Theater at The New York Times

Yep, that’s theater, not theatre, because this is The New York Times I am posting about here.

The biggest newspaper in the world also has the largest theater section of any newspaper on the planet. If you are serious about all things theater, no matter which part of the globe you live in, then at least an occasional read of The New York Times theater pages is a must.

Of course, the focus is mostly on New York shows on Broadway and Off Broadway, but productions showing elsewhere in NY and shows in other cities like Chicago are also discussed. Follow industry professionals, trends, practitioners behind the scenes, multimedia galleries of images and videos from plays and musicals and much, much more.


So how influential is The New York Times? It has often been hailed as the only newspaper in the world to close a show based on a bad review. Don’t believe me? Ask those behind the musical Glory Days that openend on Broadway on May 6, 2008 to a swag of bad reviews, including one from The New York Times that likened the show to a singing version of the film Revenge of the Nerds, and promptly closed on … you guessed it … May 6, 2008 after only one performance! Thankfully Glory Days was a small show by Broadway standards, but it was still $2.5 million down the drain.

You won’t find The New York Times theater critics Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood giving four stars for a Broadway musical, though. The Times’ theater reviews are always comprehensive and academic and rarely use superlatives for outstanding shows or low-grade comments for productions that are nothing short of disastrous. Sometimes you have to read between the lines in a New York Times review because they are normally fair and balanced in their opinion, and this is a good thing.

So if you are not a reader of the theater section of The New York Times, now is as good a time as any to get started and enjoy the ride.

Right, now back to spelling theater as theatre.

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