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The Shape of Things

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Writer Neil LaBute has spent much of his career forging new characters and premises to illustrate the notion that human desire and even just whims are often ugly beasts that political correctness can silence but can't ultimately deny. He's courted dark humor and revealing epiphanies in stage and film productions like In the Company of Men, which some believed exposed misogyny in ordinary men and others thought was misogyny as entertainment. Actors Theater previously staged LaBute's Fat Pig, which flirts with finding and loving the inner beauty in a person but ends with the crushing reversal of a man who decides he can't see beyond his girlfriend's large figure. The Shape of Things dramatizes the pursuit of art. An artist named Evelyn (pictured, left) gets involved with a meek young man and becomes increasingly demanding as their relationship develops. LaBute hones in on her work and driving pathos and asks whether they can be as destructive as they are creative. Tickets $18 adults, $16 students/seniors, $12 Monday night. " Will Coviello

7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat. & Mon., Jan. 10-12 & 14; 2:30 p.m. Sun., Jan. 13; through Jan. 20

Actors Theatre of New Orleans, WTIX-FM Bldg., 4539 N. I-10 Service Road, second floor, 456-4111; www.actorstheatreofneworleans.com

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