Went to see Ground Zero Theatre and Hit & Mith Productions presentation of Reasons to be Pretty at the Vertigo Theatre.
Neil Labute is in the air.
Labute is a playwright introduced to me last year. He devises the most wicked characters, awful, despicable people who create emotional genocide. Mostly it’s the male characters in his plays who sink really low, but the females are definitely not exempt.
The story tells of two couples. The two guys, Greg and Kent have a discussion about the new girl at work, and Greg lets a comment slip about his girlfriend Stephanie that gets back to her. The play deals with the fallout of that one comment. Having dealt with Labute before, I was expecting both guys to be awful people. But Greg (the one who made the comment) seemed to have good intentions. Yes, he did say something that was quite cutting and brutal, but I didn’t feel that he didn’t care about his girlfriend, or his rotten character got found out in any way. It felt like he was just this guy, who got mixed in with the wrong ‘friend’ and he did something dumb. Really dumb. And he has to pay dearly for it.
I’ve seen Jamie Konchak (Stephanie) in both Ground Zero’s My First Time and ATP’s The Penelopiad. She has been outstanding in everything so far and this play was no exception. She shined in the last scene, paired with Pat MacEachern. The latter stumbled on his lines a couple times, but the subtlety of his delivery made up for it. I left the theatre with tears in my eyes.
Reasons to be Pretty runs until the 20th.