In May 2012 I was lucky enough to find myself in the audience for a Thursday night showing of The Second City‘s 100th Revue: “Who do we think we are?” The Second City is a comedy staple for actors, Chicago and anyone who loves to laugh. The club has served as a training ground for some of today’s funniest, brightest and most famous comedic actors, including Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.
The show for the night was a mix of improv and sketch scenes by a skilled and talented group including Tim Baltz, Edgar Blackmon, Holly Laurent, Katie Rich, Mary Sohn, and Steve Waltien. The ensemble cast is a great mix of fun personalities that blend in a perfectly timed harmony of humor.
Laughing alongside strangers, I found myself quickly taken into the night’s politically incorrect satire. The cast moved us from scene to scene poking fun at the past year in American politics and entertainment.
The show moved quickly with just long enough pauses and just enough participation to feel like everyone was a part of what happened. Katie Rich was especially skilled at reacting to audience responses with fantastic jokes moving the narrative forward or ending the scene as needed.
One scene in particular stands in my mind still as the most hilarious couple argument. Ever. Edgar Blackmon and Holly Laurent open the scene with plenty of political satire starring Mitt Romney and Barack Obama as the butt of the joke. The couple engages in funny debate about why they will vote for their respective candidates. The jokes and laughter from each of the actors stayed in my mind for days afterward.
The best part is, for all the crass politics, the show left me feeling better about the world. It’s the kind of humor that is honest, heartfelt and warm. And certainly an equal opportunity political joke machine.
The chemistry between the cast is infectious. They are obviously having a great time, and through osmosis the audience can’t help but enjoy themselves, no matter what corner of the theater they sit in. The audience sits cabaret style rubbing elbows with strangers. During intermission, the festive air takes hold in conversations around the room as strangers become friends.
I walked into the cool Chicago night air with new friends, flush with laughter and excited for the next show at Second City because I had laughed until my heart was happy.
WHEN: Until September, 7, 2012.
Tuesday: 8 p.m. – $23
Wednesday: 8 p.m. – $23
Thursday: 8 p.m. – $23
Friday and Saturday: 8 p.m. & 11 p.m. – $28
Sunday: 7 p.m. – $23
The Second City
1616 North Wells St.
TICKETS: $30.50 after taxes. Please click here to purchase tickets.