All Chicks Go to Florida | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

All Chicks Go to Florida 

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All Chicks Go to Florida, Minimum Wage Theatre Company, at Cafe Voltaire. If art imitates life, maybe people with boring lives shouldn't write plays. Jack Prather's All Chicks Go to Florida is yet another aimless bit of Gen-X anomie that follows the antics of three dopey guys and the women who dis them. Clumsy, childlike Ernie and aspiring theater critic and playwright and full-fledged prig Simon join the self-absorbed magazine distributor Adam on a road trip to Florida, where Adam seeks to convince his old flame to break off her engagement to a physicist. Simon's ditsy, vegetarian performance-artist girlfriend Camille comes along for the ride.

Apart from a few genuinely witty lines and some clever absurdist touches that suggest Prather is working beneath his potential (like Magritte working with Crayolas), this play lacks both inspiration and pace. Rather than finding natural conclusions to his scenes, Prather just stops them whenever he reaches a punch line. Character development, especially in the case of the women, is of the stick-figure variety. Quirks and key phrases substitute for complete personalities. What plot there is is dull and inconsequential. Imagine going into a stranger's apartment and watching people watch TV. Imagine renting Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise and watching it in slow motion.

Despite working with an enthusiastic and likable cast, director Rob Jenkins doesn't help matters much by staging a couple of scenes so that only people in the first two rows can see them. And the needlessly long scene changes, some of which seem longer than the scenes themselves, cripple whatever sense of rhythm Prather's script managed to create.

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