Neil LaBute is no fan of making audiences comfortable. The writer-director of such controversial films as In the Company of Men (about two young executives who compete to seduce a deaf girl at the office and then dump her) prefers to twist the knife in till it hurts—or until people walk out. His newest Off-Broadway play, reasons to be pretty, serves up another cringe-worthy plot: This time, it’s about a man whose off-hand remark—that his female co-worker has a much prettier face than his girlfriend—stirs up trouble when his less-pretty girlfriend hears about it. The good-looking cast includes Piper Perabo, Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, and Pablo Schreiber. Steppenwolf co-founder Terry Kinney directs LaBute’s sixth collaboration with MCC Theater.

May 27-July 5, 8 p.m., 2008