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  Flamingo and Decatur at Theater Wit

Flamingo and Decatur

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

Set in a foreclosed residential property far from the glamour of the famed Las Vegas strip, FLAMINGO & DECATUR reveals a different side of Sin City. It's here we meet Jackson, a wily professional gambler struggling to stay afloat in the aftermath of the 2008 housing crash that wrecked the city's economy. Jackson thinks he's discovered a surefire way to trim living expenses - find one of the thousands of Vegas houses left vacant by foreclosure and start squatting there illegally with Ben, his online-poker-junkie roommate. But the pair soon finds that not only do they have to stay one step ahead of the law - they must also contend with their antagonistic next-door neighbor Simon, self-appointed guardian of neighborhood property values.

Presented by Block St Theatre Co

Thru - Feb 18, 2018

Wednesdays: 8:00pm
Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm & 7:00pm

Price: $33

Show Type: Dark Comedy

Box Office: 773-975-8150

  Flamingo and Decatur Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...There's a lot of other good material, and some lively, if broad, acting in director Kevin Christopher Fox's production, which is often funny and smart. Joe Schermoly's setting is amusing, too, even if he didn't have the budget to build a credible hot tub, around which much of the action takes place."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...His play is now receiving a sharply acted world-premiere production at Theater Wit courtesy of the Block St Theatre Co — a group of University of Arkansas graduates with MFAs in theater and extensive professional credits whose goal is to “build a bridge between Fayetteville and Chicago.” And under the shrewd direction of Kevin Christopher Fox (a veteran Chicago-based actor-director), both the play, with its echoes of Sam Shepard’s “True West,” and the company, deserve a big welcome mat."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Kevin Christopher Fox's cast knows how to find the jokes without losing the pathos, and lighting designer Alexander Ridgers supplies some superb desert skies. Jason M. Shipman is at the center of things, though, with his Jackson-neither a hard case nor an idiot but a weird sort of idealist trying to live his misbegotten ideal."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The moral distinctions of honor among thieves may have disappeared with Mamet-style double-crosses, but in the straitened economy of 2008-or 2018, for that matter-the boundaries of capitalism have grown nebulous, as have those separating ruthless hucksters from pilgrims driven to extremes by expedience. The alacrity with which the Block St Theatre Company, under the stereotype-free direction of Kevin Christopher Fox, persuades us to invest our emotions in the fate of these desert desperadoes renders this import from Fayetteville, Arkansas, an auspicious ante to a new year. Our itinerant heroes, by play's end, may still pursue livelihoods based in hope, luck and calculated bluff, but the tools of the trade have been divested of their fantasy, opening a path to a happier, if no more lucrative, home in the universe."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Taylor’s hopeful, hapless foursome stand in for a lot of schemers and scammers. Property values are not the only ones at stake here: Block St Theatre Co’s world premiere Flamingo & Decatur (its title appropriately meaning next to nothing) is all about Las Vegas’ non-neon side, where Nevada’s naughtiness—a highly speculative destination—blends in, smoothly or roughly, with the rest of America."
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Lawrence Bommer

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Somewhat Recommended

"...This play had a cute spin, but nothing seems to connect with no real ending other than Jackson connecting with Simon at the end. Also, the relationship between Jackson and Nicole could have been more interesting, these two lost souls looking for love could have been expanded."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...During the early scenes of Nicole moving in, we learn a great deal about gambling and begin to see that Ben and Jackson could easily have been characters in “Guys & Dolls”- they seem to bet on everything! As we watch time go by, we also watch as more friction takes place between Simon and Jackson, but we watch Jackson change to more of a person. In fact, he kind of finds himself falling for Nicole, which is very problematic. Should he tell her what the situation is? Should he become her lover? I will not tell you exactly what takes place and how this part turns out as I prefer you see it unfold yourself."
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Alan Bresloff

Third Coast Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...Ultimately, Flamingo & Decatur suffers from a lack of stakes, and the assumptions it takes with the audience's familiarity with gambling and golf don't help. It's hard to care about two white guys whose biggest concerns are whether the feds will release their online poker winnings or if their golf game is good enough to win $50,000 against a hustler. Somewhere in there are surely more salient points about life and love and risk and connection; to be sure, Bignault tries hard to imbue her one big scene with heart and meaning. But in the end, any larger message is lost to banter between bros."
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Lisa Trifone

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...“Flamingo and Decatur,” a new play by Todd Taylor that Fayetteville, Arkansas’ Block St. Theatre is world premiering at Chicago’s Theatre Wit, immerses the theatre-goer in a world of professional gamblers in Las Vegas. Taylor, who also produces, brought the play to Chicago in order to take advantage of the great store-front opportunities here and to open what he calls a “two-way pipeline between Fayetteville and Chicago.” The great news is that his move has paid off in spades."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...Jackson's search for authentic bonds in a town built on bluffs is fascinating. But what this viewer missed in FLAMINGO AND DECATUR was more tangible desperation. With Las Vegas’ economy collapsing and their own luck tanking, Jackson and Ben are in very dire straits. They certainly talk about the situation constantly. But the stage never quite fills with outright terror over what tomorrow might bring. Taylor creates a depressing but not quite sufficiently threatening reality for these lost souls of Sin City."
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Susan Lieberman

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