Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reasons to be Pretty

Philadelphia Theatre Company, located in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre at Broad and Lombard Streets, is presenting Neil LaBute’s Reasons to be Pretty through June 24. Reasons to be Pretty was nominated for both a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Best New Play on Broadway. It is Neil LaBute’s third play that focuses on our modern day obsession with physical appearance, following The Shape of Things and Fat Pig. A very talented ensemble cast brings LaBute’s tale to life. Elizabeth Stanley, an actress with many Broadway and off-Broadway credits to her name, portrays Carly, the “pretty’ but vacuous security guard of a frozen food plant. Paul Felder, who is also a professional mixed martial arts fighter, plays her cheating husband Kent.  Genevieve Perrier, previous winner of a Barrymore nomination for Best Leading Actress as well as Best Supporting Actress, portrays Steph, an aggrieved young woman who cannot come to grips with an account of a “she said he said” remark about her appearance. Daniel Abeles, who has had IT Award nominations as well as film credits, portrays Steph’s erstwhile boyfriend, Kent’s best friend, and ultimately best friend to Carly and himself as well. The play begins at an extraordinarily frenetic pace- Steph is blurting out expletives and shutting out any attempts by Greg to talk. The dialogue is humorous in its pace and its futility. LaBute picks up the pace again in the second act with a fight scene well staged by fight choreographer Thomas Schall. Set Designer Vince Mountain has done an outstanding job with the set design in conjunction with lighting designer David Lander. There are frequent scene changes and an efficient movable back wall is a fascinating study in design. Neil LaBute questions our preoccupation with physical appearance, the importance of it, and what drives us to strive for it.  Every member of this production has “done him proud."  For more information or tickets, call 215-985-0420 or visit online at

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