My name is Ben Brantley. I’ve written for The New York Times for 27 years. Before that, I was a theater critic in The New York Bulletin for six years. I’m not a perfectionist. I’m glad I got to see a lot of productions. In fact, a lot of the triumphs are where I see great theater, and so that is where I get my most pleasure from my job.
My favorite story is about a review of a Tom Stoppard play that I did. On the day I submitted it, I received a photo of an 11-year-old girl in love with Dominic Cooper and thought the review must be terrible. So I just said: “As I write this, the brave girl is about to go home and wait for a rocket to land somewhere on Mars.” Of course, when it gets published, it’s fabulous. And I think that’s important: If there’s ever any doubt in any theatergoer’s mind, there is no doubt any more. But if I need evidence that I’m good at this, I’ll just say I’ve reviewed a Tom Stoppard play. And if that’s not proof, I don’t know what is.