Ben Brantley, drama critic of The New York Times relives unforgettable Broadway and off-Broadway moments. Witness the night a star was born, a director's brilliant debut, a play that broke new ground, a musical that redefined the genre, and even a terrible play that ran for years. This entertaining, essential volume for anyone who loves Broadway will include a foreword from a major actor, a full introduction by Ben Brantley, drama critic of The Times, and his choice of 100 other most important plays of the twentieth century. Each of the best 100 will include the full, original New York Times review by the critic of the day such as Frank Rich, Brooks Atkinson, Walter Kerr, George S. Kaufman, Alexander Woolcott and others. Cast boxes, lavish photos and statistics about the productions will complete this authoritative volume about classic Broadway theater.
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Ben Brantley became chief theater critic of The New York Times in September 1996 after having served as its drama critic since 1993. Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Brantley was a staff writer at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Elle, and the European editor, publisher and Paris bureau chief for Women's Wear Daily and W. Born in Durham, N.C., Mr. Brantley received a B.A. degree in English from Swarthmore College. He received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 1996-1997.
This is a book of lists. The first offers reviews of 25 productions that defined the century, while the second offers 125 reviews of "unforgettable productions of the century," which repeats the reviews from the smaller first section. Brantley, the current chief theater critic for the New York Times, selected some of the reviews for the quality of the writing, some for the play as seen at the time, and some because the play is likely to have a long-term effect on the world of theater. In his introduction, Brantley explains the New York Times review style, adds some insider anecdotes, and acknowledges that creating a list is always followed by a hue and cry over what was or was not included. Each entry has the critic's name, play or musical title, date of the performance reviewed, theater, and total number of performances, along with many vintage production photographs and credits. Why the reviews of the first section are repeated in the second section is not stated; they could have been included as a list, allowing for more titles in the second section. The price and slightness of this volume will keep it off of many shelves, but for libraries that can afford it, this is an engaging collective look at the past century of drama as seen through the eyes of the New York Times theater critics. J. Sara Paulk, Coastal Plain Reg. Lib., Tifton, GA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M031228411X
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