Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reasons to Yawn at Neil LaBute

Provocateur playwright/filmmaker Neil LaBute traffics in alternate reality, in a world where perfectly timed jabs and witty comebacks abound. He transforms “what we wish we could say” into pretty bits of dialogue. It’s been obvious right from his audacious directorial debut, “In The Company of Men,” that LaBute is in love with the stylization of language over emotional substance. That film—brutally shocking in its misanthropy, with its use of words as blood sport—was a risk-taking revelation for its time. But in the dozen years since “In The Company of Men” stormed the indie scene, LaBute hasn’t grown much as an artist. He’s been creating on autopilot, merely repeating himself with colorful stunts that masquerade as deep explorations of the human psyche. Simply put, if you’ve seen one LaBute piece you’ve seen them all. Which brings us to his latest play, “reasons to be pretty,” now playing at the Lyceum Theater.

To read the rest of my review visit The House Next Door.

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