Neil LaBute has a knack for exposing the underside of human behavior, the practically casual cruelty that one perchild can inflict upon one more. His attribute film dehowever, In the Company type of of Men, sparked controversy for its cynical depiction of 2 male co-workers that relieve their boredom by deciding to both court a deaf womale, develop up her self-esteem, and then all at once dump her. LaBute's stage play The Shape of Things featured a manipulative female artist who drove a wedge between her boyfriend and also his best friends as component of an aesthetic exercise. In his excellent new play Fat Pig, presented by MCC Theater, LaBute reflects the pettiness of people who deride others for their physical appearance. What provides every one of these works their power is that they difficulty the audience members' own feelings on worries such as gender and also beauty. LaBute's darkly humorous approach is regularly outrageously funny but, at the very same time, it renders you feel guilty for laughing.

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Tom (Jeremy Piven) meets Helen (Ashlie Atkinson), and the 2 autumn in love, however their connection is complicated by the reality that Helen is overweight. Tom is unconvinced to present her to his co-employees, that of course tease and torment him relentlessly once they find out who he's dating and what she looks prefer. Carter (Anattracted McCarthy) is an insensitive jerk who doesn't seem to have actually sufficient work to perform, so he spends the majority of time in Tom's office. Jeannie (Keri Russell), that functions in audit, has a dating background through Tom and also therefore takes his partnership with Helen as an individual affront; extremely thin as embodied by Rusmarket, Jeannie finds Tom's choice for Helen incomprehensible.

Piven, making his New York phase dehowever, has an impeccable feeling of comic timing. The actor performs the function of an uptight but personable guy in a multi-dimensional manner that provides his struggle against peer push to dump Helen all the even more compelling. Tom has a tendency to hedge his bets, reluctant to truly say what he is feeling and also allowing small lies to grow right into bigger ones. His stress over his connection is clear, as is his real affection and even love for Helen.

It helps significantly that Piven and also Atkinboy have great onstage chemisattempt. The actress portrays Helen as outwardly confident, yet both LaBute's writing and also Atkinson's performance show that she is plagued by a nagging inprotection. Helen makes self-deprecating jokes, partly to defusage the result of the ones that she knows various other people tell around her. While Atkinchild is a big woguy, she's not so expensive regarding warrant the viciousness of Carter's and Jeannie's remarks. It could be amazing to view someone in the duty that is grossly obese. However before, the fact that Atkinchild is simply plump gives a various kind of edge to the other characters' comments about her and also makes their disdainful behavior even more unfair.


McCarthy plays the role of a slimeball well, his performance never so exaggerated regarding seem unrealistic. We all know someone prefer Carter, whose insensitivity does not outcome from malice so a lot as from a sense of privilege that provides him think he's much better than others. When Carter outlines his worldsee that good-looking men should not day ugly girls, you get the feeling that he believes this wholeheartedly and, in his own twisted means, is simply trying to look out for Tom.

As Jeannie, Russell does well through the play's least comprehensive role. A bit even more indevelopment about Tom and Jeannie's prior partnership might have helped to clarify the character's motivations; still, Russell's brusque line distribution speaks volumes, also if it's hard to understand whether Jeannie still has actually feelings for Tom or if she's simply pissed off that he didn't officially finish their connection before founding up through Helen.

The play is briskly directed by Jo Bonney. Louisa Thompson's set, with its gray, clinical appearance, nicely says the cold, imindividual way in which the personalities often ignore other people's feelings. Mimi O'Donnell's costumes suit the characters' individualities and also the situations in which they uncover themselves. Particularly effective 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 most vulnerable: Wanting desperately to make an excellent impression, she silently wonders if she need to attempt to hide her bulk.

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