Tag: The Second City
The Chicago theater community will again produce a wide array of Christmas and holiday plays, musicals, ballets and comedies in 2016, all designed to put you in a festive mood. Find the entire list of holiday offerings below!
A Clown Car Named Desire
By Brooke Breit, Punam Patel, Mike Kosinski,
The Second City at 50: Good for what ails you
The Second City presents
Taming of the Flu
reviewed by Leah A. Zeldes
They may be 50 years old, but The Second City can still bring up some healthy laughs.
Most of us won’t get to go to The Second City’s big 50th anniversary celebration with its famous alumni this weekend — many events are sold out — but the troupe’s latter-day regulars do their predecessors proud with their anniversary mainstage revue, Taming of the Flu.
This is the kind of infectious comedy that made The Second City famous: Fast-paced, creative, topical, hilarious.
There are gags about swine flu*, of course, and health-care reform, with some needle-sharp jabs at insurance companies and politicians of all stripes. Some subtly and not-so-subtly humorous routines point up racial issues, the economic meltdown, war, terrorism and the other ills of our time.
Modern life gets its jibes, from the guy who’s addicted to his iPhone to the football player who taunts his opponents with Harry Potterisms to lesbian bachelorettes. In an anniversary mood, they look back over 50 years, comparing teenagers from 1959, ’79 and revisiting a 1950s bomb shelter.
Best of all are the Chicago-centric gags. Maybe it’s a return to The Second City’s roots or maybe it’s just that during this chilly and cash-strapped season they figure they don’t have to play to the tourists, but some of the best bits in this revue aim straight at the home crowd with nary any translation — such as a poignant paean to Chicago winters, lawn chairs and all. Chicago cops. Red-light cameras. The Olympics. Indiana casinos. Aldermanic candidates. A sidesplitting sketch covers local cabbies’ recent call for fare hikes.
As with all revues, some sketches are funnier than others, but the jokes roll out nonstop, fast as sneezes. The six ensemble members keep ’em coming with feverish timing, dead-on expression and keen comic gestalt.
Compared to Tamiflu, laughter may not be the best medicine, but I defy anyone to leave this show not feeling better than when he went in. If it doesn’t cure what ails you,* at least you’ll forget your suffering for a while.
Notes: The Second City ticket prices are due to rise Jan. 1 to a minimum of $22 for general-admission seats and up to $46 for a new class of "premium" seats. Parking in the Piper’s Alley garage is $1 off with validation at the box office.
* Chicago Theater Blog does not advocate going to the theater while suffering with H1N1 flu or any other contagious disease. Fortunately, this show is in open run. Please stay home until after you have completely recovered, if only for the sake of any critics who may be in the audience. Gesundheit.
Garden of the Three – Gorilla Tango Theatre
A Hampstead Hooligan in King Arthur’s Court – Chicago dell’Arte
Illocal Comedy – Corn Productions
It’s Good for You 2 – Gorilla Tango Theatre
Jackie: an American Life – Theatre-Hikes
The Night Season – Vitalist Theatre
Rollin’ Outta Here Naked – Gorilla Tango Theatre
Scotland Road – Gorilla Tango Theatre
Last of My Species – Redmoon Theater
Timeless Is More – Gorilla Tango Theatre
TV Re-Runs – A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre
Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit – Navy Pier
Culture/Clash – Rasaka Theatre
The Duck Variations – Theatre-Hikes
Rod Blagojevich Superstar! – The Second City
Short Shorts – Annoyance Theatre
The Tragedy of Jennifer, Brad and Angelina – Blackbird Theatre