Tied to that question is a deeper, more powerful question, “How many of your life decisions will be driven by what other people think?”
“Fat Pig” is a must-see this week at 8 p.m., Thursday, June 16, Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, at M.T. Pockets Theatre Company, at the theatre’s new location, 203 Parsons St., Morgantown (the former Woodburn School, near Charles and Richwood avenues).
The play, directed by Tawyna Drake, stars Rion Hammond as Tom, Mara Monaghan as Helen, Tracy Lynch as Jeannie, and John Johnson as Carter. The show was also made possible by Nicki Davis, assistant director; David Beach and Sean Marko, directing consultants; Seret Cole, stage manager/props master; and, Bobby Wolfe and Jeff Ludwig, set construction. (I personally want to thank Vicki Trickett, producing artistic director, for her organizational skills ensuring a thriving M.T. Pockets Theatre. Vicki saw me taking notes at the June 10 opening and asked me to write this review.)
I’m a huge fan of Labute’s “The Shape of Things.” “Fat Pig” followed similar themes regarding society, appearance, superficiality, personal courage (or lack thereof), etc.
“Fat Pig” has plenty of conflict, both personal (inner conflict) and interpersonal (among the coworkers), to keep audiences engaged.
Labute’s play centers on the character Tom and his relationship with Helen. Tom’s co-workers, particularly his co-worker buddy, Carter, judge the relationship harshly, telling Tom he’s “too good” for Helen. The play makes us wonder, however, whether it is actually Helen who is too good for Tom!
Thankfully, Labute offers us not caricatures, but well-developed characters with varied motivations. The audience gets to know Labute’s characters intimately; thus, we’re never lost as the plot develops.
Although dealing with a difficult subject, “Fat Pig” offers the correct amount of humor, with references to Helen of Troy, etc. (I won’t give any more away, you MUST see the play!) The humor goes a long way in keeping the play from getting too serious or bogged down in philosophy.
I’m usually able to guess what happens in plays, but I’m thrilled to say I wasn’t able to guess the outcome of “Fat Pig”! Audiences will be aware of at least two possibilities, but they will not be able to guess what will happen. Labute leaves us guessing until the powerful ending. Audiences will be left debating the final scene and the characters’ actions (which is a good thing for a play).
One thing is certain:
You will FEEL SOMETHING when you see this engaging play.