Dayton Theatre Guild
Neil LaBute’s dark comedy premieres at downtown theatre.
For his entire career, playwright/film director Neil LaBute has explored a wide variety of genres. Consider his film work like In The Company of Men, dark comedies Nurse Betty and Death at a Funeral, and even bona fide horror films The Wicker Man and Lakeview Terrace. LaBute has mastered the art of the dark comedy – exploring the darker side of the human psyche in ways that make us oddly uncomfortable and questioning our own darkness.
What I think strikes most people as fascinating is that LaBute’s language always feels ‘real’, colloquial and in turn, honest. One really feels as if they are listening to REAL people having REAL dialogue (sometimes TOO real). One of the best examples of LaBute’s influence on American theater and cinema opens February 11 at Dayton Theatre Guild.
Fat Pig tells the story of Tom – a well built attractive man who meets and falls in love with the quite plus-sized but ever-charming Helen. When people in Tom’s life begin to discuss why he is dating such a large woman, Tom must decide where HE stands. It is a fascinating exploration into society’s treatment of those we deem unfit, in this case, plus-sized. Neil’s language is smart and engaging and provides a great “what would you do?” discussion starter. If you want to see what the contemporary American theatre sounds and looks like, LaBute’s Fat Pig is great choice. Dayton Theatre Guild is to be applauded for producing this daring and important play and I, for one, was thrilled to see it on their season. It is also quite timely as a Broadway production of Fat Pig (directed by LaBute himself) is headed to Broadway this spring starring Dane Cook and Julia Stiles.
Here in Dayton, the Guild production features Amy Askins (Jeannie), Nicolas Bauer (Carter), Steve Strawser (Tom), and Wendi Williams (Helen). The production is under the direction of Dayton Theatre Hall Of Fame inductee Fran Pesch. There is honestly no better place for LaBute’s work than the Guild (with the exception of the Human Race). DTG has a track record of choosing daring titles by contemporary exciting playwrights and Fat Pig, to me, is a harbinger of good things to come. Later this year, the Guild will present the local premiere of the one-woman tour-de-force Golda’s Balcony (about Israeli Prime Minster Golda Meir) as well as Theresa Rebeck’s acclaimed Mauritius.
-DBWe encourage local theatre companies to submit calendar items HERE, and official press releases to onStageDayton@gmail.com.
Tickets & Performance Information:
Neil LaBute’s FAT PIG – February 11-17 – Performance Times Vary (click for details)
Tickets Prices: $11 student / $16 senior / $18 adult
Location: Dayton Theatre Guild at The Caryl D. Philip’s TheatreScape – 430 Wayne Ave. Dayton, Ohio 45410 (MAP)
Contains adult situations and language.
Tickets are on sale now through DTG’s Online Box Office, or via phone at (937) 278-5993 (due to a volunteer staff, phones are not monitored continually).
For more information about Dayton Theatre Guild’s entire 2010-2011 season, visit www.DaytonTheatreGuild.org