Straight White Men (2018) BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • HR

  • TIME OUT

  • AMNY

  • EW

Opening Night:
July 23, 2018
Closing:
September 9, 2018

Theater: Helen Hayes Theatre / 240 West 44th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name), Josh Charles (The Good Wife) and Paul Schneider (Parks and Recreation) make their Broadway debuts in Straight White Men, which The New York Times calls a “fascinating and inquisitive new play” directed by Anna D. Shapiro.

It’s Christmas Eve, and Ed has gathered his three adult sons to celebrate with matching pajamas, trash-talking, and Chinese takeout. But when a question they can’t answer interrupts their holiday cheer, they are forced to confront their own identities. Obie Award-winning playwright Young Jean Lee takes a hilariously ruthless look at the classic American father-son drama. This is one white Christmas like you’ve never seen before.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Straight White Men (2018)

    ‘Straight White Men,’ Now Checking Their Privilege on Broadway

    Jesse Green

    July 23, 2018: You’ll have plenty to talk about after seeing “Straight White Men,” the smart and thorny Broadway anomaly that opened at the Helen Hayes Theater on Monday. But don’t plan on talking much beforehand. That’s because the preshow music is deliberately deafening. In the script, the playwright Young Jean Lee specifies “loud hip-hop with sexually explicit lyrics by female rappers.” Worth noting is the slight change from the play’s debut at the Public Theater in 2014, when the lyrics she specified were all that plus “nasty.” Nastiness of any sort is not part of this Broadway outing, a Second Stage production directed by Anna D. Shapiro. The confrontational tone of the opening, as of the rest of the play, has been softened significantly. As soon as the lights dim, two charming “persons in charge” — Kate Bornstein, a gender theorist who defines herself as nonbinary, and Ty Defoe, a two-spirit member of the Oneida and Ojibwe nations — take the stage to apologize for any discomfort the music might have caused.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Straight White Men (2018)

    'Straight White Men': Theater Review

    Frank Scheck

    July 23, 2018: Armie Hammer, making his New York stage debut, and Josh Charles appear in the Broadway premiere of this 2014 comedy-drama by acclaimed experimental playwright Young Jean Lee. Upon entering the theater to see the play by Young Jean Lee now receiving its Broadway premiere, we're pummeled by deafening music that forces us to shout even to the person sitting next to us. But the excessive volume is not an accident committed by an overeager sound engineer. Rather, it has a definite purpose.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Straight White Men (2018)

    Review: Straight White Men

    Adam Feldman

    July 23, 2018: The title characters of Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men may or may not be guilty, but they’ve definitely been framed.It is Christmas, and Ed (Stephen Payne), a widower and retired engineer, is hosting a reunion of his three fortysomething sons: Drew (Armie Hammer), an acclaimed novelist; Jake (Josh Charles), a divorced banker; and Matt (Paul Schneider), the eldest, a—well, no one seems sure. The play’s three scenes unfold in Ed’s family room, a comfort zone of board games, DVDs and stockings hung by the fireplace. This set, however, is contained within a large wooden frame with a plaque in front of it that says STRAIGHT WHITE MEN—the name of the play or, perhaps, of their exhibition at a museum of cultural history. And outside this frame is another device: a pair of fancifully costumed figures called the Persons in Charge (played by trans performers Kate Bornstein and Ty Defoe), who talk to the audience at the start of the show and supervise the set changes.

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  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF Straight White Men (2018)

    ‘Straight White Men’ review: Young Jean Lee’s milestone comedy underwhelms

    Matt Windman

    July 23, 2018: “In case you were wondering, neither of us is a straight white man,” asserts 70-year-old author and transgender pioneer Kate Bornstein during a preshow speech at the top of Young Jean Lee’s “Straight White Men.” Joined by Native American performer Ty Defoe, the pair kicks off a freewheeling and thoughtful but underwhelming family comedy. In 2014, Lee (an experimental playwright whose prior work includes a bizarre distortion of Shakespeare’s “King Lear”) directed “Straight White Men” herself at the Public Theater. Produced by Second Stage at the Hayes Theater, the play is now receiving a short run on Broadway in a new production directed by Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro (“August: Osage County”).

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Straight White Men (2018)

    Straight White Men brings Armie Hammer, bro jokes, and harsh truths to Broadway: EW review

    Nick Maslow

    July 23, 2018: Straight White Men might sound like a frat-tastic comedy in the vein of The Hangover, but it’s actually a powerful social commentary opening Monday at the Hayes Theatre on Broadway. With the help of a star-studded male ensemble making impressive Broadway debuts — including Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name) and Josh Charles (The Good Wife) — the play examines toxic masculinity and white male privilege while making you disappointed that modern men still haven’t harnessed their strength in a positive movement the way women have with feminism.

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