Coming this week: LaBute's ‘Reasons to Be Pretty'; Lisa Marie Presley

Neil LaBute's 2008 play "Reasons to Be Pretty," with Daniel Abeles and Elizabeth Stanley, starts with an ugly argument about looks, at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. MARK GARVIN
Neil LaBute's 2008 play "Reasons to Be Pretty," with Daniel Abeles and Elizabeth Stanley, starts with an ugly argument about looks, at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. MARK GARVIN
Posted: June 10, 2012


Skin deep  Playwright and filmmaker Neil LaBute is known for his bleak and brutal depictions of human foibles: misogyny, unfaithfulness, narcissism. So it is with his 2008 work Reasons to Be Pretty, in which a warehouse worker's offhand, unfavorable comparison of his live-in hairdresser girlfriend's looks to another woman's leads to an ugly argument that snowballs into a romantic and personal crisis that also engulfs his friends — a boorishly macho coworker and his lissome security-guard wife. But rather than the unrelenting cutting edge of cruelty that slices through most of LaBute's other work, this one offers the slightest chance at redemption. The question is: Will anyone take it? The Philadelphia Theatre Company production goes on at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets, and continues on a Tuesday-through -unday schedule to June 24. Tickets are $46 to $59. Call 215-985-0420.

Tennessee two  Knoxville singer-songwriter Erick Baker and Johnson City's Jill Andrews (formerly of the late, lamented alt-country greats the Everybodyfields) team up for a double bill at 7:30 p.m. at the Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville. Tickets are $19.50 and $29.50. Call 215-257-5808.


Pop princess  You have to hand it to Lisa Marie Presley — it can't be easy going into your dad's profession, seeing as he was the King and all. Nobody would have blamed her if she went the easier reality TV/socialite route. But the girl's still kicking it. Her new album, Storm & Grace, expertly produced by T Bone Burnett, features spare, soulful country rock (check out the smoldering "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," rising with a bullet on our playlist). She performs at 8 p.m. at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. Tickets are $25. Call 215-222-1400.


In dreams  Alfred Hitchcock's 1945 psychological thriller Spellbound stars Ingrid Bergman as a psychoanalyst at a Vermont hospital who discovers the secret of a colleague (Gregory Peck) — he's an amnesiac who may also be a murderer. As she goes on a literal and figurative journey to unravel her patient's troubles (including deciphering a dream famously designed by Salvador Dali), she begins to fall in love with him. The film screens at 7 p.m. at the County Theater, 20 E. State St., Doylestown. Tickets are $9.75. Call 215-345-6789. The film also screens at the Ambler Theater, 108 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $9.75. Call 215-345-7855.


Distinctive voice  Boston-based singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler plays her dream-folk gems at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. Tickets are $12. Call 215-739-9684.


Wise guy  Emanuel Goldenberg was an unlikely candidate for silver-screen immortality, but as Edward G. Robinson, he became an iconic actor, most prominently as a gangster. The invaluable Andrew's Video Vault presents a double bill of Robinson films: First up is Delmer Daves' weird 1947 country noir The Red House, starring Robinson as a hobbled farmer who warns his daughter and her boyfriend never to go into the woods in search of the titular structure (and when they, of course, do just that, things get crazy). It's paired with Lloyd Bacon's delightful 1940 noir comedy Brother Orchid, in which Robinson plays a mobster on the lam from hit men, and he disguises himself as a monk. The films screen at 8 p.m. at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. Admission is free. Call 215-573-3234.

The greatest   While you may think you recognize comedian Judah Friedlander for his role as a writer on 30 Rock, those in the know are wise to his real gig: He's the World Champion (yes, at everything!). He performs at Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., at 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets are $21 to $33. Call 215-496-9001.

Friday & Saturday

We all live there  The Beatles were more inspiration than participants in the 1968 psychedelic, animated feature Yellow Submarine. With the first fraying threads showing in the eventual unraveling of the band, and fatigued after a whirlwind half-decade as the world's biggest pop stars, they were in no mood to make another movie. Though they appear in cartoon form, their voices were imitated by actors. Oh, the Fab Four do appear briefly as themselves at the end of the tale, in which the Liverpool lads travel to Pepperland to rescue the place from the Blue Meanies and restore happiness. It's a fun voyage, distilling the delight and magic of the era's main mania. The film screens at International House, 3701 Chestnut St., at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $9; $7 for seniors and students. Call 215-387-5125.

Father's day  Radio talker and comedian Big Daddy Graham performs the stage version of his moving, epigrammatic memoir of his father, Last Call, at the Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $25. Call 610-891-0100.

Chamber pop  The British combo Keane brings its orchestral rock sound to the Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 215-893-1999.

A complete guide to events in the region over the coming weekend will appear in the Weekend section in Friday's Inquirer. Send notices of events for "7 Days" to Michael Harrington at

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