Podcast Episode #26: Yep, that’s right. It’s the Chief Drama Critic of the New York Times, Ben Brantley.

I bet you think you know exactly who Ben Brantley is, don’t you?

You’ve read him for years, and in your mind, you’ve come up with some character to go along with his all-important reviews.  You’ve got a voice, a smirk, some sass, a laugh . . . the whole bit.

And I’d also bet that if you met him in person, and chatted with him about the theater, you’d realize you were oh so wrong.

In fact, I bet you’d see that you have a lot in common with the Chief Critic of the New York Times, including a burning passion to talk about the theater, especially when you’ve seen something you love (or something you hate).

That’s why I wanted him on my podcast.  See, I have met him before.  And corresponded with him before.  And my first instinct was, “This is not the guy I thought he was.”

And now, thanks to his willingness to jump on my podcast, you’re going to get a chance to know the guy behind the “Ben.”  In this enlightening podcast with the Chief Critic of the New York Times, you’ll hear . . .

  • His favorite theatergoing experiences during his reign as a critic
  • How often he tears up at the theater
  • Why he has no friends in the theater
  • Why he prefers Off Broadway to Broadway
  • The show he just saw that he loved, and what he’s looking forward to next season

There’s a lot to learn on this podcast, including how to get the attention of a NY Times critic and how best to write a review . . . but the most important thing to learn is that is everyone in this business, including the people you disagree with, got into it in the first place because they love it.

And honestly, I’m not sure anyone loves it more than Ben Brantley.

(And come on, admit it, you agree with him more often than not – I know I do – sometimes even when he cracks on my own shows!)

Enjoy the podcast!

Click here to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.