Fat Pig, Broadway Debut with Julia Stiles, Dane Cook, Josh Hamilton

4 Jan

Neil LaBute’s play Fat Pig is going to be a Broadway production in 2011. Julia Stiles, Dane Cook and Josh Hamilton are already on board.

 

Fat Pig, the book. Soon on Broadway.

 

 

If you’ve never seen the play, there’s also a book with the same title:

Cow. Slob. Pig. How many insults can you hear before you have to stand up and defend the woman you love? Tom faces just that question when he falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman who happens to be plus sized-and then some. Forced to explain his new relationship to his shallow (although shockingly funny) friends, finally he comes to terms with his own preconceptions of the importance of conventional good looks.

If you’re unfamiliar with the play, Fat Pig tells us the story of story of Tom (Hamilton), an eligible bachelor who falls for the beautiful, bright and plus-sized Helen. Tom is overjoyed with his new relationship but his shallow co-workers are less enthusiastic. Tom shrugs off their objections but eventually the cruel jabs of his acerbic friend Carter (Cook) and Jeannie (Stiles), a former flame, force him to question his own values and the importance of conventional good looks. Source: Playbill.com

The role of Helen isn’t cast yet. Fat Pig will officially debut in the Belasco Theatre in midtown-Manhattan on April 26 this year.

What I like about the play is that Helen has come to terms with society’s view of her. She’s a self-confident librarian, single but content. Helen is fat without shame or apology. Tom struggles to accept his love for Helen because she falls outside of the mainstream ideal of beauty. The pressure he gets from his friends to find a “normal looking” girl is too much for him. And he suffers for Helen because of the abuse she receives for being fat.

In the play, there’s no happy end for the couple. Even though they love each other, they part ways. Tom turns out a coward, choosing public opinion over the girl he loves. And it’s Helen who stays strong, she’s the one you root for, she’s the one who ultimately leaves Tom. Helen is portrayed as a confident women, comfortable in her own skin. I think Neil LaBute’s play brilliantly analyzes society’s devotion to today’s ideals of beauty and questions our own ability to stand up to it.

Anyone read the book, seen a previous play?

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4 Responses to “Fat Pig, Broadway Debut with Julia Stiles, Dane Cook, Josh Hamilton”

  1. Amalfi Girl (EatRunHaveFun.blogspot) 01/04/2011 at 5:14 pm #

    I hadn’t heard of this–I’m glad they are making something with a heavy heroine. Unfortunately, the plot sounds very realistic. It takes a very strong person to buck societal norms, no matter how grotesque they are (and I do think the sub-17 BMI look is just that).

    • Chickie 01/04/2011 at 7:53 pm #

      Yes, definitely a realistic ending to today’s standards. Still, Helen is a strong character. Maybe now that they show the play on Broadway soon, the media will pick up the topic of “fat acceptance” and discuss it in a positive way.

  2. sleepydumpling 01/05/2011 at 3:47 am #

    I saw it when it was run in the Queensland Theatre Company earlier this year. It is… confronting. I was so filled with rage by the end of the play, not so much because of the play, but because of the reaction of a lot of the audience.

    I did a blog post about it when I got home that night. It might contain spoilers, I can’t remember!

    http://fatheffalump.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/post-fat-pig-debrief/

    • Chickie 01/05/2011 at 4:22 pm #

      Will check out your post!

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