Flamingo & Decatur | Theater Wit | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Jason M. Shipman and Drew Johnson in Flamingo & Decatur

Jason M. Shipman and Drew Johnson in Flamingo & Decatur

Evan Hanover

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 18 2018
Price: $23-$33
Jackson and Ben are ne'er-do-wells in a classic American style. Watching them in Todd Taylor's play—getting a solid, surprisingly sweet world-premiere production from Arkansas's Block St. Theatre—you can almost see them as teens, Xbox controllers in hand, when the revelation hits: Work is for suckers. Now it's maybe ten years later, and they're grown-ups living with the consequences of that adolescent epiphany. They gamble, poorly, for a living while squatting in a suburban Vegas home whose owner walked away from it during the 2008 financial meltdown. Even their straight-arrow neighbor, Simon, has a better sense of the main chance. Then along comes a true pro named Nicole. Kevin Christopher Fox's cast knows how to find the jokes without losing the pathos, and lighting designer Alexander Ridgers supplies some superb desert skies. Jason M. Shipman is at the center of things, though, with his Jackson—neither a hard case nor an idiot but a weird sort of idealist trying to live his misbegotten ideal. —Tony Adler


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