By Jasleen Jaswal Vines
Reviewing a sketch comedy show is tough. I’ll be honest – I just want to list all the parts of this show that made me laugh. A laidback second-term President Obama confronting Speaker Boehner with “The Motto” as his soundtrack? Trust me when I say it’s a highlight of the show.
But as my husband pointed out afterwards, the beauty of this form, and so much of The Second City’s work, is that it’s always about more than the laughs. “Who Do We Think We Are?” is a smart, incisive, unapologetic critique of Chicagoand the country in 2012. Beyond the political satire (a consistent target on the Mainstage), the show covers the usual bases – relationships, racism, getting older, the future – with a fine balance of insight and humor. Scene highlights include kids learning important lessons abut racism and time travel; a group therapy/self-discovery experiment; an interstitial scene about abandonment issues; and retired Luvabulls reuniting to chat relationships and aging.
The exceptional ensemble – Tim Baltz, Edgar Blackmon, Holly Laurent, Katie Rich, Mary Sohn, and Steve Waltien – has written a strong, well-paced set of sketches, avoiding the common pitfall of “the scene that wouldn’t end”. Their fantastic chemistry shines when they’re improvising for the audience.
More scenes I forgot to mention: gleeful humping. And Dan the Positive Guy. And a Hello Kitty backpack.
Honestly, the whole damn thing is funny. If you like sharp humor, this is the show for you.
THREE WORDS: Husband Geoff calls the production “highbrow, lowbrow, stimulating.”
Running time: 2 hours, including intermission
At The Second City Mainstage
Written and performed by Tim Baltz, Edgar Blackmon, Holly Laurent, Katie Rich, Mary Sohn, and Steve Waltien
Directed by Matt Hovde
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
Tickets by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at www.SecondCity.com