reasons to be pretty by Neil LaBute, Speakeasy Stage Company, 3/4/11-4/2/11. http://www.speakeasystage.com/doc.php?section=showpage&page=reasons Contains mature language.
Reviewed Becca Kidwell
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” When we get out of high school, we hope the teasing will stop; however, we find new forms of teasing in fashion magazines, tv shows, and hanging out with friends. Have we become too sensitive? No. But where do we draw the line? How do we stop feeling put down by the world and begin feeling secure in ourselves? Speakeasy Stage Company’s production of reasons to be pretty by Neil LaBute makes us examine these questions through their dynamic production.
Anyone who knows about LaBute should not be too surprised by the tirade of expletives that open the play. They will not be too surprised that the cause is Steph, played by Angie Jepson, who hears that her boyfriend Greg, played by Andy McDonald, has described her face as “regular”. While it is an extreme reaction, we understand that it is akin to any answer to the question “do my jeans make my butt look fat?” Andy McDonald plays a calm, normal guy who dodges the verbal missiles on all sides, but still ends up with Steph leaving him. Angie Jepson’s belligerent performance is matched by the vulnerability she displays when Steph keeps returning to Greg for approval. Continue reading