Let Them Eat Chaos
|Second City presents|
|Let Them Eat Chaos|
Review by Katy Walsh
The Second City presents their 101st Revue, Let Them Eat Chaos. It’s a little improv. It’s a little sketch. It’s a little singing. It’s a little rapping. It’s a whole lot of comedy. Second City launched the careers of Tina Fey, Bill Murray, John Candy and many more megastars. Part of TSC’s appeal is a natural curiosity for us to experience firsthand the-next-big-thing. Chicago is proud of birthing comedy legends. In the near future, we all want to say I saw *Edgar/Ross/Holly/Tawny/Katie/ Steve* in Let Them Eat Chaos and I laughed my head off!
Future stars Edgar Blackmon, Ross Bryant, Holly Laurent, Tawny Newsome, Katie Rich and Steve Waltien are the writers and the performers. Despite the name *chaos,* this show is smooth-running. Under the well-paced direction of Matt Hovde, one bit blends into the next. Let Them Eat Chaos even has an awwwww symmetry when the ending is a sweet callback to another sketch. The running theme, ‘you’re always someone to someone,’ is surprisingly sentimental for a troupe committed to making fun of life.
The show begins with the cast asking for a word to start the antics. My audience offers up ‘underwear’ and the talented crew gives ‘Harold’ a hilarious wedgie. ‘Harold’ is a Second City improvisation term used to describe a free-form gag. The cast take turns wearing these ‘big girl panties’ ribbed for our pleasure. Their quick wit and ability to build on each other’s humorous take is amazing. The teamwork is impressive and regularly rewarded with hearty laughter.
In an interactive sketch, the audience gives up a word and the cast, as a future computer, act out the meaning. It’s a chuckle-fest! These improv shenanigans intermingle with well-rehearsed pieces. With vibrant and slick visual projections designed by Mike Tutaj, the action takes place in the past, the present and the future. I loved the jabs at today’s *oversharing* generation that was obsessed with taking pictures of what they were about to eat. There is a riotous rap-off between two performers: one ranting the familiar anger of oppression and the other with equal intensity raving about every day annoyances. Hysterical!
One of my favorite sketches is the cast playing little kids drawing. Each member of the ensemble has their distinct and childlike pose. It’s adorably amusing. Although the entire cast is sensational, Katie Rich and Ross Bryant are standouts. Rich has perfect comedic timing whether interviewing the audience, texting her life or bitching as an old woman. With or without his nerdy glasses, Bryant uses his physical presence and voice of authority to lampoon the situation. Both deliver regular comedy gold!
Let Them Eat Chaos is a big bite of history in the making. When someone asks, ‘did you see *Edgar/Ross/Holly/Tawny/Katie/ Steve* when they were at The Second City?’ Be able to say, ‘Of course, I did! S/He was my pick for most likely to succeed!’
Let Them Eat Chaos continues at Second City’s Main Stage, 1616 N. Wells (map), with performances Tuesdays-Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays/Saturdays at 8pm and 11pm, Sundays 7pm. Tickets are $23-$28, and are available by phone (312-337-3992) or online through their website (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at SecondCity.com. (Running time: 2 hours, includes an intermission)
Photos by Clayton Hauck
behind the scenes
Matt Hovde (director), Julie B. Nichols (musical director, original incidental music, sound design), Craig Taylor (stage manager), Jen Ellison (asst. director), Bob Knuth (set, graphic design), Rachel S. Parent (stylist), Mike Tutaj (projections), Matt Gawryk (lighting), Crosstown Scenic (set construction), Clayton Hauck (photos)