Thursday, November 30, 2006

What if there were only four people in the world, and two of them were assholes?

Just got back from Profile Theatre's production of "Fat Pig," which has been extended like 60 times because all of Chicago has a huge crush on the title character. She's played by Deborah Hearst, an actress so thoroughly charming that she nearly throws the entire premise of the play. Her character, Helen, lives in this awful tiny world where fat girls will never be loved, but honey, it's a traverse theatre. I looked right across the stage and saw an audience of the smitten.

She has pretty killer chemistry with Tom, the real main character, while giving every impression of being out of his league. He's a weak man, with awful friends, and geeky on the essential level (ie, lost and unsure), but dammed if they aren't completely adorable together. Against my better judgement (this is a Labute play, after all), my romantic comedy rah-rah juices got going. I was emotionally involved to the point that I wanted to take off my shoe and throw it at the villain.

Of course (and this doesn't qualify as a spoiler), Tom's smarmy little co-worker/male buddy and psychotic but toned coworker/ex eventually crush the relationship by being meanies. And this hurt, and hit home as it happened, but it didn't quite succeed as a "scathing indictment." I know society is pretty rough on the overweight, but the two meanies were way too over the top to make me, I don't know, question my own behavior or that of anyone I know. (This was in the writing, btw, not the performances.) They were worthless people. Why would any human being talk to them for more than two minutes?

Of course, this is often my problem when watching claustrophobic four-person dramas that expose the vicious deceit in romance and other relations. I just want to scream "Meet some goddamn new people!" Seriously. There are other people in the world, right? Take your girlfriend and go looking for them.


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