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Neil LaBute introduced his plays today
Posted by: Leon_W 04:03 pm EST 01/12/19

Just back from the matinee of the three short Neil LaBute plays, Neil was there to briefly introduce them and said that if you don't like them you know who to talk to. Indeed at the end he was sitting at the back chatting to members of the audience. I will give a brief overview of each play below but if you are going these are spoilers as to what they are actually about rather than the vague descriptions given in the advertising blurb. I will say LaBute goes out of his way to be provocative as usual and can't be surprised at witnessing himself the few walkouts during the plays. These were challenging pieces, the first I hated with all my heart but then I guess that was the point of the piece, the second and third I enjoyed.

SPOILERS

"The Fourth Reich" is a monologue in which a man defends Adolph Hitler making the case that he is unfairly thought of because he lost and history is written by the victors. Six million Jews dead, so what, he had lots of good ideas if only people would read his works. The monologue tries to make the case that you have nothing to fear by looking at things form both sides. I wanted to punch the smarmy ignorant character so hard which is perhaps what LaBute intended to provoke from the audience.

"Great Negro Works of Art" is about a couple of a first date, a white woman and a Mexican man who also possibly has African ancestors he tells her. They meet at a show at an art gallery called Great Negro Works of Art and discuss issues of race and knowledge of history. Its a funny and thought provoking piece, it would have been easy to just make the white woman look at total idiot because she has so little knowledge and but she does fight back at his aggressively judgmental attitude.

"Unlikely Japan" is about a self centered woman reflecting back on her relationship with a man that she treated badly during their relationship ten years earlier, this is after he has been murdered in the Las Vegas concert shootings, I enjoyed the ideas presented and the excellent performance from Gia Crovatin but again it was spending time with an unlikable unsympathetic character that worries about what this means about her own life journey rather than thinking about the effect of the death will have had on the dead man's loved ones.
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