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New York Times Critic Ben Brantley On The Theater08:58

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These days there's a consumer review for almost every industry out there on sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp.

Although when it comes to shelling out upwards of $150.00 dollars for a ticket to see a Broadway show, people want to know what the New York Times thinks.

The reviewer who helps determine which shows survive and which ones don't is Ben Brantley, the chief theater critic for the New York Times.

He joins Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson to discuss why what the New York Times says still matters.

Interview Highlights: Ben Brantley

On whether New York is still the theater mecca

“Chicago certainly has generated some exciting theater. I’d stay still it’s New York and London."

"Theater is still part of the conversation [in London]. It’s something people go to with some regularity—or at least a certain tribe of people do. Here, going to a play is more of a special event.”

On giving harsh criticism

"All you can do is try to recreate the experience you had when you were sitting there and with as much of a visceral feeling as possible. If you’re disgusted, then register your disgust — you do try to remember there are real people and real jobs at stake as well.”

On the best show on Broadway right now

" 'The Book of Mormon.' I saw that again recently, it holds up very well. It still feels fresh, it still feels insolent and respectful in just the right way. Because ultimately this show — for all its talk about being an iconoclastic show — is a celebration of musicals and why we go to them."


This segment aired on September 9, 2014.

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