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Review: Straight White Men at Studio Theatre

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When you’re on all the time, it’s nice to have a few places to escape. I often turn to SoulCycle, as I appreciate the dark, cold, phone-free room, and its optimistic, feel-good vibes. I’ve found another place to hide away, the Snug Room at Service Bar, where I can drink champagne cocktails and no one can find me. 

I also love going to the theater for a little escapism. While I love Woolly Mammoth and its uber-weird, off-the-cuff shows, I’ve been getting sentimental in my old age and loving the thought-provoking pieces that have showing at Studio Theatre. 

While I could never pick a favorite theater, I appreciate that Studio Theatre is a block from my house, serves wine, and offers affordable ticket prices starting at around $30.

Most importantly, some of its recent plays have been absolutely incredible. Studio is a well-respected theater nationally, which means it receives priority access to purchase licenses for plays from some of the nation’s best playwrights.

Michael Tisdale, Avery Clark, and Bruch Reed in Straight White Men. Photo: Teresa Wood.
Michael Tisdale, Avery Clark, and Bruch Reed in Straight White Men. Photo: Teresa Wood.

 I wept during Between Riverside & Crazya truly beautiful and heartbreaking drama about race and gentrification—and the lack of affordable housing—in America’s big cities. I got chills during Hedda Gabler. I giggled my face off last holiday season at a similarly audacious, laughable play about holidays, family, and religion, Bad Jews. 

Given the recent political climate, it seems more and more of us could use a place to escape. My friend Cara and I were both a little weepy after the election, and I thought it would cheer us up to see a very funny and very timely play titled Straight White Men.

Straight White Men is just that—a play about three straight, white brothers—a “normal” family—who return home for Christmas with their father after the death of their mother. The play is a dark comedy—it begins in a funny fashion, poking fun at the typical white dude. The boys are playing video games, wrestling, making jokes about bodily functions. It brought me no shortage of good spirits to see somebody finally making fun of the typical bro.

The narrative evolves as the brothers struggle to deal with their personal situations (divorced, unemployed, etc.) and their parts as part of larger narrative of the identity of white men with privilege and the role they place in the future of our changing nation and their role in the narrative.

 PHOTO 2 Bruch Reed, Avery Clark, and Michael Tisdale in Straight White Men. Photo: Teresa Wood.
Bruch Reed, Avery Clark, and Michael Tisdale in Straight White Men. Photo: Teresa Wood.

Much of their struggle was centered around the concept of, simply, how not to be an asshole, which, these days, is something we could all work harder at.

If you’re feeling a bit despondent and could use a laugh, I suggest you head to Studio Theatre, for an appropriately timed, holiday-themed piece of theater. We’d all be well-served to laugh a little more, love a little harder, and think a little deeper on how not to be jerks about our privilege.

Studio Theatre
14th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.

Straight White Men is playing at Studio Theatre through December 31. Get tickets here.

BitchBiz: Bitches Who Brunch partners with Studio Theatre. While this review was written independently by the Bitches, we do receive compensation from the company.

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