This past Saturday I found myself in a church on Clinton Street, in a hall where one would expect to be voting or watching an Easter pageant rather than seeing a show. Tucked to one side of the room is a stage made of recycled flats and platforms, dressed with sustainably sourced materials; on it, four actors and a first time director mount a production of a nearly thirty-year-old play that was as moving,
Now, thou art what thou art, a production of Romeo and Juliet. Though this production, at The Green Globe Theatre (Baltimore’s only producing eco-friendly theatre) is beyond the simple notion of star-crossed lovers meeting in fair Verona. Of course, one must be full well in all five wits to endure the length of this production, but tis worth the patience and endurance for the cinematic elements and uniquely conceived approach to placing the star-crossed lover’s tragedy in WWII Nazi occupied France circa 1944.
We all have a different perception of what real beauty is. We all have our reasons to be pretty; there are people we make ourselves pretty for; there are people who we let define where we fall on the scale of ugly to pretty. But beauty has its price, just like ugly does, and it’s a steep price to pay regardless of which side you’re on. Neil LaBute’s Reasons to be Pretty explores this dark and dangerous notion of external beauty through heavy humor and deeply dramatic twists in the way only a Neil LaBute play can.