Monday, May 30, 2011

Reason to Be Pretty, CoHo Theater, Grade B

by Neil Labute
Directed by Gretchen Corbett
Greg   .....   Casey McFeron
Stephanie   .....   Nikli Weaver
Kent   .....   John San Nicolas
Carli   .....   Kelly Tallent

sez says: this turned out to be so much better than I expected it to be--and that, because the acting was really first rate.  I hesitated about this play because I am not sure what I think of Neil Labute.  My sense of him is that he takes on really serious issues regarding interpersonal relationships but somehow falls short of bring the issues he raises into a full flowering of their importance.  So it is good that he raises the issues--but then the issues can  seem trivialized in the shallows of his presentations.

For instance: this play takes up the issue of the importance of  "HOW WE LOOK" -- are we thought of as pretty, or handsome, or ugly?  -- Do you think your neck is to short, or that your butt is too big -- or do you have a pretty face?   How we value--and hurt ourselves and others --based the superficial and uncontrollable aspects of physical appearance -- the unavoidable facts of our appearance -- is a huge topic...and one worth  some serious 'literature'     And here we have a case study of what happens if your lover learns that s/he does not think you are as attractive as, say, the new person working in the office.  Can you really make love with someone who does not think you are physically attractive?  You'll have to see the play to see how LaBute answers that--and you can decide f you think he is able to make important observations--or if it is just a topic on which to write some funny lines.

Meanwhile this production does all it can with the topic..and that is a lot.

MJC says:  weeks later and I still have vivid images of this --well written dialogue--actors did their jobs well

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