Only You | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Only You 

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Only You, Boxer Rebellion Theater. Boxer Rebellion's latest production reportedly received a radical makeover after its opening last week: set pieces were shuffled, scenes were reblocked, and the actors' motivations were tweaked. But while such cosmetic changes may have helped to improve the play's continuity, overall they seem a misdirected effort. The production doesn't have any gaping holes technically--what Only You lacks is a coherent script.

Timothy Mason's dreadful romantic comedy never settles comfortably into one genre or another. At times this disjointed story about five emotionally stunted twentysomethings and their bizarre love triangles seems a simplistic bedroom farce; at others it shamelessly apes Woody Allen's off-the-cuff style of neurotic comedy. And Mason seems to have spent too much time trying to perfect his quips and one-liners and too little on the characters, who are so horridly underdeveloped that it takes a tired deus ex machina to tie up the play's loose ends.

It's a wonder that the ensemble members managed to locate anything in Mason's lame, vacuous script on which to build their characters. But their tender, earnest performances (especially Matt Brown as a manic-depressive sci-fi geek) are the show's saving grace. At least Only You manages to live up to its billing as a "modern fairy tale": it does feature a happy ending, though for the audience it comes after the curtain call. --Nick Green

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