Saturday February 24th 2018

“She The People”

Highly Recommended **** This is a Second City production, so instead of placing this review at Theater, I am also putting it at Cabaret, which makes sense as it is not truly a play, but a comedy routine that has a sub-plot. The current run , now onstage at the Up Comedy Club is “She The People”, a hit sketch show that takes on women’s issues with a bit of wisdom and a great deal of wit. I love the UP venue, located in what we used to call “Pipers Alley, located on the 3rd floor of the building next door to the original Second City, with an address of 230 West North Avenue ( at Wells, of course).

Under the direction of Carly Hefferman with musical direction by Mary Mahoney, this is indeed a women’s production featuring Carisa Barreca, Alex Bellisie, Katie Caussin, Maria Randazzo, Alexis J. Roston and Kimberly Michelle Vaughn.. As is the case with most Second City productions, these ladies were responsible for writing the sketches they perform along with  Marla Caceres, Carly Hefferman, Tien Tran, Rashawn Nadine Scott and Lauren Walker. I  believe that some of the originals are mentioned as writers, and that materials may have some changes due to the new personalities taking over, but for the most part, the show is pretty much on the same track as the original.

This show truly takes a hard look at women and their place in our society- past, present and even some future. They tend to roast men as they do some crazy sketches about things like “birthing”, “big business”/sales meetings, “bitches”, “government”, and many other topics. While the concept is that women must be treated as equals, they tend to put men down to get there. Yes, they are a hoot! Maria Randazzo is a player that one might swear is on her way to SNL , Carisa Barreca does a strip tease that is by far the funniest strip I have ever seen, and Katie Caussin the tallest comic I have ever seen with a face that can change expressions by the second.

I adored Alexis J Roston’s fire and energy, and the very sexy Kimberley Michelle Vaughn will make you forget that this show is supposed to place women at a different level. She is something else! Alex Bellisle is a dynamo of energy onstage and knows how to milk a laugh until here are zero drops left. These are six very talented women who have an agenda and with the help of a few audience members, truly get to us. The game show they do “You Outa Know” is a neat spoof of the shows that one might find on TV with an audience member stuck just as the performers were, until a question came up about the Kardashians- she knew that one.

 

One of the bits has to do with a young woman becoming her mother- a riot. Many of us have watched our wives, or in some cases, our daughters, become just like their mother. Caussin and Randazzo are powerful in this bit and Bellisle is the one caught in the middle!

There are only a few references to the current President and his staff, but there is one sketch involving the men of government that indicates just how bad things are. While many of us are used to Second City and its performers doing a lot of political satire, these ladies are under control and spend their two hours ( two acts, with an intermission) getting the audience to laugh out loud and make sure that we know that despite all of the efforts of the previous generations, women are and still continue to take their places in our country and its policies. Bravo! There is an amazing skit about “Bitches”, and I do not mean female digs- in this one, they ask each person in the audience who has ever been called this word, to raise her hand ( notice they use the word HR) and then, after they do, “look to your neighbor and do a high five”- a lot of slapping took place as the ladies onstage declared- “we rule!”.

“She The People” will continue thru April 1st ( April Fools Day, really?) with performances as follows:

Thursdays  8 p.m.

Fridays  8 p.m.

Saturdays  8 p.m.

Sundays  7 p.m.

 

Tickets start at $26 and can be purchased at 312-337-3992 or online at www.secondcity.com

The UP Comedy Club is laid out close to the original Second City, but the seating is more conducive to watching the show and allowing the performers to come out into the audience. The food is bar food, but well prepared and attractively priced. The drinks are not skimpy ( as one might expect in a comedy club) and there is a great selection to choose from. One of the beautiful things about Second City is that the people who work there care for the workers ( onstage and off) and every customer is important. The shows are great, the food terrific and the service is what you would expect, quality!

The only problem with going to a Second City Production is that after a show, you need to come down from the solid experience. Not easy! In fact, as I am writing this review, I find myself chuckling at one of the sketches.

To see what other are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “She The People”!

 

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