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April 1, 2013

REASONS TO BE PRETTY - IS ACIDLY EXPLOSIVE

Lauren English, Craig Marker, Patrick Russell, Jennifer Stuckert
Courtesy photo 


THE SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE HAS BROUGHT TO US A HILARIOUS SHOW 

Hey - Neil LaBute's play "Reasons To Be Pretty" has many tracks to follow. There is arguments about body-image, secrets, romance and of course - sexual attitudes. 

Nothing could be more human in this four-character drama. There is the handsome Greg (Craig Marker), who reads books a lot during his break at the Warehouse where he works. He may get a lot from books -- but he sure doesn't know how to get along with his girlfriend Steph (Lauren English). Greg puts her down about her looks and the way she dresses. Steph is suffering in her mind. She believes that Greg is hitting on a girl that works in the factory. You can't help but feel sorry for Steph. Guys, hardly do tell you the real facts. I'm sure that Greg is eyeing everything that walks. That's not to say that he follows up on what he thinks -- but like most men -- their eyes never slow down. Trust them? I wouldn't! 

As the story goes on  -- Steph and Greg are fighting to put the pieces back together. And there is more to this drama. Greg's friend Kent (Patrick Russell) is a sexist piglet - who cheats on Carly (Jennifer Stuckert) his wife. He makes obscene remarks about her pregnancy (Kents fault). All in all - this clash between human beings, seems to go on forever. 

Take a good look at the Characters on the stage. You've seen and heard them all before. That's what life if all about. Nothing is ever perfect -- LaBute's play is right on target. His words bring out the most likable lovers some of the time - and on the other side, men are still out there looking for something different. And Greg and Kent? Well, it doesn't look like their friendship is going to work. 

LaBute's play is finely wrought. Watch those corners and passageways. You will be discussing it for days. 


**** YOU WON'T FIND STARS LIKE THIS VERY OFTEN. WOW! GREAT PERFORMERS: LAUREN ENGLISH, CRAIG MARKER, PATRICK RUSSELL AND JENNIFER STUCKERT

NOW PLAYING AT THE SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE THRU MAY 11 

TREMENDOUS DIRECTION BY: SUSI DAMILANO
Written by Neil LaBute

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the SanFrancisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

NOTE: "REASONS TO BE PRETTY" WILL SOON LAUNCH A BROADWAY 'REASONS' IN NEW YORK 


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