Neil Labute's Reasons to be Pretty is a great show but it's a tough one to sell in Spokane. It's harsh, tight dialogue is well-crafted but difficult for many viewers to digest. The play deals with the topics of beauty, perceptions of beauty and how we defend ourselves when our self-images come under scrutiny. It doesn't always go smoothly for the characters onstage and it often, by design, leaves the viewer questioning his or her own perceptions and flaws.
How do you highlight a piece like that? Well, you play into stereotypes and how the normal person views celebrities. Celebrities with numerous, unseen flaws. What may in reality be a heartbroken, bitter wreck of a person may, with the right spin and marketing, appear to be a font of lifestyle advice. What, to a sane person's eye, appear to be a shallow, fearful bully may appear on our newsstands as a paragon of manhood.
I've grown to be very fond of Molly, Ryan, Nich and Jennie for both their acting prowess AND their ability to incorporate these flawed characters into their own persona. It's a difficult piece to perform and they did so marvelously well.
Reasons to be Pretty finishes its run this Sunday. For tickets and more info, click HERE!