written by Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola
and directed by Adam Sandberg
Acorn Theatre
March 21, 2016
Production websiteย 
๐Ÿ’‰ out of 5

Gay plays scare me. I am so worried every time that I buy my tickets for a gay play I am going to see a second rate play. First off, I am a bit taken back by the very term โ€œgay play.โ€ I am thinking that by now the role of gay characters should be so assimilated into culture that there is no need for the โ€œgay play.โ€ That being said, many gay people, especially gay men love their gay theatre. I see a whole grouping of gay men at gay plays that donโ€™t partake of any other kind of theatre. How do I know this? Attending theatre by myself I work my way to lean into the conversations of other people. Having no one to attend the theatre with, I have become an expert at โ€œjoining inโ€ to the audience experience of others.

That said, Straight is very much a gay play. It has so little interest in discussing anything other then the sexual behavior and hook-ups of gay men. Straight spends so much time focused on โ€œwho we go to bed withโ€ and so little time figuring out โ€œwho we are when we go to bed.โ€ The premise of the play is clear. Ben (Jake Epstein) has a girlfriend – a very girly girlfriend – that is โ€œjust great.โ€ Of course, he is also hooking up with Chris (Thomas Sullivan). Hmmmm, which to chose? I got an idea – letโ€™s try to juggle both – – and hmmmmm, what happens she comes in while the two men are spooning in their boxer shorts – and hmmmmm, will the protagonist be forced to choose and hmmmm, which will he choose? Iโ€™ve seen it. Iโ€™ve got it. Now say it to me in a new, wonderfully inventive way. Give me characters that rise above the stereotypes and get me to rethink infidelity. Or, at least, give some good olโ€™ fashioned exploitive nudity. I got none.

What I did get is some wonderful banter between the eternally horny men. I did get some wonderful zingers and catchy phrases. I felt like I was at a stand-up comedy show – trying to catch all of the funny stuff they were saying so I could share it with those back home. During the performance I saw two minor mishaps happened on stage. The first was a light that on stage that turned on much later then the character flipped the switch – – the second was a shot of liquor that was filled to the very brim – making it impossible for the character to get to his mouth without breaking out in laughter. These stage mishaps lead the actors to become very real. I connected with them. I followed them as they ad-libbed a bit to get back on track. It was wonderful – – but you could sense when they returned the text even they felt hampered by the pedantic lifeless language.

When seeing a show, I am very observant of the curtain call. I love to see how much they enjoyed their their time on stage. This cast did not.

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