The Aliens | A Red Orchid Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Aliens Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through March 16 2013

Two of the three characters in Annie Baker's 2010 Obie-winning play belong in a 20-minute one-act rather than this two-hour-plus drama. They're Jasper and KJ, 30ish slackers who loiter for weeks behind a coffee shop, quoting Charles Bukowski, singing elliptical pop songs, nursing old wounds, and staring into space. Despite impeccably nuanced performances from Brad Akin and Steve Haggard, their serial self-indulgence has little dramatic import—a problem compounded by director Shade Murray's overly measured pacing. KJ nevertheless earns his place onstage. In a masterful theatrical coup that provides a finale well worth the wait, Baker has him unwittingly shepherd the third character—groping, friendless teen coffee shop employee Evan—to tenuous safety. Michael Finley's Evan is a canny, elegant portrait of youth poised before oblivion. —Justin Hayford

Price: $25-$30


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