'Straight' is a drama about the complexity of relationships and sexual attraction in our modern age. More…
Meet Ben. Ben is a 26-year investment banker. Ben likes beer, sports, and Emily. And Chris. This three-character drama meditates on fidelity, identity, and the moral complex of a generation that prides itself on the pretense of acceptance.
"A surprisingly honest play that refuses to offer simple answers to complex questions…‘Straight’ is a remarkably well acted piece of theater…’Straight’ covers this seemingly familiar ground wonderfully. It is a combination of smart writing, great sound, and fantastic acting by the ensemble. It races by in 90 minutes without feeling rushed or hurried. 'Straight' simply feels honest, and that is tough to pull off." Full Review
"'Straight' is beautifully written, brilliantly directed by Andy Sandberg, and superbly acted by the trio of Jake Epstein, Jenna Gavigan and Thomas E. Sullivan...My one criticism of this drama is that I would have preferred to see more time with the three characters on stage together...But I quibble, for the overall effect of 'Straight' is stunning in its power and nuance...New Yorkers, there is no excuse of not ordering your tickets to 'Straight'." Full Review
"What this play shows us is how damn hard it still is for someone to come out, even to himself, and even in this age of gay pride and legal marriage...Andy Sandberg directed 'Straight' with such fluidity...The pacing worked so well that at the end of the 90 minutes with no intermission, I wanted the play to go on. It ended perfectly, although not for the characters." Full Review
"The story line seems very true to life. It is entertaining and filled with zingers and one-liners that will crack you up to the point you’ll feel sorry for Ben since he never comes to terms with being gay...If you like funny, sad, sexy, and surprising drama, fidelity, identity crisis and the moral complexity of a generation that prides itself on the pretense of acceptance, this is definitely the right ticket to buy; you won’t be disappointed." Full Review
"A smart, bracing production brimming with clever wisecracks, some thought-provoking observations on sexual identity and one very promising newcomer…'Straight' is by no means a balanced dialectic comparing homosexual and heterosexual love...The standout is Mr. Sullivan...He delivers the play’s ribald asides with laserlike timing." Full Review
"With little to draw upon, Gavigan produces a warm and heartfelt performance, especially with a jaw-dropping last-ditch plot twist that could polarize skeptics...But neither Gavigan nor Epstein holds a candle to Thomas E. Sullivan now making his off-Broadway debut...Canny, cringe-worthy, and yet discerning, with a hint of shrewd mischief, this 90-minute production achieves what some of the best theater aims for, pondering the profound and without providing any straight resolutions." Full Review
"'Straight' is a first-rate comic drama about wrestling with sexuality and being torn between two worlds. Here labels, however inadequate, are a very big deal. Could it have been written 20 years ago? Sure. But in the capable hands of director Andy Sandberg and a terrific cast, the well-worn subject feels as potent and relevant as ever...This tight-as-a-drum production is well cast, with actors teasing out emotional depths from what could be cookie-cutter characters." Full Review
"A witty, thought-provoking alternative to the heteronormative narrative that usually steals the show...Although 'Straight,' directed by Andy Sandberg, deals with an intense subject, it is not too heavy a play. It tackles serious topics with hilarious punch lines and comical situations...The two [actors] create a fascinating and unpredictable duo you quickly become invested in. The play combines social commentary with relevant humor to unpack gay stereotypes." Full Review
"A few moments stretch credulity too much...Even in its current form, however, this is a creative and thought-provoking play, an unexpectedly potent spin on what many might (perhaps rightly) consider a superannuated genre. If many stigmas have been removed from our theatre and our society, 'Straight' smacks us in the head and the heart to remind us of the many that still remain—and that, just maybe, exist more in the eyes of the beholders than in the eyes of the beheld." Full Review
"The play is smart, with some super-clever lines, and the cast is appealing. Jake Epstein gives a charged, multi-layered performance, gradually building upon emotion...Sullivan is an actor to watch...Jenna Gavigan as Emily, turns in an effective if not inspiring performance, but then, she is offered way less meaty material. The 90-minute piece is deftly directed by Andy Sandberg, who keeps the actors moving about seamlessly, and treats the intimate moments with respect." Full Review
