Neil LaBute Takes on TimeOut Critic- 'A Critic Casts a Eunuch's Shadow'

Neil LaBute Takes on TimeOut Critic- 'A Critic Casts a Eunuch's Shadow'

MCC Theater recently announced that Neil LaBute's new play, Reasons to be Happy, also directed by LaBute, will now extend through Saturday, June 29th. Reasons to Be Happy is a companion piece to LaBute's critically-acclaimed award-winning play,Reasons to Be Pretty, first produced at MCC Theater in 2008 before moving to Broadway where it was nominated for three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Play. Performances began at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) on May 16, 2013 and it officially opened last night.

Reviews are in for the show, and playwright Neil LaBute took particular offense to some harsh words from David Cote- a theatre critic for TimeOut New York. Cote wrote: "If Neil LaBute were to teach a course on playwriting, I bet his lesson plan would look something like this: "Week 1: Dumbing down characters to pad out dialogue and pump up conflict." "Week 2: "Stringing together two-person scenes, no matter how monotonous it gets." "Week 3: Embracing flat, shallow protagonists whose poor life choices are both predictable and banal." And finally, "Week 12: Blasting tracks by Nirvana during changes to simulate tension and edginess." Luckily, there is no Professor LaBute, so we're not overrun with relationship clunkers such as Reasons to Be Happy."

LaBute responded to the review with: "david: actually i have taught writing courses at various universities and workshops and my lesson plan invariably begins by having students read the collected works of George Steiner, who was clever enough to remind us that "a critic casts a eunuch's shadow." some shadows, of course, are more portly than others but their effect on mankind is basically the same. brief and passing. keep enjoying the free tickets while they last."

Emmy Award nominee Jenna Fischer, making her Off-Broadway debut, joins Reasons to be Happy as the ninth and final season of NBC's smash hit "The Office" comes to a close. Also making her Off-Broadway debut is Leslie Bibb, who has appeared in films such as Iron Man and Talladega Nights and on television in ABC's "GCB" and The CW's "Popular," among many others. Both are join by stage veteran Josh Hamilton, who has appeared on Broadwayin the Tony Award-winning hits The Coast of Utopia and Proof; and Fred Weller, an MCC alum who also starred on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Take Me Out as well as acclaimed revivals of Edward Albee's Seascape and David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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