Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reasons To Be Pretty

Photo/Joan Marcus

Reasons To Be Pretty is certainly the laziest of Neil LaBute's three body-image themed plays (also The Shape of Things and Fat Pig). Thomas Sadoski comes across genuinely as Greg, but the other three actors seem to just be working on him, with no regard or care for self. The fact that Alison Pill is forced to emote for cheap entertainment is a real waste of talent (that she still almost manages to pull off), though no surprise from Pablo Schreiber, whose dismissive veneer makes him a perfectly unflinching actor for LaBute's plays. Piper Perabo, on the other hand, comes as a real surprise, interjecting rocky subtext into the obvious and polished dialogue. Right now, the show needs its four exceptionally weak monologues, for they show us what the actors are capable of, but LaBute would do well to deepen his characters--then he might be able to trust them a little more. Don't get me wrong: artifice, made sharp enough, can still be highly entertaining--even blanks pop when they go off. I was just hoping for more.

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