The work of Neil LaBute, the infamously irascible playwright whose work seems explicitly designed to polarize audiences, hasn’t been seen a lot in these parts. But it seems local audiences, or at least theater companies, are coming around to his brash style.
His “In a Dark Dark House” kicked off the New Phoenix Theatre season in 2010. His 2001 play “The Shape of Things was produced earlier this season by the Subversive Theatre Collective. Tonight, the nascent Second Generation Theatre will launch its second production with LaBute’s “Some Girl(s).”
The play revolves around the fragile ego of a 30-something writer staring down married life and determined to set things straight with a string of past girlfriends. The character, and the gender he represents, do not come out looking great. Writing in the New York Times in 2006, Ben Brantley called “Some Girl(s)” one of the playwright’s several “clinically contemptuous works that put the human male under a microscope and watch the little sucker squirm.”
Buffalo actor Steve Copps will make his directorial debut with this production, which features Adriano Gatto as the protagonist, along with Meghan McAdam Gomez, Sophie Howes, Diane Di Bernardo Blenk and Second Generation Theatre co-founder Kristin Bentley.
“I love this show because it makes us question the nature of relationships,” Copps said in a release. “Not everything is black and white. LaBute poses the question ‘in order to find progress in our future, don’t we need to find closure in our past?’ ”
The production runs through Feb. 16. Tickets are $25. Call 864-0938 or visit secondgenerationtheatre.com.
– Colin Dabkowski