Fat Pig

Rated 4.0

The title is deliberately provocative, which makes people curious. So let’s settle some questions about Fat Pig.Yes, it’s about a big woman who meets a slim man. They strike up a conversation, and later a relationship, which proves difficult.

That makes Fat Pig a very different show than Aviva Jane Carlin’s Jodie’s Body, a monologue that dealt with body shape but was really about liberation.

Playwright Neil LaBute has a very different aim in Fat Pig. Having challenged the world with his title, LaBute wades into issues many theater companies would rather avoid.

Helen (well-played by actress Christin O’Cuddehy) addresses several issues herself as she becomes intimate with Tom (Shaun Carroll). And she does so deftly, and with good humor.

The problems arise at the office. Tom’s sorta-girlfriend from accounting (Katherine C. Miller) is aghast that he’s dropped her for a woman twice her size.

Then there’s Carter (Michael Wiles), the joking, glib, gossipy “buddy”—a manipulative schemer (common in LaBute plays). And he’s scary.

Director Stephanie Gularte and her solid cast lay out the fated ending with simplicity and emotional candor. LaBute specializes in drawing all-too-recognizable portraits of everyday people who periodically do cruel things to their “friends,” something we’ve all witnessed (maybe even done). It makes for an absorbing, compact little play, running 1 hour 40 minutes with no intermission.