Monday, July 19, 2010

Desperate to Be Shocking: Neil LaBute's “Filthy Talk for Troubled Times: And Other Plays”

“Filthy Talk for Troubled Times” had its world premiere 20 years ago at NYC's Westside Dance Project in a production also directed by Neil LaBute and has rarely been seen since. Which comes as no surprise since the play, set in a topless bar ("out near the airport," of course) and featuring five men and two waitresses bemoaning the state of gender relations, is both dated and mediocre. Take, for example, this typical rant from Man 4: "'Silence equals death?' Bullshit! 'Silence' is not speaking out loud. (Beat.) 'Death' is letting some guy put his thing up your ass, right?" Which, in our current post-Borat era, is less offensive than it is pathetic. If anything, “Filthy Talk” only confirms what I've suspected for quite some time, that LaBute is sort of the Paris Hilton for the smart set, forever trying to be outrageous but often ending up the butt of his own joke.

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

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