SINGlE.DATING.MARRIED?, C'est la Vie Drama, at Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. Amanda Stever and R.E. Howard's 75-minute play addresses no serious social questions, investigates no devastating personal conflicts. It doesn't even hint at the "divorced" or "widowed" who might be part of its title. Instead two rich, white, heterosexual, brand-conscious, self-absorbed young men meet two rich, white, brand-conscious, self-absorbed young women at a karaoke bar. They pair off for a while, then change partners. One boy proposes marriage, and the girl accepts, leaving their chums to lament the dissolution of their happy communal dynamic. End of story.
Granted, variations on the Noah's Ark Imperative have spawned many a classic--Romeo and Juliet, to name one. And Single.Dating.Married? is not without its value in documenting contemporary courting customs. But the only reason we care the least bit about these relentlessly generic personalities is the loving attention bestowed on them by Adam McNulty, Kera Yates, Whitney Schaffer, and Chris Gorbos. Under the savvy direction of Brian LaDuca, they offer smart, elegantly crafted performances that engage our affections despite the unworthiness of the play's shallow characters.