I was considering going to see the play Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute, which is running until July 5. It has been getting rave reviews for its trenchant commentary on the high value society places on beauty.
Before going to see it, I decided to check out two of Neil LaBute’s prior plays, which with Reasons to Be Pretty, form a sort of trilogy on beauty. I began with a reading last night of Fat Pig, which was fantastic. It tells the story of a good-looking man who starts dating an extremely nice and funny but overweight girl, and his struggle to balance his love for her with the negative reactions of his friends and society as a whole. The play is tragic-comic. It begins on a light, extremely funny note, but keeps getting darker as it progresses and the superficiality of our society begins to manifest itself.
The dialog is extremely true-to-life, and I was both entertained and moved. The play also led to an interesting conversation afterwards. I will definitely go to the reading of his other play on the topic, The Shape of Things (unfortunately sold out), before seeing Reasons to be Pretty.