It’s another Neil LaBute, ‘kick it out of the park’ 4-person smart situational 2 act that’s playing down at The Lucille Lortel in the West Village. Treated to Leslie Bibb, Josh Hamilton, Fred Weller and the just ended The Office’s Jenna Fischer in Reason’s To Be Happy, I couldn’t have walked away any happier myself.
As is true with other LaBute plays I’ve seen, sets here were minimum, dialogue fast and fun and the situation of the play basic. LaBute has a perfect sense for introducing a simple plot point and then letting the evening expand from there. Arguably Hamilton’s “Greg” had the meatiest role and he played it brilliantly, but I did gain some naughty satisfaction seeing Fischer, who I have known for eight years as “Pam” swear a blue streak and work her way around what was a subtle not exceptionally bright yet fiery “Steph.” Leslie Bibb commanded the stage every single time she was on it and Fred Weller delivered a slightly dangerous, yet at times very sweet turn as Kent (if you ever get the chance to rent the made-for-T.V. band biopic The Beach Boys: An American Family, do so, Weller’s Brian Wilson is amazing!)
I am a big fan of theatre with something to say, non musicals and small casts. Reason’s To Be Happy could not have been cast better, was written perfectly and directed (by LaBute as well) with economy and style.