Chicago is a world-class city; home to some of the greatest talents in music, arts and acting. The Second City has been a cornerstone of the performing arts community for over 50 years.
Since it opened its doors in 1959, it has become a world-renowned theater, debuting some of the most famous funny people we know today; Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Amy Poehler, jump-started their comedic careers by working there.
Second City performers tour across the nation, and The Second City Touring Company brought their show “Happily Ever Laughter” to a full-house audience at Moraine Valley’s Dorothy Menker Theater on Jan. 25.
After a brief announcement from their stage manager, the actors, Sarah Shook, Marlena Rodriguez, Liz Ruess, Scott Moorhead, Adam Peacock, and Asher Perlman, took the stage in full character, acting out a set of shorts sketches. Some of the skits lasted less than one minute, some longer than five, but each of them, regardless, brought claps and cheers, laughs and roars from the audience. With only four chairs, a stage, and their wild imaginations, The Second City cast brought their sketch comedy to life.
The show featured both written skits and interactive comedy sessions, but the most entertaining parts of the show were the improvisational comedy performances. The actors asked for suggestions such as a place that could fit on the stage, a professional career, and simple phrase to incorporate into the sketch. Patrons shouted out answers one over the other frantically, belting out ridiculous ideas. As actors took cues from the audience, they managed to maintain composure under the hilarious circumstances they were set up with.
Many of the written skits were themed toward Chicago culture: all the funny things Chicagoans share under the same flag. The actors cracked jokes about the rivalries between the North and South side, suburban chain restaurants, and, of course, riding the El. The scripts, when present, were full of fresh material, and included a lot of topical and political humor.
The performers of the Second City touring company are second to none. Each performance is unique, and that’s one of the greatest things about seeing one of their shows. For more information about when you can catch a Second City performance, visit secondcity.com.