The Few | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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THE FEW, Hermit Arts, at Prop Thtr. Creating a lead character who stands out like a 3-D animation, writer-director Idris Goodwin has created a brilliant, intimate dark comedy. Jonathan Putman as Elvis Portman brings the work to life with his Drew Carey horn-rims, tics, and neuroses and his Unabomber gift for interpersonal interaction.

Elvis, a former television writer fired from the teen soap opera "Sadie Hawkins," and his actress girlfriend Hattie (Khanisha Foster) lead an isolated, alcoholic existence. They begin robbing high-end food shops as a creative outlet and fund-raising tool, choosing gourmet grocers as targets because "there are no heroes in the world of big olives and mesclun greens." In their high-stakes one-act productions, Elvis threatens to take Hattie hostage and riddle her with the "deadly lead constituents" of his pistol unless their marks hand over the cash. Eventually Hattie's nephew Cleavon (Brady Chalmers) arrives, having left suburbia to hitchhike halfway across the country on the hunch that his aunt is cool, to regard them through the unjaded eyes of a poet-lyricist.

With its diverse cast and content, its integration of slam and noir, its ironic existentialism (and even its inexplicable title), The Few deserves an audience of the many.

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