Neil LaBute's foray into what it means to be attractive takes the stage of the Southampton Cultural Center (SCC) this week when "Reasons to be Pretty" opens on Friday, January 11, 2019. Performances continue through January 27, 2019 on Thursdays through Sundays at the SCC’s Levitas Center for the Arts.
"Reasons to be Pretty" is the third installment of LaBute’s trilogy that focused on the modern-day obsession with body image and appearance in American society. The trilogy begins with "The Shape of Things" and "Fat Pig" before concluding with "Reasons to be Pretty."
Originally produced by MCC theater, it premiered off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel theater in June 2008. "Reasons to be Pretty" garnered three Tony Award nominations in 2009 and won the 2009 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Pablo Schreiber) and the 2009 theater World Award.
The dark comedy deals with the pressures of what it means to be “pretty” as four friends navigate through the fallout from an off-handed remark that changes everything.
After Greg makes a seemingly harmless comment about his girlfriend Steph’s “regular” looking face versus a co-worker's, the comment gets back to Steph and sends their relationship spiraling. As the couple's life take a downward turn, the lives of Greg’s co-worker and best friend Kent, who is married to Steph’s best friend Carly, are also thrown into chaos as they are pulled into the wild ride.
Joan Lyons, the director for the Southampton Cultural Center production selected "Reasons to be Pretty" because it's a play that continues to resonate and may prove as popular with area audiences as has it has been with actors who rehearse the parts, she said.
"I first learned of this play when my daughter was a theater major in college and I quickly became a LaBute fan," Lyons wrote in an email. "At Center Stage, we also used this play for acting classes and it was well received by our actors. LaBute has a very modern edgy style that challenges me as a director. I like to push myself and my cast; I’m not afraid of hard work."
"Reasons to be Pretty" is the second LaBute play to be directed by Lyons. In 2017, she directed LaBute's "The Money Shot" as her directorial debut. It was also presented at Southampton Cultural Center's Center Stage.
"Reasons to be Pretty" features Bethany Dellapolla, Jonathan Fogarty, John Lovett and Bethany Trowbridge.
BASIC FACTS: "Reasons to be Pretty" opens on Friday, January 11, 2019 and runs through Sunday, January 27, 2019. After Opening Night, performances take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and on Sundays at 2:30 pm on the stage of The Levitas Center for the Arts, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, located across from Agawam Park in Southampton Village, NY. www.scc-arts.org
General admission is $25 and $12 for students with ID. Group rates are available. Brunch/theater and dinner theater packages are $69 at Claude's or Plaza. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or by calling 631-287-4377. Reservations are encouraged.
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