Reasons to be Pretty is a play by American playwright and screenwriter Neil Labute. It premiered on Broadway in the Spring of 2009 and was successfully revived in London's West End in 2011. The critically acclaimed comedy is set to open on October 19, 2012 at Al-Madina Theater in Hamra, Beirut. It is produced by The Actors Workshop and directed by Jacques Maroun, who also adapted the text into modern-day Lebanese. Maroun has gathered an all-star cast including Talal el Jurdi, Nadine Labaki, Nada Abou Farhat, and Elie Mitri.
Jacques Maroun, a daring young Lebanese director trained at the Actors Studio in New York City, returned to Lebanon in 2010 after a 10 years career in the United States as an actor, director and producer. He founded The Actors Workshop - Beirut in June 2011. Reasons to be Pretty is the Workshop's third production.
ABOUT THE PLAY
The world's obsession with physical beauty is confronted headlong in "Reasons to be Pretty". This exhilarating play centers on four friends and lovers who become increasingly dissatisfied with their lives and each other. "Reasons to be Pretty" is a seriocomic look at our obsession with beauty, a striking story about a breakdown in personal relationships, and fueling it with the potent issue of our very identity that pervades society as a whole.
The Play takes you on a hilarious and heartbreaking trip into modern relationships. Everyone is forced to reevaluate their perspectives, futures, and the people they hold dear, and pushed to confront a sea of deceit, infidelity and betrayed trust in their journey to answer the question: How much is pretty worth?
When Adel (Talal El Jurdi) is overheard admitting that his girlfriend Stephanie (Nadine Labaki) is aging and is no beauty anymore, a chain of events begins that sees his world and his relationships completely reshaped. He is confused and can't see what he's done wrong, but Stephanie is devastated: she doesn't want to be with a man who doesn't think she's beautiful, whatever she may think of herself. Meanwhile, Adel's best friend Toufic (Elie Mitri) alternates between boasting about how his gorgeous wife, Carla (Nada Abou Farhat), and is chasing after a hot new colleague. Carla, meanwhile, begins to re-evaluate the state of the fairy tale marriage she thought she lived in.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
"Reasons to be Pretty" examines our perception of beauty and asks whether it is as much of a curse to be conventionally attractive as it is to be considered ugly. It asks whether beauty itself is important, or if its importance is in the judgment itself. In a world where appearances are used as benchmarks of achievement or at the very least the foundation of a judgment about who or what another person is, "Reasons to be Pretty" questions the very judgments we make. It is a play as much about hearsay and misunderstanding as it is about trust and love - the elements that go into achieving that trust and love, the foundations of human relationships.
THE BOTTOM LINE or WHY YOU SHOULD SEE Reasons to be Pretty?
Edgy. Challenging. Inspiring. Full of Heart. Raw, funny and self-aware. Perfect entertainment.
Talal el Jurdi (Adel)Nadine Labaki (Stephanie)Nada Abou Farhat (Carla)Elie Mitri (Toufic)
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
Playwright: Neil LaButeDirector: Jacques MarounStage Manager & Assistant Director: Chadi ZeinScenic Designer: Soulafa SoubraSound Designer: Jean GibranLighting Designer: Hagop Derghougassian
THE PRODUCTION TEAM
Produced by The Actors Workshop / المُمَثِّلين محترَفExecutive Producers: Jacques Maroun; Alain Amine RaadProduction Manager: Patricia TohméCommunications Director: Omar Boustany
Masrah al Madina / Al Madina Theatre, Hamra - Beirut