Listen up! | The Producer’s Perspective Podcast on the horn with chief NYT drama critic Ben Brantley

You’re already a regular listener to producer Ken Davenport’s weekly podcast, right?

If so, you know that every Sunday as regular as an A train (just kidding – Davenport’s podcast runs on time) you can look forward to a fascinating new chat with some Broadway luminary. Davenport has already snared a stream of big league agents, producers, theater owners, playwrights and marketers. If you’re interested in the American theatre and how it works at the very highest level, there’s simply nothing else like this intimate back channel.

Find Davenport on the web or in iTunes. It’s like a secret passage to Broadway right in your ear.

Looking for some must-hear recommendations from past shows? There are so, so many. But here’s two: Kevin McCollum and Michael Riedel. You have not heard world class dishing until you’ve heard New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel talk. Oh lordy. You’ll want to keep a lookout for Riedel’s upcoming book, RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE BATTLE FOR BROADWAY.

But lo and behold – who should appear in Davenport’s latest podcast but a lil’ critic you may have heard of – the NYT’s Ben Brantley.


BB packs elephant gun for quick overnight trip to Boston | When NYT gives the “NOT all clear” signal for a musical’s approach to Broadway

It being the theatuh – there will be drama. In the bars and in the cars. On the plane and by the train. Off the stage and on the page. Especially when the page is a NYT theatre critic’s column.

Every now and then – usually only when forced – NYT theatre critics leave the island of Manhattan. And occasionally when out in the country, to help kill time, they will sample shows that may be headed for New York.

Charles Isherwood’s recent mostly favorable review of THE GREAT SOCIETY is an example of a kind of “all clear” judgement on a perhaps NYC-bound show, and he even closes by saying: “…with some more development, “The Great Society,” which will be seen in repertory with “All the Way” at Seattle Repertory Theater (which commissioned the new play) in the fall, could ultimately follow the path its predecessor took to Broadway.”

And then there are examples of what a “NOT all clear” verdict looks like. During a recent “off island” outing, Ben Brantley headed for Boston to see FINDING NEVERLAND, the musical version of the movie now on at ART. The show has Broadway dreams and is championed by Harvey Weinstein.

Forget objectivity, forget fairness, and just read it as a work of pure theatre. Maybe there’s a two person play here waiting to happen – Ben Brantley and Harvey Weinstein in a fight during intermission. Hopefully (for BB’s sake) it won’t come to actual wrestling.