Premiere of “The Beautiful People” at the Magnolia Theater

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It’s always important to support local projects, specifically in the realms of fashion and entertainment. Dallas is gradually rebuilding its notoriety as a hotspot for film and television production, and boy are we happy about that. Monday night at the Magnolia Theater in the West Village, the series premiere of “The Beautiful People” took place after a red carpet photo op and pre-show cocktail hour. Originally designed as a film, the writers and director decided to divide it up and make it an episodic venture, to keep audiences guessing as to the antics of the production’s sexy, morally deprived characters.

Created by Michael Heidt and Ryan Matthieu Smith, the show is built around a barren wasteland of greedy, godless people, committing an entire barrage of sins that would make the devil blush. Think 1999’s Cruel Intentions film (actually this kind of brother/sister incest is a prevalent theme in “The Beautiful People” as well) coupled with Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. Morgana Shaw, who recently starred in the film Carried Away that premiered at the International Film Festival last month, plays a make-you-or-break-you talent agent hellbent on destroying one woman’s fame while bringing another into the spotlight. The shiny new star, played by newcomer Ruby Westfall, is everything one would want to see in such a character: naive, pure and beautifully simple. While the production value may have suffered due to costs (at times the lighting gets so bad the characters become meshed with the background,) it lends itself to an artsy, crazed underworld effect, a parallel to the story’ s themes. In short, “The Beautiful People,” currently searching for backing to get it out to larger audiences, could easily become a sick, indulgent addiction.

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