Yesterday, I had the pleasure of seeing a live comedy show at The Second City Training Center. I’ve only attended performances at The Second City a handful of times, but I can say that I’ve never been disappointed. It’s easy to see why this is a legendary comedy institution, the produces some of the most recognizable comedy faces of our time. If you’re not familiar, with The Second City, definitely go check out their website. Their alumni reads as a virtual who’s who of comedy, with many of their alumni going on to compromise SNL casts since the 1980’s. So back to yesterday…I attended the first performance of the production, “Criticize Matters” in the brand new Beat Lounge.
So let me start by saying that this show is seriously funny. The show is based upon the premise:
In a world where Yelp reviews have reviews, how do walk the line between useful criticism and YouTube comment-level obnoxious? Do our cultural super powers of shrewd analysis lead to swifter social change or to our inherent dissatisfaction with everything? Is this Burger King? CAN we ever REALLY have it “our way”?
The show explores a large range of topics, from veganism to 2nd amendment issue, to racism…extremely thought provoking stuff. While the cast is only compromised of 4 members (Alex Raynor, Marty Roche, Ed Selvey, and Alice Stanley Jr.), there is so much going on, and at such a pleasant pace, you kind of lose track of the fact that there really are only 4 people on the stage at any 1 time. The show used a great combination of music, improv, and sketch comedy to explore real world social issues.
Now, I will freely admit that I am not great theater critic, but I know what leaves me feeling like it was time well spent, and everyone in the crowd walked away laughing, and chatting. In addition, the actors are so likable there on stage. I would not be surprised to see any of them on TV or on SNL at any given point in the future. This show is made up of some truly talented people…even the original songs are great.
So, if you have the opportunity the next few weekends, I highly encourage you to go see the show. Only 2 performances left. Go check it out. Support local art, and Chicago artists.
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