Dan Sullivan, longtime Times theater critic and one of the nation’s most read, dies

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Dan Sullivan, longtime theater critic for the Los Angeles Times, had a ready reply when people asked him what it was like reviewing theater for the paper.

It was, he said, “Like having someone thrust a microphone in your face after every performance and shout, ‘What did you think?’”

Sullivan, among the country’s most read theater critics as he moved around the nation reviewing for newspapers in Minneapolis, New York and Los Angeles, died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Minneapolis, his son, Ben Sullivan, said. He was 86.

The Los Angeles Times theater critic from 1969 until 1991, Sullivan earlier worked at St. Paul’s Pioneer Press, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the New York Times. As director of the Eugene O’Neill National Critics Institute in Waterford, Conn., from 1999 until retiring in 2013, he also mentored many of the nation’s current theater critics.

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