THEATER & THE CRITIC: A Conversation with BEN BRANTLEY, theatre critic, The New York Times, at T

The New Times theatre critic Ben Brantley was the featured guest at The Salisbury Forum on May 17 in Salisbury CT at which I was asked to interview him in a conversational format.

The full video, as posted by The Forum on YouTube, runs about 1:07: my discussion with Ben is about 45 minutes and then some Q&A, but stay through the end. I got an off-the- wall last question and Ben's specific response is revelatory

It's a great conversation - in which Ben is both entertaining and thoroughly forthcoming ! Its wide-ranging topics include: his upbringing in a North Carolina journalistic household (yes, he really did want to be theatre critic for the NYTimes at an early age); his salad days at WWD; recruitment by The Times; which critic influenced his writing the most (not a theatre critic); his personal journalistic ethics; and, the value of formal criticism in a social media world - all this peppered with his commentary about the Tonys, audience behavior ("Audiences should be selective with standing ovations, otherwise it's like sleeping with everyone you date.") and a highly curated list of musicals that changed the game.

I hope you enjoy what Ben has to say as much as I did conversing with him. The Salisbury Forum.

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