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Ben Brantley

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Ben Brantley


Swarth College

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October 26, 1954 (age 69) (
Durham, North Carolina, U.S.

Theater critic, journalist

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


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Life and career

Ben Brantley Ben Brantley Misuses of Shakespeare YouTube

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.

Ben Brantley Ben Brantley Misuses of Shakespeare YouTube

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 New York 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. He is the subject of the 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.

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

Brantley, who is gay, is single and lives in New York City.


Ben Brantley Wikipedia