Last night I went to the Opening Night of Reasons to be Pretty by Neil LaBute at Walterdale Theatre. Overall the show was done as you should do any LaBute show - out there, unapologetic and not hiding the ugly side of human nature, but this is not a review. This is more a discussion of the content of the play and other works by LaBute. This is the second LaBute show I have seen - the other one was a poorly directed, but generally well-acted production of The Shape of Things that I saw a few years ago. I really have a hard time with his work. I know there are people who love his stuff. They love delving into the more despicable aspects of human nature. I just have a hard time with it all. I always leave thinking 'are people really like that?' I hope not. I know there are people out there who have baser, more selfish, and more superficial reasons for doing what they do, but I guess I have a hard time going through life thinking about people that way. I try to be positive and honest and think the best about people's intentions. I'd like to think that most people do too. Maybe I am wrong. That's okay. But if those kind of people are around me they do not stay there for long.
I'd like to think that LaBute writes these plays to reinforce the idea that those people who are ugly of nature should not be rewarded. That we should shun them and call them on their behaviour. That both people in a conversation are responsible for communication. That we should be striving NOT to be those kinds of people. I'd like to think that. I hope he isn't just saying that's just the way people are, get used to it and don't be a chump or you lose. Sometimes I worry that is what people take away from his plays.
Go see the show - tell me what you think he's trying to say.