"'Straight' features one of the finest acting debuts of the season. Recent Tisch grad Thomas Sullivan plays Chris, the youngest member of a disoriented love triangle. The show itself is solid – a fun, smart take on modern love – and Sullivan elevates it whenever he’s onstage." Full Review
"A wonderful opportunity to look in on three appealing people’s personal lives, their choices and their drama…It is Thomas E. Sullivan as Chris who is the best part of the play. Sullivan’s earnestness and eagerness as Chris, trying to get more from life and to be a more open person is magnificent and incredibly real…I can’t give the ending away, and I’m not sure I agree with it as a dramatic choice. But it gave me a lot to think about and didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment." Full Review
"If the premise sounds a little dated, that is very much the point. Even in this age of same-sex marriage and openly gay celebrities, the act of coming out is still fraught and by no means inevitable for many...The message of 'Straight' is that the requirement to choose a label presents itself as an irrevocable turning point...It may be the success of identity politics as a political strategy, as a path to equal rights, carries with it a subtle tyranny that its advocates never foresaw." Full Review
"It’s directed with a lot of heart and soul by Andy Sandberg taking us on a twisted journey of emotional and sexual discovery that felt very real and true...Here I guess is where I was impressed. The standard but well-orchestrated setups were all there, none of them that surprising, but all handled in a fresh and emotionally-centered manner that brought me in and engaged me. This isn’t Shakespeare, but it’s not without merit." Full Review
"'Straight' is elegantly written and equally smartly directed by Andy Sandberg...The play works partly because of its appealing and attractive cast...We learn very little about all three other than their interest in football, beer, college, sex and career...'Straight' will either strike you as old-fashioned and dated or right up to the minute depending on your point of view. However, the engaging cast makes this worth the price of admission." Full Review
"The premise of 'Straight' is an engaging one...However, one longs for deeper understandings of the characters…Under Sandberg’s steady and discerning direction, Epstein and Gavigan do their best to bring believability to their characters...But it is newcomer Thomas E. Sullivan who really excels in this new play…It is worth seeing 'Straight' just to witness this young actor’s prodigious craft…The cast and creative team are to be congratulated on their work evidenced in this important new play." Full Review
"'Straight' starts off in typical sitcom/romcom mode...But the co-authors of 'Straight' have something else in mind...The answer is a little didactic...Still, under the unfussy direction of Andy Sandberg, the three-member cast does a fine job of making you feel for each member in this romantic triangle...The choice Ben finally makes caused several people at the performance I attended to cry out in dismay. A play that provokes such a visceral response deserves to be seen." Full Review
"A compelling, affecting new play by Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola...'Straight' is a little clunky in passages...The acting is a little tentative in parts...'Straight' is an important play: it reminds us that while contemporary sexuality is far less culturally rigid--or dangerous--than it was even a decade ago, coming to terms with oneself is not automatically easier or less terrifying as a result." Full Review
“'Bisexual' or 'Closeted' might have been a more accurate title for this dramedy. Perhaps the authors were aiming for irony by their choice...There are occasional comments that relate to the status of 20-somethings in today’s America, but the core issue of the play seems a bit dated. Andy Sandberg’s fluid direction moves the action along briskly." Full Review
"Epstein, Gavigan, and Sullivan handle the controversial material with ease, and although there is no offense meant here, it is sure to polarize. The provocative work would prove more effective without the dippy musical interludes that minimize it to the level of an after-school special. Still, it accomplishes important objectives of theater, which are to create dialogue and perceive other’s lives through a lens other than our own." Full Review
