Subscribe
Subscribe
Search Events
Events
Things To Do
Things To Do
Top Stories
Top Stories
Date Ideas
Date Ideas
Restaurants
Restaurants
Activities
Activities
Search Movies
Movies
Late Night Dining
Late Dining
Local Bands
Local Bands
Thrill Rides
Thrill Rides
Sports
Sports
Local Opera
Local Opera
Cheap Dates
Cheap Dates
Karaoke
Karaoke
Film Trailers
Film Trailers
Food Festivals
Food Fests
Chocolate
Chocolate
Gift Ideas
Gift Ideas
Coffee Shops
Coffee Shops
Concerts
Concerts
Live Music
Live Music
Transportation
Transportation
Symphony
Symphony
Art Museums
Art Museums
DALLAS  |  MORE Arrow
DALLAS Arrow

Theater Review: The Shape of Things

Steven Walters and Abbey Siegworth in The Shape of Things at Dallas Theater Center

Posted March 5, 2010 | Photo by Brandon Thibodeaux

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

Kelly LeBrock in a 1980’s commercial for Pantene shampoo
& a line of dialogue from The Shape of Things

 

Oh, how our society adores a beautiful face and hates it at the same time.

 

In the first of three works collectively known as The Beauty Plays, playwright Neil LaBute addresses the conflict of striving for physical perfection while maintaining personal integrity.

 

The Shape of Things tells the story of Adam, an overweight college student who falls in love with Evelyn, a sexy graduate art student.But this is not a cute little light-hearted romantic comedy.It is not showy musical theater with costumes and props and song and dance that causes you to skip out of the theater humming the tune of that catchy closing number.

 

Quite the opposite. It’s a hard-hitting and insightful look at the perception of beauty in society, fairness in relationships, and even morality, responsibility, and guilt as motivators.And it is amazingly accurate.And it’s fair as well, examining one side of an issue and then whipping around to explore the other.

 

The Beauty Plays are running in repertory (rotation) in the Wyly’s 6th floor studio black box theatre (an intimate space with minimal props); and in this case, the scene was set by images projected onto the wall along with bouncy jazz music.

 

This clean stage setup served to highlight the four characters and offered no elaborate visual effects to distract you from pondering such statements as:

 

“She likes it; but what I wanna know is, do you like it?”,

“Why do you like me?”, and

“He’s six things away from being amazing.”

 

Some of the interactions between performers were uncomfortable; and at times characters were even downright unlikable.But that’s the point.It’s an exploration of what’s good and bad in society.For instance, if you help make someone ‘better’ physically, are you doing them a favor or is it just cruel emotional manipulation?And what constitutes ‘better’ anyway?

 

Be aware that the dialogue in this production is quite frank and at times explicit with mature themes and sexual situations.But the language is authentic, and in many ways even necessary.

 

Overall we enjoyed the intensity of the program; and are looking forward to the next two plays in the series, Fat Pig and reasons to be pretty.

 

And if you feel inclined, we recommend sticking around after the show for the Dallas Theater Center’s thought-provoking post-show discussion.People seem to have extremely strong views and perceptions of the material which can be the catalyst for lively conversation which we found to be quite entertaining itself.

Editorial Policy: The Flash List is dedicated to providing trustworthy editorial content by maintaining strict ethical standards, journalistic integrity, and credible professionalism regardless of potential compensation as working media. The Flash List discloses receiving tangible and/or intangible benefits for the purposes of providing media coverage for certain events, venues, products, and/or services.

MORE ON THE FLASH LIST
50 Things to Do

50 Things to Do

Bored? Well, there's definitely no need to be. Take your pick of these fun things to do.

Entertainment News

Entertainment News

The latest breaking news and top stories in arts, dining, culture, movies, music, and sports.

Events Calendar

Events Calendar

Not everything in town that you could do, but a list of events that you definitely should consider.

Date Night Ideas

Date Night Ideas

From retro candy stores to luxury car rentals, let us help you impress on your next date night out.

Movies in Theaters

Movies in Theaters

See previews of movies coming soon and trailers for films now playing at local theaters.

Go Gallivanting

Go Gallivanting

Our sister website, The Art of Gallivanting, offers extraordinary adventures for ordinary people.