Tag: Jesse Case

Review: My Name Is Annie King (Underscore Theatre)

Amanda Giles and the cast of My Name Is Annie King, Underscore Theatre            

My Name Is Annie King
By Aaron Albert, Katy Rea (music, lyrics)
    and Krista Pioppi (book)
at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway (map)
thru May 28  |  tix: $20-30  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

May 7, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: A Red Line Runs Through It (Second City e.t.c.)

Peter Kim in A Red Line Runs Through It, Second City etc          
A Red Line
  Runs Through It

Written by the ensemble
e.t.c Theater, 1608 N. Wells (map) 
Open run  |  tix: $23  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

May 3, 2016 | 1 Comment More

Review: Depraved New World (Second City)

John Hartman and Chelsea Devantez star in Second City's 102nd review "Depraved New World", directed by Mick Napier. (photo credit: Todd Rosenberg)        
Depraved New World

Written by the Ensemble 
Directed by Mick Napier
Second City Mainstage, 1616 N. Wells (map) 
Open Run  |  tickets: $23   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

April 20, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Second City Guide to the Opera (Second City and Lyric Opera of Chicago)

A sketch from the "Second City Guide to the Opera" by Jesse Case, Kate James and Timothy Sniffen, directed by Billy Bungeroth, performed onstage at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. (photo credit: Todd Rosenberg)        
The Second City
      Guide to the Opera

Written by Jesse Case, Kate James 
      and Timothy Sniffen
Directed by Billy Bungeroth  
Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker (map)
thru June 30  |  tickets: $35-$45   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets  
        Read entire review

June 12, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: We’re All in this Room Together (Second City e.t.c.)

Andel Sudik, Aidy Bryant, Mike Kosinski, Chris Witaske, Tawny Newsome, Michael Lehrer - Second City etc. Chicago, Dave Rentsauskas       
We’re All in 
    this Room Together

Written by the Ensemble 
Directed by Ryan Bernier
Second City e.t.c Theatre, 1608 N. Wells (map)
thru Aug 28  |  tickets: $23-$28   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review

June 29, 2012 | 2 Comments More

Review: Sky’s the Limit (Second City e.t.c.)

Michael Lehrer, Mary Sohn, Aidy Bryant - Second City Chicago
Sky’s the Limit

Written/performed by Tim Baltz, Aidy Bryant, Brendan Jennings, Jessica Joy, Michael Lehrer and Mary Sohn
Directed by Matt Hovde
at Second City, 1608 N. Wells  (map) 
Open Run  |   tickets: $22-$27  | more info

Check for half-price tickets

    Read entire review

August 5, 2011 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life (Second City etc)

Friggin’ hilarious


The Second City e.t.c. presents
The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life
Directed by Bill Bungeroth
Musical direction by
Jesse Case
The Second City e.t.c., Piper’s Alley, 1608 N. Wells (map)
Open run  |  Tickets: $22–$27 |   more info

Reviewed by Leah A. Zeldes

Second City e.t.c.’s new revue, The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life, may not exactly live up to its boastful title, but it’s probably among the funniest times you can have for the price.

Photo_005_Melewski_Anthony_Sohn Like all such sketch-comedy shows, this one has its upsides and downsides, but when it works, it really clicks, and it works more often than not.

Much more musical than many Second City shows, Friggin’ offers some especially funny songs, delivered by a terrific cast who knows how to use their voices, backed by capable music director Jesse Case.

Beginning with a musical tribute to the "Good Old Days," the running joke of the revue, is a look back to the supposedly better days of the past — which seem to be the late 1990s, though few actual historical events are mentioned beyond general references to full employment, budget surpluses and no wars. That gives them ample scope to skewer the present, however. Christina Anthony, Beth Melewski and Mary Sohn, clad in stretch pants showing ample curves, take on the country’s idiotic "war on obesity" with a defiant song and dance on the joys of being "Rubenesque" that had nearly every woman in the audience cheering. Tom Flanigan is sidesplitting as a scat singer crooning to a group of dull-witted Tea Partiers. And Tim Baltz dramatically captures the all-encompassing and irrational rage of Obama haters in an office sketch.

Very little effort has gone into making this comedy politically balanced — the few digs at Dems are far outweighed by the arrows aimed at the increasingly easy targets of the right wing. I’m not sure this show would play so well in outside a liberal stronghold, but the Chicago audience ate it up. (Has any previous sitting administration ever been so lightly treated by comedians because their opponents made so much more compelling butts?)

Photo_002_Melewski_Anthony_Flanigan_Baltz_Sohn Photo_004_Melewski_Anthony_Sohn

A few skits don’t deliver, such as one in which Flanigan and Anthony play a race-reversed doctor and nurse — beyond the initial surprise when you realize the white guy is playing a black man, there’s not much there.

The evening culminates with an overlong skit in which Brendan Jennings, wonderfully expressive throughout, time travels to his high-school prom with an audience volunteer. Jennings carries it off impressively, but the jokes don’t match the premise of a nerd who regrets having skipped the dance in the first place, and I imagine much depends on how well the volunteer plays up.

Overall, though, Director Bill Bungeroth has given us a fast-paced and hilarious look at those times that, for many of us, have been the worst of our lives.

Rating: ★★★½


Written and performed by Christina Anthony, Tim Baltz, Tom Flanigan, Brendan Jennings, Beth Melewski and Mary Sohn


May 11, 2010 | 2 Comments More