Highly Recommended**** Traditions! In Chicago, when it comes to comic revues, Second City is the name that everyone recognizes. How many of “our” performers, yes, Chicago’s performers have gone on to higher things? The numbers are always increasing because Second City is indeed a training ground for the bright, energetic performers who treat “Improv” as true theater. Their latest production, their 102nd revue! called “Depraved New World” which delves into the question “ever wonder what people are thinking?”.
It is all about the voices in our heads- the thoughts that go on but that we do not always act upon. Again, this is a Second City Revue, so it has no plot, no storyline to think about. It is close to two hours of pure diversion from our own everyday stresses and a release from reality, and of course, the little voices in our heads. This is indeed a journey to the center of our brain ( not to be confused with a ” journey to the center of the earth”). As always, Second City makes fun of the things that we see and hear every day as well as what is in the news. They pull off this comedy by having six very different types of personalities who have assembled to create the script ( albeit a loose term, script…more of a lot of funny things and jokes joined together by some cute transitions.
Directed by Mick Napier, who is also the musical director and who composed the original music used, this sprightly cast of characters are an assortment that keeps giving and giving… Chelsea Devantez, John Hartman, Mike Kosinski, Tawny Newsome, Emily Walker and Steve Waltien and a funny group. as they spoof the Nigerian e-mail scams, blind dates, musical orgies, advertising meetings and a whole lot more. There is music and lots of dancing and some movement that they might call dancing that truly shows off the rubbery legs and very slim bodies of the three males in this show. There is a “bit” ( of perhaps a sketch) about a couple turning their discussion into a song, but he ( the very hysterical Steve Waltien) has pre-recorded his material and lip-syncs to the displeasure of the gorgeous Tawny Newsome. This is a magical moment on stage!
While, those of us who recall the early days of Second City are reminded that once upon a time, the entire show was improv and ad libbed, we know now that the cast writes a basic show and then uses some audience members to enhance the evening’s entertainment. They also, when they can, include a member of the audience on stage. A sort of “tradition” at Second City, and one that the audience members cherish in their memories for ever.
“Depraved New World” will continue at Second City, located at 1616 N. Wells ( main stage) with performances as follows:
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and 11 p.m.
Sundays at 7 p.m.
Tickets start at $23 and are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at www.SecondCity.com
Drinks and food are served before and during the performance. Try some of the appetizers ( pop corn shrimp are divine) and they have some sumptuous desert items as well. Parking is available on the street ( metered) or at the lot of Treasure Island Grocery Store (cheaper than the meters)
To learn more about this and other shows, visit www.SecondCity.com
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Depraved New World”