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Neil LaBute Brings God Into the Mix in 'The Break of Noon'

Kevin Anderson in Neil LaBute's "The Break of Noon" at the Geffen Playhouse - Photo by Michael Lamont.
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Neil LaBute has become the poet laureate of bad behavior, the national chronicler of people treating each other abominably. He's gotten a rep for misogyny from movies such as In the Company of Men and plays such as Fat Pig, but I think this is a reductive and inaccurate view. In both of those works, his sympathy is clearly with the victims. Just because the plays focus on abusers or damaged people, the audience shouldn't infer that the playwright approves of their actions. LaBute takes an intriguing and successful step sideways from this theme with his new play The Break of Noon, currently playing in its West Coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, wherein he wonders if a selfish jerk could actually be the recipient of a message from God.