Neil Labute knows how to elicit a reaction. His writing is savage, and his take on the human condition is bleak. Reasons to be Pretty, which is being staged at the Neptune Studio Theatre by the Dalhousie Theatre Society, is no exception.
It’s the story of a hapless everyman named Greg (Henricus Gielis) whose relationship implodes when his girlfriend Steph (Nicole O’Connor) learns that he has referred to her looks as “regular”. Though it hardly seems an offence worthy of the high-octane, expletive-filled tirade Steph levels at him, a more tuned-in boyfriend could have saved the relationship by acknowledging Steph’s hurt.
The story arc is driven by Greg’s growth into a more astute person as he learns to really listen to the people around him, which include a macho ass of a friend (Alex Manuele) and his beautiful but ill-treated wife (Georgia Morris).
This is bare-bones production with simple staging, lighting etc., but in the end that doesn’t matter. For it is the words that take centre stage in this play, and this young cast delivers them very well.
March 8-11 in the Studio Theatre at 8pm
Tickets are $12 General/$10 for Students (with valid student ID) and are available at the Neptune theatre box office and online at: