Aloha, Say The Pretty Girls

By Naomi Lizukaheartland studio

Directed by M. William Panek

Produced by Brown Paper Box Co

At The Heartland Studio, Chicago

Incoherently absurd not funny comedy is an off-kilter mess

Naomi Lizuka’s Aloha, Say The Pretty Girls has a strange experimental structure that includes a series of short vignettes with the sound of howling dogs or weird bird calls during the blackouts. This incoherent show is listed as a comedy yet their was nay a laugh to garnered in the bare bones production directed by M. William Panek at the Heartland Studio. We meet an assortment of 20somethings as they struggle with their personal identities and the changes in their lives. The problem is that among the characters we don’t like any of them as they come off as self endulgent whiners. The short scenes never allow enough character development and the gimmicks that include  a man-dog, cross-gender casting, outlandish locales never jives into a workable scenario.

heartland studio

The character’s wandering journeys that have them settling either in Hawaii  or Alaska in act two features rants on how their changing lives are a wreck quickly becomes irritating.  We just don’t care about collection of characters who struggle to find love, personal identity, and their place in the world. This play reeks of both an actor’s and a playwright’s exercise.  The kind of thing one would find in a undergraduate course. It sure plays out as an experiment that drone on for more than two hours of ranting. The production seems under rehearsed as the players flubbed many lines and the vast amount of scene changes seemed labored. The lack of humor and the lack of focus hurt the feeble attempts at humor. Only the gay rich guy and the cross-dresser exuded any humor.

heartland studio

It amazes me that anyone would mount such a terrible play? There is so much wasted effort here that begs: pick a more stage worthy work so that the actors can have a chance to shine. To have a chance, Lizuka’s play needs a serious cut to 75 minutes with a clear focus and fewer characters. As it now plays, it is too long and incoherent. I’d skip this one.

Not Recommended

Tom Williams

For more info checkout the Aloha, Say The Pretty Girls page at theatreinchicago.com

At Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood, Chicago, IL,www.brownpaperbox.org, tickets $20, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2pm, running time is 2 hours, 25 minutes with intermission, through June 16, 2013

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