Reasons to Be Pretty

This 2008 comedy—the third in Neil LaBute’s trilogy on looks—is even more vicious than its predecessor, Fat Pig. Until one unfortunate nanomoment of candor, Greg (Shawn Law) has been happily living with his “cute” girlfriend Steph (Angela DiMarco), a hair dresser. Are they in love or merely relieved not to be single? We don’t know, and neither do they. Steph’s best friend Carly (Allison Standley) then reveals to her a certain comment Greg made about her looks. Is it Carly’s intention to help Steph or ruin her? LaBute keeps that mum, but plants plenty of intriguing evidence for both theories. DiMarco brings her potent secret weird sauce to the role of Steph, which with all the yelling and insecurity could easily get insufferable in less capable (and less bizarre) hands. Law finds a seemingly limitless repertoire of nuanced suffering as he absorbs everyone else’s abuse. His Greg may be LaBute’s villain-in-disguise… the everyman who seems all-innocent, but who makes the world a meaner place by going along with everyone else’s (to use the playwright’s favorite and ludicrously over-used word) shit. MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Sept. 8. Continues through Oct. 2, 2010

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