Artattack"s new theater is tiny, via fewer than 50 seats in the entire residence (including three in the lobby and the couch and 2 office chairs onstage). The seating is alley-style, a narrow rectangle of white between 2 rows of chairs; the action happens in the audience"s lap. And since the action in question is a Neil LaBute play—about weight worries, no less—you have the right to understand also how the word "discomfort" does the majority of of the work-related.
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Justin C. Locklumber plays Carter, the typical LaBute chauvinist pig/best buddy of the protagonist. (Locklumber is also the production"s director.) At the performance I attended, Carter was in the middle of a monologue about his fat mom and also just how her weight made him uncomfortable as a kid, his description of the overweight mom boosting in brutality till a woguy in the audience gasped and scolded Carter: "That"s your mother." The outburst stole a 2nd from the performance, an uncomfortable pause prior to Lockwood regained his equilibrium and also went on to occupational the monologue"s thorny language and stick the landing.
A less-disciplined theater would leverage the tight room and the product into a shockfest, designed to provide the audience queasy stomachs and also burning eardrums—yet the actors all give dignified performances. Rachel Permann as Helen, the plus-sized woguy whom a thin, attrenergetic male drops for, is simply about perfect. Her dead-sexy Helen purrs and glows and also is seduced by her very own newdiscovered capacity to seduce. Martyn G. Krouse"s Tom, the abovementioned thin guy, is a successful businessmale persuaded of his own niceness. Helen and also Tom make out on the couch and also get along splendidly, however press from Carter and also a bitter ex-girlfriend called Jeannie (Lisa Eextremely, punching the psycho switch one too many type of times) provides him question whether he can be viewed in public with an overweight woman.
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LaBute cuts a weird figure in Amerideserve to playwriting: His occupational feels more controversial than it really is. Some human being loathe him, however he"s never before influenced the long lines of protest or the calls for censorship you"d intend from a writer that has made a living creating nasty little bit plays around gender worries. But his female characters are mostly three-dimensional, believable women; LaBute reserves his strongest loapoint for himself and also his very own sex.
Artattack"s call for "a conversation after each performance via the actors and director" due to "the sensitive nature of this play" is a sop to Seattle"s overcautiousness about hurting other people"s feelings. And it"s an unessential one: The human being that stuck approximately for the postplay discussion (less than fifty percent of the sold-out house) were much less interested in researching their feelings and also more interested in the mechanics of placing on a present in such a tiny room. Lockhardwood extolled the tiny theater as an imaginative option, saying, "I constantly want to be doing mirrors in an area favor this." Let"s hope that"s true: He and his firm are extremely excellent at throwing theater in our encounters.
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