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September 26, 2013

ODU Theatre Opens Season Oct. 1 with ‘Reasons to Be Pretty’

topstory4-lgGlenn Bond, as Greg, talks things over with Samantha Jalajel, who plays Carly, during a rehearsal of “Reasons to Be Pretty.” Photos by Jenifer Alonzo
topstory4-lgBGlenn Bond and Mark Stefani
topstory4-lgCLucy Bonino and Glenn Bond

Old Dominion University Theatre opens its 2013-14 season with "Reasons to Be Pretty," a hard-edged comedy by Neil LaBute and directed by Steve Earle, chair of the theatre and film department at the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk.

The play opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the University Theatre.

"Reasons," a story about the impossibility of love, introduces us to Greg, who really, truly adores his girlfriend, Steph. Unfortunately, he also thinks she has a few physical imperfections, and when he casually mentions them, all hell breaks loose.

As described on Plays.about.com, the play is "the third and final installment of a trilogy ('The Shape of Things,' 'Fat Pig' and 'Reasons to Be Pretty'). The trio of plays are connected not by characters or plot but by the recurring theme of body image within American society. 'Reasons to Be Pretty' premiered on Broadway in 2008. It was nominated for three Tony Awards (Best Play, Best Leading Actress, and Best Leading Actor)."

Lead actors in the ODU student cast are Lucy Bonino as Stephanie, Glenn Bond as Greg, Samantha Jalajel as Carly and Mark Stefani as Kent.

According to Plays.about.com: "Steph is the central argument of the play. Throughout the story, she is furious. She feels emotionally wounded by her boyfriend - who believes that her face is 'regular' (which she views as a way of saying that she is not beautiful).

"Greg, the protagonist, spends most of his life trying to explain his misunderstood intentions to others. Like other leading men in Neil LaBute plays, he is far more affable than the male supporting characters (who are always foul-mouthed jerks). In spite of his low-key, eager-to-remain-calm personality, Greg somehow evokes anger from the rest of the characters."

In addition to the Oct. 1 opening, "Reasons" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2-5 and 2 p.m. Oct. 6. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students.

For tickets call the box office at 683-5305 or go to oduartstix.com.