This Is How It Goes
Media Release for immediate release
27 January 2007
Life as we know it – but it’s not what it seems
Neil LaBute’s This Is How It Goes,
directed by Jeff Szustermann
Think small town America – happily married high school sweethearts with a luxurious home and a nuclear family. Now throw Neil La Bute into the mix and we have a new tale of manipulation, exploitation, race and infidelity told through the story of an inter-racial love triangle.
In This Is How It Goes, LaBute trains his eye on racism’s role in the complicated relationship between married couple Belinda (Sara Wiseman; Sione’s Wedding, Heavenly Creatures, Mercy Peak, Street Legal) and Cody Phiillips (Mark Ruka; The World’s Fastest Indian, No. 2, River Queen) and their old high-school friend (Roy Snow; Shortland Street, King Kong, High Society), who also serves as the story’s self-proclaimed unreliable narrator. All is typical except Cody, in almost every respect, is the outsider –rich, black and different.
Fresh from a season off-Broadway starring Ben Stiller, Amanda Peet and Jeffery Wright, This Is How It Goes appears to cover new but appropriate territory for LaBute: racial prejudice among even so-called enlightened folks. As any LaBute fan knows, this playwright aims his verbal punches so they tickle your funny bone while at the same time making your mouth pop open at his daring to say what many regard as beyond the pale. In this case, the unsayable pertains to white attitudes towards African-Americans.
Framed by the shifting recollections of the narrator (Snow), the play slides through time to portray twisted facets of the love triangle. The points of that triangle: (Snow) a former lawyer who returns to the place in which he grew up as a fat misfit; Belinda (Wiseman), the beauty he once adored from afar; and Cody (Ruka), their former classmate, a star athlete in high school, who is now Belinda's husband, a successful businessman and one of the few black faces in a small white town.
As the plot unfolds, the narrator keeps dropping hints that what he says is not entirely how it went. The narrator presents alternative versions of encounters among the three characters and says defensively that "the truth is just so ... elusive."
“While there is that "sort of " happy ending to this game, there are no real winners -- unless you count the people who appreciate a well-performed, smartly staged and written drama.” Curtain Up review, 2005.
1-25 February, Silo Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
7pm shows Mon-Tues. 8pm shows Weds- Sat
Ticketmaster 09 970 9700