Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Straight White Men (Broadway)

From 313 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Funny, Disappointing, Relevant

About the show

Obie Award winner Young Jean Lee takes her comic and ruthless look at the classic American father-son drama to Broadway, in a new production starring Armie Hammer and Josh Charles. More…

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. This is one white Christmas like you’ve never seen before. Directed by Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro.

1h 30m | Already closed | Helen Hayes Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (313)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Funny, Disappointing, Relevant
73
Avg Score

65
Engaging, Unclear message, Two strong actors, Overrated, Lacks depth/discipline

See it if you'll laugh at the juvenile antics of grown men. You don't need philosophy; you'll settle for a slice-of-life portrayal w/its messiness.

Don't see it if you want true insight into privilege. Lee offers little POV; issues have no resolution. A cop out. Sh we like/dislike SWM? Muddy thinking.

Also SWM frustrated me. I was often taken w/its snappy dialogue, but the co... Read more Read less

93
Hilarious, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Choppy

See it if You want to see a very funny show that’s also tender and smart and full of good topical insights. Mostly great acting and clever staging.

Don't see it if You can’t overlook a few choppy moments that just don’t seem to flow as smoothly as real life does. Feels slightly forced to make its point.

67
Dated, Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if If you want to see a family story of brothers at Christmas, one bro foesnt live up to expectations. Poorly directed.

Don't see it if If you want a good show with substance behind d it, good directing g or something that keeps your attention.

75
Thought-provoking, Funny, Relevant, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if Does a privileged education obligate a person to a high-achievement life? Dad and 2 sons try to "fix" 3rd son. Enjoyed the physical comedy

Don't see it if Given how close the family seemed to be, I didn't buy their rejection of the low-key 3rd son. Writing was too heavy-handed.

80
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Difficult, Unsatisfying, Riveting

See it if you want an exploration of straight white male privilege that never satisfactorily cracks open the issue (but maybe that's the point?).

Don't see it if you're looking for a show that wants to present its conflict and then satisfactorily wrap it up by the end of the show.

90
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a fresh, funny & insightful study of human nature, familial bonds, inherent privilege, over/underachievement & masculinity.

Don't see it if you require a tidy & easy resolution to satisfy your experience; liberal guilt prevents you from sympathizing with the titular characters.

Also I implore the people who saw this in early previews (when the play was... Read more Read less

81
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if you like the cast who do terrific jobs, want to see funny show with "hidden" serious undertones, want to see something unexpected

Don't see it if you're expecting a tirade about male privilege, don't like men behaving like children, can't deal with a truly exasperating character

80
Funny, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you believe that people should live up to the expectations that society thrusts upon them. This may make you reconsider that notion.

Don't see it if you’re blinded by the title. Open your mind and watch this insightful play that happens to leverage white men to discuss universal themes.

80
Great acting, Funny, Disappointing, Overrated, Banal

See it if You want to see a cute, albeit run-of-the-mill, all-boys family comedy with some famous (though good) actors.

Don't see it if You’re hoping for a provocative play by a hot playwright who’s known for that. This is decent, but very average. But maybe that’s the point?

84
Great writing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if Diorama by female Asian playwright. Through her lens, questions regarding testosterone, fathers, sons, siblings are questioned w/o answers.

Don't see it if Taxing white privilege and brotherly buffoonery can be overlooked by such an appealing and talented cast. Great to be back in the tiny Hayes

82
Funny, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Not as good as off- bwy version

See it if You like plays about white privilege and the burden it brings to some men.This focuses on a father & 3 brothers. Just go watch Armie Hammer!

Don't see it if You are easily bored by repetitive conversation and brotherly competition. Bullying Silly at times Cacaphonous music before the show

Also This play was originally shown at the Public Theater on a much smaller... Read more Read less

82
Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if Curators set up live action diorama tableau of dominant US life form. No one understands how this life form can be self-sustaining.

Don't see it if You think the domination of the privileged is meaningful and useful for all.

75
Clever, Great acting, Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like a play with clever premise dealing with relevant social issues and recontextualizing them. The acting is great and sometimes funny.

Don't see it if you're very socially or politically conservative or get frustrated when the concept is better than the actual play.

90
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you like shows that have you thinking & talking about the issues as you walk out.This one really makes you think about male roles,privilege

Don't see it if you don't like good theatre, don't like to laugh, don't like to think, would rather watch Jersey Shore.Just go see it!!