"Depending on your point of view, Ben is either a free spirit who won’t be bridled by traditional, black-and-white ideas of sexuality or someone who lies to others, and possibly to himself, about his true longings...Jake Epstein, Jenna Gavigan, and Thomas E. Sullivan are game as the lusty trio and there are some well argued ideas, but the tone was too cute and then too pseudo-profound for me to 'bi' into it." Full Review
"A tender exploration of the pros and cons of being bisexual in a contemporary society that often insists you can only be one or the other...What’s wrong with 'Straight' is there’s a lot of talk about things like genetic engineering and Socrates’ bisexuality, but the talk is stiff as a Yankee spinster’s corset and not always believable...It’s sensitively written and well played by an excellent threesome (no pun intended), but 'Straight does' not entirely convince." Full Review
"Just as Ben talks a good game when whichever of his two lovers happens to be on hand, the authors work to create a potentially juicy situation, then punts just as it is about to get good...The playwrights are pretty good at bright dialogue...Just as it looks as if the situation must break wide open, however, the authors throw in a twist that earns a gasp from the audience, but which, frustratingly, leaves far too many plot points dangling." Full Review
"In a sense, ‘Straight’ is simply another cheating hearts play, with the twist being the same-sex angle. Ben must make a decision, for which we’re forced to wait patiently. Audiences will surely take sides about which partner he chooses...Much of ‘Straight’ is clichéd but Andy Sandberg’s direction keeps it moving, there's some entertaining dialogue, the actors are engaging, there’s a lot of smooching and underwear displaying, and, best of all, it’s over in an intermissionless 85 minutes." Full Review
"Director Andy Sandberg directs with fluid, compact efficiency, keeping the show at a brisk 90 minutes that actually feels longer in a good substantial way without ever wearing out its modest welcome...Ultimately, 'Straight' feels too superficial to really deliver. It has some amusing repartee but the story they've hinted at needs a darker, more nuanced script to mine all of its possibilities…Still, it's blessed with a trio of strong actors who make the most of the material they're given." Full Review
See it if you enjoy powerfully thought-provoking theater that is unafraid to examine contemporary social issues without flinching. This one is raw!
Don't see it if you are homophobic, think being gay is a choice, or if you're a closed-minded bigoted right-wing conservative.
See it if you enjoy adult, literate scripts that are thought provoking and challenge you to see things in a different way.
Don't see it if you are looking for a play to end with a happy ending or all tied up by the end of it. This show will make you think even after you leave.
See it if You enjoy equisite ensemble acting, a show about the fluidity of sexuality, something different.
Don't see it if You are homophobic, are bisexual and haven't come to terms with it, if you are cheating on your girlfriend with your best friend.
See it if you enjoy a well-written, interesting play about contemporary relationships and if you appreciate excellent acting
Don't see it if plays with gay themes/situations make you uncomfortable
See it if You like relationship humor, relevant subject matter and a reason to question why we're set on labeling everyone by certain social standards
Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with sexual topics, and if you are hesitant on widening your perception on labels what we accept of other's lives
See it if You are in the mood for a thought provoking, current look at the relationship between sexuality and identity.
Don't see it if Themes of sexuality, and hot 20-something's in their underwear are not for you.
See it if you are okay with modern subjects like bisexuality and homosexuality; you can watch and empathize with one's struggle with sexual identity
Don't see it if you are ultra conservative and are bothered by sexual themes in plays.
See it if Like stories about love, relationships and the complicated human condition. There is some incredible acting in this show.
Don't see it if Are uncomfortable with same-sex relations or infedility.
See it if You are interested in something very modern and real. Whether you've struggled with sexuality or not, Epstein makes Ben relatable to all.
Don't see it if Everyone should see this, regardless of their sexual orientation or journey. It tells an important story.
See it if you like issue plays, want to explore how people lie to themselves, see a cute little romance grow, have a starj reaction to a sudden ending
Don't see it if you are married and in the closet, you think you know the subject already, gay plots upset you especially gay PDA's
Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies