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Archive for Neil LaBute

REASONS TO BE PRETTY at the Geffen Playhouse


Photo by Michael Lamont

Neal Weaver  – Arts In LA

Playwright Neil LaBute is so prolific, and has created in so many different and varied media, that it’s virtually impossible to generalize about his work. (His program bio is downright intimidating.) But in many of the scripts for which he is best known—Fat Pig, In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things, and Your Friends and Neighbors—he seems to be convicting his characters of succumbing to other people’s values, cruelty, callousness, indifference, and moral cowardice. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

New York is only three hours ahead of L.A., but in theatrical time, the distance often seems greater. Broadway events, like starlight from distant galaxies, can take years to reach us.

Case in point: We’re still gathering evidence of a great emotional shift in the work of Neil LaBute, whose “Reasons to Be Pretty,” nominated for the Tony Award for best play in 2009, has at last arrived at the Geffen Playhouse, where it proves to be a humane, tenderhearted coming-of-age story. Read more… 

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

More in sorrow than in anger, and more in annoyance than rancor, it must be said that the talented, thoughtful and tirelessly prolific Neil LaBute finally made his bones on Broadway in 2009, scoring a Tony nomination for best play with probably his least bold and uncharacteristically pandering effort, Reasons to Be Pretty. At least that’s the view based on this conscientiously mounted local premiere. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Reasons to Be Pretty, Neil LaBute’s only play to be mounted on Broadway, asks very few questions about its characters, leaving the audience to fill in the blanks — and not always in the characters’ favors. The play leaves you longing for more depth from the script, but luckily the talented actors at the Geffen Playhouse shed light on their roles despite the murkiness of the text. Read more…

Now playing through August 31.

IN A DARK HOUSE at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver – Stage Raw

Is it sexual abuse when one of the participants experienced it as a love affair? Or does that merely make it more abusive? This is just one of the disturbing and provocative questions that emerge from Neil LaBute’s gripping three-character play. It is, as the playwright has observed, his most personal work, and a memory play in which the past is almost as important as the present.  Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Neil LaBute is considered one of the most controversial playwrights of our day. Not all of his plays are equally brilliant — why would they be? — but it’s evident that some of the New Yorker’s social commentary dramas are more satisfying to experience than others.  Read more...

Now playing through August 31.


MISS JULIE at the Geffen Playhouse

Miss Julie


MISS JULIE by August Strindberg.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Turn-of-the-century Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s naturalistic drama Miss Julie was remarkable in its day for its scandalous subject matter and frank dialogue exchanges. With its scathing commentary on the entrenched class system, passion and power, the play was banned in Britain for nearly fifty years after its publication. Now an updated version is currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse, as re-imagined by one of the most controversial playwrights of our day, Neil LaBute.