Thought-provoking Broadway Comedy eyes Toowoomba stage

The Guardian called it “a timely identity study”, The New York Times felt it was “emotionally satisfying… and unflinching”,  and The Hollywood Reporter said it was “great fun”.

For one night only, the exceedingly odd comedy ‘STRAIGHT WHITE MEN’ will play Toowoomba’s Empire Church Theatre. Set over the Christmas weekend, a father and his three sons reconnect and share banter against the backdrop of a world obsessed with privilege.

The piece was written by Young Jean Lee, an inspirational, barrier-breaking female playwright who specialises in experimental pieces and moving theatrical experiences. With this show, Lee became the first Asian-American playwright to be produced on Broadway back in 2018. But it was a few years before this that it graced the Australian stage.

‘STRAIGHT WHITE MEN’ was last performed in Queensland back in 2016 when La Boite Theatre Company joined forces with State Theatre Company to present the work, featuring Hugh Parker (Eastenders, The Office, Black Books).

Six years later, in a world ever so different, the show is being produced for a Toowoomba audience and promises to have people both thinking deeply and laughing loudly.

“Straight White Men is an interesting piece, that asks a lot of questions of its audience,” noted Brendan Thomas-Ryland who will take on the role of the titular character, Matt.

“Each audience member will have their own opinion of how [Matt] lives his life. I think any spectator will find a character to relate to, even if they don’t match the identities shown on stage. They’ll likely relate to multiple, or even find some of themselves in all four men. Humans are complicated.”

While the name itself might offend those on either side of the political spectrum, the piece itself is less about “straight white men” and more about the viewer.

In an interview after the Broadway show, Lee explained that the show was, “designed to make audiences notice their own responses and think about their relationships to their own privilege.”

And yet, even though it encourages deep dialogue, it is a genuinely humorous show and a good night’s entertainment. After some trying years, particularly for the arts, what better way to reach people, than through a little bit of laughter?

With a single performance on Saturday, July 2nd, tickets are likely to sell out fast.

Visit the Empire Theatre website to grab a ticket, and prepare for an evening of fun and thinking. 

Media Release supplied.