New Edgecliff Theatre closes its 2011-2012 season with a return to the work of Neil LaBute. "reasons to be pretty" is one of the "Beauty Trilogy" of plays he wrote over a ten year period concerning our culture's fixation with vanity and physical attractiveness – the other two being "The Shape of Things" and "Fat Pig" (NET produced "Fat Pig" in 2007).
The trilogy is sometimes referred to as the "accidental" trilogy. According to LaBute, "'reasons to be pretty' was first imagined as a singular work and it was only as I began to think about it in earnest that I saw the potential in its themes to build upon what I had already examined in the two previous plays. Once the idea was in my head, however, the structure, number of characters and the central male figure were all dictated by the format I had employed in 'The Shape Of Things' and 'Fat Pig'." Because the plays were not originally intended as a trilogy, they each can stand alone. While the structures and themes are similar, there are no continuing characters, locations, etc.
In "reasons to be pretty", blue-collar worker Greg's life is thrown into turmoil when his girlfriend Steph hears of his offhand remarks favorably comparing a female coworker's pretty face to her own, "regular" face. Things spin out of control from there as Greg's shallow "best buddy", Kent, and Kent's wife, Carly, enter into the picture, and all four are confronted with issues of deceit, infidelity and betrayed trust. As their relationships begin to fray, they are brought face-to-face with the consequences of our "pretty" obsession.
Mark Seamon directs. The cast features Justin Baldwin, Steve Early, Mindy Heithaus, and Rachel Mock. Design team includes Brian Ruggaber, sets; Glen Goodwin, lights; Liz Galbraith, costumes; Grant Cambridge, sound; and Nicole Garrisi, props.
April 12-28, Thur-Sat at 7:30pm.
Columbia Performance Center, 3900 Eastern Avenue.
Near Terry's Turf Club, Allyn's, Bella Luna, Tostado's, Eli's BBQ and The Precinct.
Tickets: $23 adults, $18 seniors, and $15 students.
Special NET/Flex pricing is available for groups of 4 or more.
Purchase/reserve tickets: www.newedgecliff.com or call box office, 888.588.0137.