Neil LaBute has actually a knack for exposing the underside of huguy behavior, the nearly casual cruelty that one perkid deserve to inflict upon an additional. His function film debut, In the Company kind of of Men, sparked controversy for its cynical depiction of 2 male co-employees who relieve their boredom by deciding to both court a deaf womale, construct up her self-esteem, and then simultaneously dump her. LaBute's stage play The Shape of Things featured a manipulative female artist who drove a wedge between her boyfrifinish and also his finest friends as component of an aesthetic exercise. In his excellent brand-new play Fat Pig, presented by MCC Theater, LaBute mirrors the pettiness of individuals who deride others for their physical appearance. What provides all of these functions their power is that they challenge the audience members' own feelings on problems such as sex and also beauty. LaBute's darkly humorous approach is often outrageously funny yet, at the same time, it provides you feel guilty for laughing.

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Tom (Jeremy Piven) meets Helen (Ashlie Atkinson), and the two autumn in love, but their relationship is facility by the truth that Helen is overweight. Tom is hesitant to present her to his co-workers, that of course tease and torment him relentlessly once they find out who he's dating and what she looks choose. Carter (Andrew McCarthy) is an insensitive jerk who doesn't seem to have sufficient work to perform, so he spends most time in Tom's office. Jeannie (Keri Russell), who works in audit, has a dating history through Tom and also therefore takes his relationship with Helen as a personal affront; incredibly thin as embodied by Rusoffer, Jeannie finds Tom's choice for Helen incomprehensible.

Piven, making his New York phase debut, has actually an impeccable feeling of comic timing. The actor perdevelops the function of an uptight however personable guy in a multi-dimensional manner that renders his battle versus peer pressure to dump Helen all the more compelling. Tom often tends to hedge his bets, reluctant to truly say what he is feeling and also permitting little lies to thrive into bigger ones. His stress over his connection is clear, as is his actual affection and also love for Helen.

It helps exponentially that Piven and also Atkinchild have excellent onstage chemistry. The actress portrays Helen as outwardly confident, however both LaBute's writing and Atkinson's performance demonstrate that she is plagued by a nagging indefense. Helen makes self-deprecating jokes, partially to defusage the impact of the ones that she knows other civilization tell about her. While Atkinson is a huge woguy, she's not so huge as to warrant the viciousness of Carter's and also Jeannie's remarks. It could be interesting to view someone in the role who is grossly obese. However before, the fact that Atkinson is merely plump gives a various type of edge to the other characters' comments about her and provides their disdainful habits also even more unfair.


McCarthy plays the duty of a slimeball well, his performance never before so exaggerated regarding seem unrealistic. We all know someone like Carter, whose insensitivity does not outcome from malice so much as from a feeling of privilege that renders him think he's better than others. When Carter outlines his worldcheck out that good-looking males should not date ugly girls, you gain the feeling that he believes this wholeheartedly and, in his very own twisted means, is just trying to look out for Tom.

As Jeannie, Rusoffer does well via the play's leastern considerable function. A bit even more information concerning Tom and Jeannie's prior relationship can have helped to clarify the character's motivations; still, Russell's brusque line distribution speaks quantities, also if it's hard to recognize whether Jeannie still has feelings for Tom or if she's just pissed off that he didn't officially end their partnership prior to founding up with Helen.

The play is briskly directed by Jo Bonney. Louisa Thompson's set, via its gray, clinical appearance, nicely argues the cold, imindividual method in which the characters frequently disregard various other people's feelings. Mimi O'Donnell's costumes suit the characters' individualities and the instances in which they discover themselves. Particularly efficient is a sequence wherein Helen tries on different outfits as she prepares for an office beach party to which Tom has actually invited her. This is Helen at her the majority of vulnerable: Wanting desperately to make an excellent impression, she silently wonders if she need to try to hide her mass.

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The sheer number and also viciousness of the fat jokes within the play will certainly make you feel uncomfortable, but it's a profoundly theatrical discomfort. Fat Pig is just one of the most thought-provoking new plays of the seaboy, confirming LaBute's reputation as a writer that fascinatingly probes the bleaker facets of human nature.