If you accept the notion that humankind has subcategories, then I would say that "Straight White Men" is the dominant group in most circles. And it's not for any innate reason, but culturally, they enjoy privileges and license to do and say things that so many of us can't.
That seems to be the basis for Young Jean Lee's pungent satire poking at our gender-oriented traditions.
The central story appears to be a highly conventional family drama. Three grown brothers and their widowed father join to celebrate Christmas. Here's a switch: they're not dysfunctional. They all seem to enjoy being together. Father Ed is a retired engineer, his brilliant but unambitious son Matt has just moved back home, Jake is a successful, soon-to-be-divorced banker, and Drew is a writer and academic.
The sons' relationship is marked by arrested development as we see them reverting back to profane nicknames and juvenile antics. For a while, there's nothing about the plot that indicates any kind of strong message. But Lee makes sure we're primed with a framed setting and a prologue featuring two self-described non-binary individuals, named Person in Charge 1 and 2. They follow amped-up pre-curtain music that they say is designed to make us uncomfortable.
But it's really not until deep in the 90-minute play that we get to the crux of the matter. Matt's lack of ambition worries his siblings. To them, straight white men aren't supposed to be aimless, and they ultimately see him as a loser. Food for thought certainly, but it's really not all that clear what Lee is trying to say with the play.
It's all immeasurably enhanced by Second Stage's first class production helmed by Anna D. Shapiro. Stephen Payne is most impressive as a last-minute replacement. Josh Charles, Armie Hammer, and Paul Schneider, all making their Broadway debuts, are excellent as well.
With this play, Young Jean Lee becomes the first Asian-American woman playwright to be produced on Broadway. That may be the best message of all: Straight white guys, make room — a new group has arrived.