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Armie Hammer And Josh Charles Defend 'Straight White Men' Co-Star, Kate Bornstein

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | August 9, 2018 |

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | August 9, 2018 |


Armie Hammer is currently in New York, starring in the Broadway production of Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, alongside Kate Bornstein, Josh Charles, Ty Defoe, Stephen Payne, and Paul Schneider. While the buzz for the Anna D. Shapiro-directed production has been good, Hammer took to Twitter to share something horrid that happened at last night’s performance.

Bornstein has not tweeted about this awful incident, but Charles chimed in with a retweet:

At 70, the author/actor/trans pioneer Bornstein is making their Broadway debut in Straight White Men. A Guardian profile reveals this is just the latest thrilling chapter in a rich life that’s included roles as “a father, a husband, a performance artist, a novelist, a playwright, a gender theorist, a ship’s first mate, a sex worker, and a recovering Scientologist.” Bornstein shared a look at their life with the documentary, Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger.

“When people say ‘Kate Bornstein,’ I’d like them to think, ‘eccentric Auntie Kate,’ someone who looked after her kids,” they offer in the above trailer, “That would be good.”

It’s unclear when the rude audience member yelled out at Bornstein, as Straight White Men has the actor in the audience ahead of the production, and commenting on its goings-on throughout. As Bornstein explained to Slant:

Young Jean Lee wanted to write this play about straight white men from the point of view of someone who wasn’t one. It’s a beautiful, well-crafted play about three grown sons visiting their dad on Christmas Eve. She doesn’t make fun of straight white men. She holds them to task, but she isn’t mean. And because she’s so subtle, very few people got it. So she invented a device whereby the play is framed by a performance piece. There are now these two performers—Person in Charge #1 and Person in Charge #2—and wherever it’s been done since the play was revised, these two roles have been written for the performers playing those roles. In my case, I get to say, “Hey, I used to be a straight white man.” And then I say, “Well I tried. It didn’t work!” The other Person in Charge is played by Ty Defoe, a Native-American trans man. So, we’re two trans people framing this show. Young takes two different forms of theater—performance art and traditional theater—and breaks a binary that as far as I know hasn’t been broken to this degree on Broadway…When you come into the theater, we’re there to greet you. Our job is to make you comfortable, so we talk with you. We think people will have questions and we’ll be adlibbing for about half an hour before the show. Then we climb up on to the stage and have an introductory moment and [for that] we have a script. The way we wanted to talk about the show was more like docents.

Bornstein also got to weigh in on their costume for the play, explaining, “When I was asked what type of costuming I wanted, I said I’d like the audience to know that I’m non-binary. I said, ‘I’d like it to be reminiscent of someone non-binary. Oh, I know, Bowie!’ So, I’m pretty damn Bowie in this show! That’s very cool.”

Straight White Men runs to September 9th.

Kristy Puchko is the film editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

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