Neil LaBute

'January Joiner' A 'Weight-Loss Horror Comedy'

The new comedy "January Joiner" takes its title from those people who make New Year's resolutions to join a gym, eat healthier, and lose those holiday pounds. But the name has a disparaging subtext, implying these folks are destined to become "February Failures."

Playwright Laura Jacqmin has something weightier on her mind than Slim-Fast wisecracks.

"It's about transformation," she says during a recent break from rehearsals at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre, where the play is having its world premiere. Staged by the theater's associate artistic director, Eric Ting, the work runs through Feb. 10.

"It's about what happens to us when a...