Neil LaBute's Broadway play "reasons to be pretty" comes to Kennedy Theatre

Production marks the final play that long-time Professor Glenn Cannon will direct before retirement

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tracy E. Robinson, (808) 956-2598
Publicity Director, Dept of Theatre and Dance
Posted: Mar 19, 2012

"reasons to be pretty"
"reasons to be pretty"

The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents “reasons to be pretty” in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre March 14, 15, 16, 17, 23, and 24 at 8 p.m., and March 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. Nominated for 3 Tony Awards during its run on Broadway in 2009, “reasons to be pretty” is a funny and savage production that pits two young men against the two women they love--or pretend to-- where beauty is the only negotiator.

Acclaimed American playwright Neil LaBute is known for his raw language which is a key element of his writing and permeates the play as he continues to explore contemporary social communication. America’s obsession with physical beauty is confronted headlong in this brutal and exhilarating work when four young working class friends and lovers become increasingly dissatisfied with their dead-end lives and with each other. This hopelessly romantic drama about the hopelessness of romance features the talented cast of Brittni Michele Shambaugh (who plays Carly), Jasmine Fernandez (Steph), Brendin Brown (Greg), and Travis Ross (Kent).

“Working on this show has been a truly excellent experience,” stated Shambaugh, who was last seen on the Kennedy theatre mainstage in the fall playing “Can’t Say No” Addo Annie in “Oklahoma!.” “Because it is such a small cast, we have been able to really bond with one another and grow together as actors while doing the challenging and rewarding work of exploring the different levels of these very complex characters.”

Director Glenn Cannon, in his 44th year as Professor of Theatre at UH Mānoa, recently announced that “reasons to be pretty” will be the last play he will direct at Kennedy Theatre prior to his retirement next season. Cannon, whose career in acting and directing spans six decades and includes Broadway, TV, film and theatre credits, is a local legend in the Hawai’i community. Audiences will have the opportunity to stay and chat with the director, actors and designers following the Friday, Mar. 16 performance. This production is for mature audiences only.

Joining the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa theatre faculty in 1968, Cannon has directed numerous plays at Kennedy Theatre, including many of the classics and contemporary plays of the Western canon. Some of the highlights include “West Side Story”, the world premiere of Ed Sakamoto's "Our Hearts were Touched with Fire," "Pygmalion," starring his colleague and good friend Terence Knapp, and a bicentennial production of “Oklahoma!”  Cannon has also appeared on many Hawaiʻi-based TV shows, including "Magnum, P.I.," "Jake and the Fatman," "Tour of Duty," "Island Son" and "Lost." But his most memorable local role was Attorney General John Manicote in the original version of "Hawaiʻi Five-0." He is currently in his 18th year as President of the Screen Actors' Guild—Hawai‘i branch.

“This production marks the final play I will direct at Kennedy Theatre prior to my retirement from the university sometime next season,” explained Cannon.  “I've directed 155 plays over the years, the majority of them at Kennedy Theatre. It has been a splendid run, and I plan to continue to direct in the community as time goes by,” he added.

The “reasons to be pretty” design team includes scenic and costume designer Donald Quilinquin, lighting designer Ray Moschuk and sound designer and co-director Tyler Nichols.

Tickets for “reasons to be pretty” are available now at, at outlets, and by phone at 944-2697. Beginning Mar. 12, purchases may be made at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with extended hours on days of performance.  Prices are $15 regular; $14 seniors, military, UH faculty/staff; $12 students; $5 UHM students with a validated spring 2012 UHM photo ID. Ticket prices include all service fees. For more information or disability access, call the Kennedy Theatre Box Office at 956-7655.

For more information, visit: