The New York Times poached New York magazine’s Jesse Green to be co-chief theater critic with longtime Number One, Ben Brantley. The hiring, effective May 1, according to a memo to the staff from culture editor Danielle Mattoon, inaugurates the double title in the theater coverage and comes with Brantley’s blessing in sharing the title.
Green fills the spot abruptly and somewhat mysteriously vacated by longtime second-string critic Charles Isherwood, who was fired last month for reasons that remain unclear. A number of the Times’ regular freelance theater critics were thought to be in the running for the position, including Laura Collins-Hughes and Alexis Soloski.
Green, who became chief critic at New York four years ago, has been a prolific critic, feature writer and author. He and Brantley frequently disagree, most recently on the current Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie, starring Sally Field and Joe Mantello, staged by Sam Gold and produced by Scott Rudin. Brantley dismissed the production as a failure, while Green offered high praise for its non-traditional approach to the Tennessee Williams classic.