Ben Brantley

Ben Brantley
Born Benjamin D. Brantley
(1954-10-26) October 26, 1954
Durham, North Carolina, U.S.
Residence New York City, New York
Nationality American
Occupation Theater critic, journalist
Years active 1975–present

Benjamin D. "Ben" Brantley (born October 26, 1954)[1] is an American journalist and the chief theater critic of The New York Times.

Life and career

Born in Durham, North Carolina, Brantley received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.[2]

Brantley began his journalism career as a Summer Intern at the Winston-Salem Sentinel and, in 1975, became an Editorial Assistant at The Village Voice. At Women's Wear Daily, he was a reporter and then editor (1978-January 1983), and later became the European Editor, publisher, and Paris Bureau Chief until June 1985.

For the next eighteen months, Brantley freelanced, writing regularly for ELLE, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker before joining The Times as a Drama Critic (August 1993). He was elevated to Chief Theater Critic three years later.

Brantley is the editor of The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century, a compilation of 125 reviews published by St. Martin's Press in 2001. He received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 1996-1997.[2]

Brantley, who is openly gay,[3] is single and lives in New York City.

Ben is the subject of a recent website,, that uses a "Ben-Ometer" to translate current Broadway show reviews. The website also has reviews from Newsday, New York Daily News, AmNY, Variety, USA Today, and other major publications.[4]

Brantley has been dubbed a "celebrity underminer".[5] In an article in The New York Times, published on January 3, 2010, he openly expressed his ambivalence about the "unprecedented heights" of "star worship on Broadway during the past 10 years".[6]


  1. "Brantley, Ben". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 85–89. ISBN 9780824211219.
  2. 1 2 "BIOGRAPHY: Ben Brantley, Chief Theater Critic". The New York Times. February 20, 2004. Retrieved July 1, 2007.
  3. Bahr, David (January 22, 2002). "Bright light of Broadway". The Advocate. Retrieved July 1, 2007.
  4. "Broadway Reviews". Retrieved 2013-12-04.
  5. "Ben Brantley: Celebrity Underminer". New York. Archived from the original on December 18, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  6. Brantley, Ben (January 3, 2010). "Hot Ticket: Nicole, Denzel and, Oh, a Play". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2010.

External links

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