Straight
81

Straight NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(241 Reviews)
Positive
86%
Mixed
12%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Funny

About the Show

'Straight' is a drama about the complexity of relationships and sexual attraction in our modern age.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (241)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
80
Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing, Unexpected

See it if you want to see an unconventional and unexpected take on what is becoming a hackneyed premise (questioning one's sexuality) in NY theatre.

Don't see it if you are expecting (and looking for) the usual, stereotypical, sitcom-style handling of the gay-straight-bisexual question.

94
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to relate to challenges that humans face in their relationships.

Don't see it if you do not have tolerance for the variety of human conditions.

Critic Reviews (31)

The New York Times
March 2nd, 2016

"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."
Read more

Time Out New York
February 29th, 2016

"If the setup sounds fustier than a '70s issue of 'Blueboy' magazine, playwrights Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola are actually attempting to explore loaded contemporary issues, such as the reductive nature of identity labels and the way some straights fetishize queerness. But these intriguing ideas come through in clunky debate-club dialogue, two-dimensional stereotypes and a surprise-free storyline that makes you yearn for some much-needed drama to come out of the closet."
Read more

The Observer
March 3rd, 2016

"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."
Read more

Theatermania
February 29th, 2016

"Director Andy Sandberg directs this competent cast to believable performances, despite his frustrating choice to stage nearly everything on the couch downstage center...It's hard to think of this as anything more than needless, low-stakes melodrama. In 2016, the off-Broadway audience deserves something far more challenging."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
February 29th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Talkin' Broadway
February 29th, 2016

"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."
Read more

TheaterScene.net
March 31st, 2016

"'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."
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
March 10th, 2016

"The play’s most significant weakness is that Ben’s internal struggle is neither believable nor relevant...Director Andy Sandberg tries to keep the pace moving, but the long, mostly two-person scenes that revolve around a couch, make it difficult. The ending is a twist that feels abrupt and un-earned, though perhaps with an intermission and a more developed second act, its consequences might be further explored and keep 'Straight' from feeling so dated."
Read more

Stage Buddy
March 1st, 2016

"Because of the great cast, it might be tempting to pat the show on the back and move on, but the script is already patting its own back so hard, and so constantly, that one wonders whether there is a sadomasochistic subtext somewhere in there. The play would seem fresh if we were in the year 1983, or any time before 'The Normal Heart' really, for its takes on sexuality and gender are positively medieval...The play spends most of its 90 minutes trying to fit these characters into boxes."
Read more

Front Mezz Junkies
February 19th, 2016

"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."
Read more

T
March 1st, 2016

"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."
Read more

Broadway Blog
February 29th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Theatre's Leiter Side
March 1st, 2016

"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."
Read more

B
March 7th, 2016

“'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."
Read more

Broadway & Me
April 13th, 2016

"'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."
Read more

The Huffington Post
March 1st, 2016

"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."
Read more

Out Magazine
March 7th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Off Script with Dan Dwyer
March 25th, 2016

"The problem I had with 'Straight' is not that the scenario reminded me precisely of what my husband and I went through when we met, but that was in 1979 and the play takes place now, almost 40 years later...The writing gets a bit choppy here and there. A pivotal point of the narrative strains credulity. The script could have gone off the rails into an unintentional, millennial 'Design for Living,' but the playwrights have their hands firmly gripped on the wheel of traditional melodrama."
Read more

W
February 28th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Show Showdown
February 29th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Theatre Reviews by John Clum
February 26th, 2016

"Did the writers intend 'Straight' to be a comedy or a serious drama? There was a lot of forced laughter for the first few minutes but it soon subsided. Eventually, my audience wanted to take the play seriously but Ben isn't deeply enough written for a successful serious play. However, comedy needs funny lines and these are rare in 'Straight'."
Read more

Motherhood Later
April 18th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Edge New York
March 8th, 2016

"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."
Read more

White Rhino Report
March 8th, 2016

"'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'."
Read more

Gay City News
February 29th, 2016

"'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."
Read more

F
March 6th, 2016

"'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."
Read more

Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
March 9th, 2016

"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."
Read more

NY Theatre Guide
February 29th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Washington Square News
March 9th, 2016

"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."
Read more

The Odyssey
March 4th, 2016

"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."
Read more

The Gay & Lesbian Review
April 13th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
150+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (think Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and tries to corral others into enacting a…

Buy
77
Good
134 Reviews
Ends Oct 10
NYC: Midtown W

Following a sold-out run at LCT3, "Pass Over" will come to Broadway for a limited run this August.

Buy