Sunday, May 17, 2009

reasons to be pretty (The SOB Review)

reasons to be pretty (The SOB Review) – Lyceum Theatre, New York, New York

*** (out of ****)


There are plenty of reasons to like Neil LaBute’s surprisingly endearing reasons to be pretty, but the biggest is Thomas Sadoski as the comedy’s protagonist Greg, a lunkhead stuck in a dead-end job and a relationship going nowhere in a hurry.

Right before our eyes, Greg transforms from a juvenile jerk into a principled man.

But getting there is anything but pretty. I count myself among LaBute’s legion of fans, with his The Shape Of Things ranking among my favorite plays of the past ten years. For other LaBute fans, if I were to describe his latest work -- expertly directed by Terry Kinney -- as a Shape Of Things flipped inside out, I think you’d get my meaning.

That earlier work lulls you into thinking that the central, seemingly beautiful relationship is founded on trust, but ultimately gets upended with a startling revelation. There's no lulling about in reasons to be pretty, where the honesty that alternately seems too much or completely lacking in Greg's relationship with Steph (a marvelous Marin Ireland) is actually right down the middle all along. Although, quite frankly, it’s hard to believe anyone could possibly find Steph as anything close to ugly, unless you get a huge heaping load of ugliness spewing from her acid tongue.

reasons to be pretty epitomizes a coming of age story for a new generation, even if its hero is a little late to life’s game of standing up for what's right. It’s that courage of conviction and taut cast that makes reasons to be pretty so compelling.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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5 Comments:

At 18 May, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 18 May, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Dear Readers,

I have removed one individual's 22,536 word rant about our society. While the individual had one or two interesting points, it had absolutely nothing to do with reasons to be pretty or live theatre for that matter.

So, in accordance with rule #2 above, the comments have been removed. I would suggest to that Anonymous poster that he or she may want to start a blog of his/her own. This is not the place for politics.

Steve On Broadway (SOB)

 
At 19 May, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 19 May, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Dear Readers,

I have removed yet another comment that had absolutely nothing to do with reasons to be pretty or live theatre.

So once again, in accordance with rule #2 above, the comments have been removed.

Steve On Broadway (SOB)

 
At 09 June, 2009, Blogger Esther said...

Wow, talk about being so wrong. I never thought I'd like reasons to be pretty as much as I did. And I loved it. Parts of it are explosive and brutal but I laughed - a lot. Some of the dialog - especially some of the reprehensible parts - rang so true to life. I mean, I've heard people say similar things.

And the cast is terrific, especially Thomas Sadoski, who is adorable and so likable. Watching how he grows over the course of the play is thrilling. I was really rooting for him. And Steven Pasquale is scary good playing a not-so-likable character.

 

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