Reasons to be praised: local actor earns raves in D.C.

  • Comments
  • Print

I shouldn't have even opened the Washington City Paper. After all, I knew that my drive-there-Tuesday, visit-a-college-possibility-with-my-daughter
Wednesday and a drive-back Thursday left me no time for theater attending or museum hopping.

But I opened the paper anywhere and not only were there a half dozen D.C. shows I would have liked to see, but there in a
photo accompanying the featured review was Ryan Artzberger, a familiar face from Indianapolis theater.

The Indy-based actor who has appeared here recently in the Indiana Repertory Theatre's "Romeo and Juliet" and
HART's "In a Dark Dark House" is playing the lead role in Neil LaBute's "Reasons to Be Pretty"
at the Studio Theatre through May 2. Artzberger, it turns out, is no stranger to D.C. He has appeared at the Shakespeare Theatre
in "Pericles," "Cyrano" and others.

I did already see the play on Broadway and fully planned on seeing it again when the Phoenix
Theatre stages it here in Indy later this season. But when the City Paper reviewer (who had qualms about the play itself)
raved about one of our own, well, I regretted not being able to catch it. Quoting critic Trey Graham: "I hear the guy
who played Greg in New York was terrific, but he can't have been much better than Ryan Artzberger, who's creating
a wonderfully complicated portrait of a regular guy here. He's stubborn and glib early on…then he's convincingly
broken… his struggle to do the right thing is kinda heartbreaking."

Once home, I read that The Washington Post's Peter Marks and was kicking myself even harder for having missed it:
"It remains on a gratifyingly strong footing because of the splendid anchoring performance of Ryan Artzberger,
whose Greg comes across as an appealing manual on how to make a bad situation worse. It's an indication of Artzberger's
charming hold on us that we identify with Greg even when he feels compelled to corroborate the lies of a truly reprehensible

Out of curiosity, I called the Phoenix Theatre this morning to find out who would be playing the part in Indianapolis.

Turns out they've already cast…Ryan Artzberger.

I feel better.

The show runs at the Phoenix July 8-31.

Your thoughts?

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.