Drama Talk & Drinks: How to be a White Man – “They had me with the title”

Can the idea of ‘fake it til’ you make it’ work for white male privilege? If you just act like a bro, no matter your race, sexual orientation, or gender identity, can you get a free pass when you act like a jerk? That’s what Luna Malbroux and Jennifer Lewis ask in their new play How To Be a White Man now playing at PianoFight produced by FaultLine Theater company. Always up for a play that “takes a bold look at race, sexuality, and gender” we decided to check it out for Drama Talk & Drinks.

Luna Malbroux - Photo by Clive Walker

Luna Malbroux – Photo by Clive Walker

Katie: They had me with the title How To Be a White Man. I love talking about white male privilege and I love seeing new works by women, particularly women of color, so I was excited about this show. I just wish I liked it more than I did. The writing was funny and called out some good shit. It was a fresh and relevant script. Where it fell short was in the execution.

Brittany: I agree, it was a cool interesting script, very thought provoking, but at the same time there was something off with this performance. I know they were having technical difficulties before the show started, so maybe that contributed, but the pacing was off.

K: There were so many awkward transitions which took me out of the show. The actors were kind-of lackluster too. There were moments when I was totally with them, during one of the serious monologues or the hilarious stand-up routines, but then it would fizzle when they moved on to the next moment.

B: It seemed like something was off, like actors were having to cover for someone who was late for an entrance or dropped a line. It was strange since you could definitely see there were talented people in the show, but it dragged, it felt inconsistent.

K: This script has so much potential, the production we saw just didn’t quite do it for me.

The Verdict:  This production had some great moments, but this is one occasion where the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. The script is fresh, relevant, and fun. There is a cool set, some talented actors, and some innovative uses of video projections. But, it fell short because of pacing.

The Drama Talk: This isn’t an easy show. The script is based on comedian Luna Malbroux’s experience as a queer Black woman, and also draws from a series of real interviews the playwrights did with people all over the country on the topic of white male privilege. At times the play takes place in a fantasy world, a comedy club, in the past, in the present, as an internal monologue. Actors are playing multiple roles, and scenes change quickly. There were moments when everyone in the play was strong, but there were also moments when every performer in the play was not. Because of the highly episodic nature of the script, it at times was hard to stay in the moment. However despite pacing issues, this is still very relevant new work, that’s worth seeing just for the interesting content. They also give out free white male privilege vouchers, so that’s reason enough to check it out.

The Drinks: As is always the case when we go to PianoFight, we don’t see a need to go anywhere else. We got drinks and food at the in-house restaurant and bar after the show, and toasted a fun and thought provoking night of Drama Talk & Drinks.

How to Be a White Man runs through July 1st at PianoFight. Thursdays @7:30pm, Fridays @7:30pm, Saturdays @7:30pm with one Wednesday performance June 28th @7:30pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased HERE.


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