The Playgoer: In the Company of Neil LaBute

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In the Company of Neil LaBute

David Ng at LA Times claims there's more than meets the eye behind MCC's recent cancellation of a new Neil LaBute play next season. Just when many here have been wondering if MCC had any other raison d'etre other than to give Monsieur La B a carte blanche platform for anything he scribbled... it looks like a falling out has ensued over the aftermath of the unsuccessful (and just shuttered) B'way transfer of Reasons to be Pretty.

"The Break of Noon" was set to open the MCC's 2009-10 season after being
bumped from its original spring 2009 slot.... A spokesman for MCC said that the
play is finished but that the theater has decided to cancel its planned
production for September. When asked why the theater has canceled the play, the
spokesman only said, "We have no comment."

Reached by phone, LaBute said that "The Break of Noon" isn't finished yet
and that he plans to write at least one more draft. He said his commitments to
his most recent movie projects and the Broadway run of his drama "reasons to be
pretty" have prevented him from completing the play.

So MCC pulled the plug when they got exasperated with the playwright's tardiness? Or LaBute let the clock run out so he can take the play elsewhere? (He will instead premiere the play, The Break of Noon, in London, another favorite launching pad of his.) Did the small Off B'way company of modest means decide to dump their cash cow out of principle? Or did LaBute--as close to a "star" as American playwrights get these days--get tired of owing anything to such a meager operation.

Not that this answers anything (ahem) but coincidentally today Riedel also reports that LaBute is prepping a new Broadway production of another show MCC first premiered downtown, Fat Pig, starring...Ashton Kutcher.

1 comment:

Aaron Riccio said...

Uh... would Ashton be playing the snarky best friend, or would he be the lead? ::shudder::

On a more serious note, Fat Pig is LaBute's best play--I liked the revisions he made to Reasons, but I was always surprised THAT was the first one to transfer.