'NYT' Theater Critic's Review of Hugh Jackman's Show Is Infuriating


We’ve been reading reviews by New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley for long enough to know that he’s not always a fan of celebrities’ work on Broadway; perhaps that is what’s at the root of the homophobic, oddly-personal piece that he recently filed on Hugh Jackman’s new one-man show. Maybe he was just pissed to be in the company of the theater’s “largely female audiences”? It’s not clear.

Let us start by saying that the whole “two sides” of Jackman framing of the piece is an idea so played out that it has already been a rather lame SNL sketch. Good, we’re glad that’s out of the way. So aside from Brantley’s stated belief that the actor is “for entertainment purposes, bisexual,” and thus “gleefully comports himself onstage in the manner of what, in less enlightened times, might have been called a flaming queen,” the critic also inexplicably makes an undermining remark about the state of Jackman’s marriage and hints that his loves of musicals could be seen as a red flag.

There’s also this misogynistic little gem toward the end, aimed at the ladies who love Mr. Jackman: “For some women his double-jointedness makes him the perfect platonic lover: part leading-man seducer (who gives you the best sex you never had), part gay best friend (who picks up your spirits by singing show tunes with you).” For the uninitiated, this is a prime example of mansplaining, and that facepalm you’re doing is a totally appropriate response.

If you’re in the mood to have a side of angry outrage with your lunch, then head to the Times’ website to read “How Hugh Jackman’s Two Sides Make Women Swoon.” Unfortunately, we’re not kidding. [via Vulture]