By Neil La Bute
With "Fat Pig," Neil La Bute, sometimes described as the prince of Off-Broadway, offers a corrosive criticism of contemporary cultural icons and values. The play decries the present day trend to make obese females victims of the social glorification of the slender body image. At the same time it condemns the weak morality displayed by mature men involved in such romances.
Tom, an attractive, successful executive, (played intensely by Micha Selektar) has a serious love affair with Helen, a smart, sexy, Rubenesque beauty, (Irit Kaplan), but cannot bring himself to be seen with her in public. This is exploited by his nasty office colleagues Carter and Jeannie who disparage his serious relationship with a socially unacceptable fatty. Carter, (Iftach Klein plays him with subtle, sinuous dexterity, ) does his best to ruin the affair, while Jeannie, a glamorous, slender beauty desperate to get Tom back after being discarded by him, lashes out in fury (Tamar Keenan is fetching in the role).
It is Irit Kaplan, though, as the witty, sincere and strong-spirited Helen who dominates the piece with a deeply touching and sensitive performance. Her study in female honesty and pride of person shines above the decadent manners and mannerisms of her peers.
With laugh-riddled dialogue brightly translated by Anat Zipper and economically directed by Moshe Naor in a seamless series of cinematically-inspired scenes, this sophisticated production works. The play is also blessed by Lily Ben Nachshon's suggestive set and Keren Granek's atmospheric lighting.