Fat Pig | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Neil LaBute's 2004 play offers a variation on the theme of lovers kept apart by societal intolerance of their passion. But here the lovers aren't of different races, ethnicities, or religions--they're different body types. He's thin and she's not, and in our fat-obsessed world that makes all the difference. Of course, since this is LaBute, the romance is doomed: in Bash and Lepers he's very clear that "normal" people regularly resort to cruelty and violence to keep those who are "different"--gays, the disabled, racial minorities--in their place. Still, he shows surprising sensitivity here, mapping the many ways that our culture desexualizes and dehumanizes fat people, especially women. (It might help that the playwright himself is somewhat beefy.) Darrell W. Cox and Deborah Hearst are superb as the ill-fated lovers, displaying a chemistry at odds with the stereotype that a woman can't be both heavy and attractive. From the moment they meet, you hope against hope that things work out for them. a Through 10/29: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway, 773-549-1815, $15-$25.

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