectively, total messes that move me in ways that their tidier brethren do not. That's the romantic mystery of great theater. Translating this ineffability into printable prose is a challenge that can never be fully met.
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    If you agree with a critic, you admire him or her. If you disagree, you despise them. We all feel a great need to be confirmed in our opinions.
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    It's nowhere near as intense as what I imagine an actor experiences backstage, but I feel a fluttering nervousness before a curtain goes up on a play. I mean, any play, anywhere - on Broadway or the Bowery or in a church basement.
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    The cliche was always that 'everybody's a critic,' but it becomes truer every day. Long before reviews appear in the traditional outlets, you can now usually discover - somewhere in the thickets of the Internet - reactions to shows from people who've seen them in previews.
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    Theater criticism should be visceral, at least on some level, an articulation of that fierceness and passion. I usually do a fair amount of research before I see a show - on the history of previous productions (if it's a revival) and the creative team.
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    Ben Brantley
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    Whether you like it or not, a performance's triumphs and belly flops come to seem excruciatingly intimate, as if you were somehow partly responsible for them.
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