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courtesy of HSU Dept. of Theatre, Film & Dance Kyle Ryan as Tom, Brandon McDaniel as Carter, Colleen Lacy as Helen in the HSU"s production of Fat Pig

Life is riddled through awkward moments and also seemingly inevitable, uncomfortable situations. We"ve all knowledgeable instances when we can not make eye call, or worse, can"t look ameans. Modern entertainment has actually latched onto this aspect of huguy interaction, and also has actually made it a mainstay for eincredibly genre in eexceptionally tool. Audiences desire drama and comedy to echo real life in an entertaining means, and entertainment does its ideal to supply. Neil LaBute has discovered his cozy place in this niche. As a playwappropriate and a screenwriter, he thrives on exposing the worst side of people. Without a doubt, his characters" worst sides are often their just sides.

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Fat Pig exemplifies LaBute"s style of excessive realism. The display features a actors of four personalities, each raw and exposed. Tom is your classically average, young expert whose sense of self-worth doesn"t seem to extfinish previous his most instant personal interaction. Helen (the unfortunate title character) is an overweight librarian through a lively spark that is greatly overshadowed by her continuous self-deprecation. The 2 stumble their means via their first interactivity, both visibly surprised by their common attractivity and interest. Tom gets her number, and also the story starts. As Tom pursues his partnership through Helen, he struggles to hide it from the other two personalities. Carter, a coworker and also general annoyance for Tom, intrudes at every possible minute through shenable and crass statements, while prying at Tom"s individual life via reckless disregard for anyone"s feelings. Jeannie is an additional of Tom"s co-employees, through the added twist of being his previous love interest. Jeannie is constantly teetering on the brink of an accusation, with manic power and narcissism as the primary features of her arsenal. Tom"s effort to hide his relationship from Jeannie and also Carter is doomed from the onset, and also he soon is compelled to decide if peer press is more necessary than happiness.

In essence, this is an intimate show. LaBute is mirroring us an unflinching watch of lies and also integrity, and also he is presenting it one intimate conversation at a time. I had hoped the little dimension of The Gist Hall would emphadimension this intimacy; however, the performance dropped short of intimacy, bacount reaching the plateau of empathy or relatability.

Colleen Lacy played the duty of Helen through an energy and exuberance fitting the character. Kyle Ryan"s portrayal of Tom was earnest, but forced at moments. Save for the interactions between Helen and Tom, Ryan never before seemed entirely comfortable in the function. Brandon McDaniel had actually brief moments of measurement as Carter, yet ultimately fell brief of the exuberance the character needs. It is difficult to tell if this is result of McDaniel"s abilities, or of the dynamics of his interactions through Ryan"s oddly paced portrayal of Tom. McDaniel"s portrayal of Carter, though muted, was believable and also genuine.

This leaves only the performance of Danielle Cichon as Jeannie. Jeannie is certainly the most volatile of the 4, and also the character is quick to demand the attention of the audience, and everyone else on stage. Both of these attributes appeared totally lost on Cichon, who seemed to focus even more on enunciation than eactivity. As emovements and tensions increased, Cichon appeared to just change the volume of her voice. Her performance was emotionless and also level, and this was exacerbated by Ryan and McDaniel"s reactions to her character"s rants.

Even with a vastly various dynamic from another set of actors, it"s tough to say if the present might really deliver the message LaBute is trying to send. This is partially as a result of his thinly created personalities and allusion-filled dialogue, and also as a result of the director"s alternative of motion within the boundaries of LaBute"s words and also themes. Generally, my hat goes off to Michael Thomas, but in the case of Fat Pig, Thomas" directorial choices emphasized the flatness of the characters, and vice versa. LaBute relies virtually entirely on dialogue to drive his allude. Each setting and scenario is bland in its building and construction, as though he determined places out of a hat. Sucount LaBute was aiming for simplicity, yet instead he developed stagcountry. Thomas" options within these settings were equally lackluster; tbelow was incredibly bit activity in any scene.


LaBute"s personalities are hardly deep or multi-faceted, save for Helen. Helen is the just character in the play able to evoke empathy, and she is the sole possessor of any truly redeeming features. When all is said and done, hers is the only character who might truly be impacted or changed by the occasions of the play. Colleen Lacy caught this perfectly. Lacy played Helen via an open vulnercapability, recording little nuances which deepened the character. The last scene of the play epitomizes these nuances, as we watch Helen react to Tom in close to silence. The final scene is the shining minute for Ryan also. It comes throughout as the many genuine moment of the whole present. Which really only leaves you wondering what can have actually been, in regards to the remainder of the play.

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Fat Pig will continue its run at HSU"s Gist Hall Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22-24, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sept. 25.