69
Slow, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Blunted, Disappointing

See it if You like family drama. Family tradition and dynamics remain relevant to you in this hurried world.

Don't see it if You are not riveted by horseplay. You dont like being preached to even with a touch of subtlety. You dont think tough love is love.

73
Funny, Thought-provoking, Interesting

See it if You enjoy shows which examine masculinity from different points of view. If you like plays developed within a family unit.

Don't see it if You are not interested in ecamining non-traditional societal masculine roles or are bothered by unspoken family relationships issues.

73
Clever, Funny, Great writing

See it if you're intrigued by themes of gender and privilege, or if you want to see an all-star cast onstage. A fascinating exploration of identity.

Don't see it if you can't handle theatre-shaking pre-show music or don't want to grapple with heavy issues during a play.

69
Entertaining, Funny, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you crave a night of fun entertainment presented by a good cast.

Don't see it if you expect more than a lot of funny one liners. This play had the potential to be more, instead it meanders and any message is lost.

69
Crudely funny, Inauthentic feel, Star power, Misguided directing

See it if A family powwow over adult disappointments, privilege & unfulfilled potential is of interest. But the actors seem to be playing at charac...

Don't see it if ters not inhabiting them & are directed to make indulgent farce from truthful, painful satire. New post-sexual intro adds humor & confusion.

79
Amusing, Innovative, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Quirky

See it if interested in an innovative social commentary about privilege & family dynamics. Often funny, sometimes muddled. Well acted.

Don't see it if you want characters that are more than just types rather than believable people: you don't want an unresolved ending.

79
Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if mostly naturalistic family drama about a man, his 3 sons; discussion of white privilege, funny sitcomish lines in beginning, touching at end

Don't see it if don't want unusual framing devices; don't like 4th wall broken, want clear answers

Also 2 nonbinary characters break 4th wall in beginning and bring the other... Read more Read less

55
Disappointing, Cliched, Juvenile

See it if Young folks (under 30) seem to adore this show. Lot of jokes, silly bantering, a good deal of cursing. Loud music. Good for college kids.

Don't see it if For the reasons young ones like the show, older folks may not. Very loud music, silly jokes, cursing, no rhyme or reason, no real plot.

Also Three brothers and father at Christmas. They horse around like teenage... Read more Read less

65
Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Boring, uninspiring

See it if you want to see 3 brothers acting like infants during a Xmas reunion & badgering the older brother for not living up to his expectations.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy ridiculous antics of characters passing off as an important statement about what U R expected to achieve because of status.

53
Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated

See it if No reason to actually see it.

Don't see it if Want a real story or better dialogue rather than cliches. Better than it was two years ago at the Public. Curtain raiser was unnecessary.

71
Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing, Indulgent, Relevant

See it if you want to see four actors (no, six actors) do their stuff. Some very interesting conversations, but the play doesn't hold together

Don't see it if you're put off by LGBTQ talk, especially in the introductory piece. Also, if you want more than just character sketches.

Also As the play ended, I was disappointed that there wasn't a clearly defi... Read more Read less


July 23rd, 2018
"Under Ms. Lee’s direction at the Public, the play was shaggier and, paradoxically, more coherent; something about this knotty material, with its complex point of view and shifting tonalities, benefits from a crude attack. In the current production, I missed the brutality of the final confrontati...
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July 23rd, 2018
"Anna D. Shapiro’s Broadway production feels broader than the one that Lee directed at the Public in 2014, and the performances are somewhat uneven: The cocky Charles and the cryptically recessive Schneider are excellent, whereas Payne still seems to be finding his footing. Hammer, in his stage d...
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July 23rd, 2018
"It’s nuanced, curious, and compassionate. That’s not to say it’s comfortable—Lee’s sense of mischief and her expert control of tension are still at play—but it is, in its bones, gentle...For all its clear-eyed examination of certain kinds of meanness—the most insidious of which look a lot like c...
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August 3rd, 2018
"'Straight White Men' is such a great title for a show that it momentarily blinds you to the fact that there’s no real script to support it...Rigged to make audience members feel hep, because they get to give a thumbs-down to some straight white men in a political climate that is increasingly cri...
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Cast & Creatives (14)