You Got Engaged?! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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You Got Engaged?!

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You Got Engaged?!, Aardvark, at the Performance Loft. Having recently gotten engaged, I looked forward to this "farcical fairy tale." In his program note, playwright Vincent Bruckert rhapsodizes about his own engagement, claiming that he'd "never spent such joyful time with friends or learned more valuable lessons from family." Somehow, these feelings and lessons never made it onto the page. Instead we get 75 minutes of hard-core slapstick and the dramatic depth of "Valley Girl 2." When Henry (Craig Bryant) proposes to his live-in girlfriend, Mary Virginia (Alexandra Billings), she responds with a resounding "Fuck, no!" and throws the ring box across the room. While Mary is explaining to big-haired best friend Margie (Bridget Dehl) that she can't commit to marriage when there might be a hot stud in her future, they discover the ring is missing! This leads to cover-up schemes and the arrival of Mary's estranged mother (Katrina Kelley), who manages to make everything all right.

The situation--a couple deciding whether to tie the knot, with one ready a little before the other, and the unfinished business with mom--offers a decent comedy foundation. But the only humor here comes from what the actors (mainly Billings and Dehl) eke out with their facial expressions and well-timed asides. Billings groupies and those longing to see a guy in loud boxers jonesing for a Krispy Kreme will have a great time. Anyone hoping for a semblance of humor based in truth should look elsewhere.

--Kim Wilson

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