The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite 

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The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, CollaborAction Theatre Company, at Storefront Theater. Every component of Quincy Long's 1997 comedy is so obvious it seems there has to be some deeper meaning to the script. You can feel it approaching in the first act, as three drunken out-of-work loggers cut a rambling path through the northern woods of Minnesota. And it seems it's right around the corner during much of the second act, which briefly upends expectations before plowing toward the plot's logical--and very humdrum--conclusion. Long never goes anywhere with The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, but perhaps that's the point.

CollaborAction has a pretty strong track record with complicated, dense material, and every aspect of this production is exceptional. Ric Murphy's direction is taut, and Foley artist Jamie Vann does a dead-on job with the sound effects--an unjustified but thoroughly enjoyable gimmick. Phil Ridarelli, playing against type as barroom philosopher Raymond, has incredible chemistry with John Gawlik and Rob Skrocki as his fellow loggers.

Still, it seems the company has been drawn to Long's script for the same reason people choose bad romantic partners: the chase is alluring, though the result is not. CollaborAction doesn't settle any lingering questions about the play's purpose, but it does have an attractive, intelligent staging to show for its efforts.

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