Wednesday July 26th 2017

“South Side of Heaven”

recommended   Second city’s 99th main stage show is one that  has something for everyone and has some hysterical moments.It is called “South Side of Heaven” which led me to think it was going to be a lot of North Side versus South Side and Cubs versus Sox, and although there was a very funny skit about four men while watching the Cubs /Soxgame, which did hit the mark on this one, there were many other topics that had nothing to do with this at all. Of course there was political comedy about President Obama ( who was in town tonight to begin his next campaign) and of course the outgoing  Mayor and the Mayor Elect ( as it turns out former Governor Jim Thompson and his lovely wife Jan were seated just to our right- one of the few who have not been found guilty of anything, but I do not think they knew, or they could have had somefun). They poked fun at strippers, a wild number with Sam Richardson taking the lead and Holly Laurent as his “client”. The very funny Timothy Edward Mason did a crazy skit as one of the airport security guards sitting at the body scan machine and then turned his cleverness on the audience. A very funny bit.

In fact, the Second City comics still get some audience members involved ( not like the old days) but today they are more of a scripted show until after the show, when they come back for those who want more laughter for a true Second City “Improv” set ( just like the old days), but the two hours that this show lasts is filled with humor and a natural ability of these performers to have fun with the audience and with each other. Tim Robinson, he of the very rubbery face and the Rodney Dangerfield attitude is a scream as he does an audition with the adorable Katie Rich and young Edgar Blackmon, a newcomer to the main stage has omegreat moments. These are talented people who work well as a unit and have the ability to look  different withvery little change in costumes. Holly,for example, goes from glamourous  to itchy  nerd in mere seconds and Timothy plays a Michigan Avenue carriage horse with great ease.

While the majority of the show was funny, I was not as impressed with the heaven scene that ended the show.While I know that the title of the production included Heaven in it, the scene lacked the comic touches that Second City is known for and it appeared to turn off a few of the great laughers in an audience that otherwise was enjoying side-splitting comedy until that moment. Despite that little skit, this is a show that is still great escape from the daily routine and as always , allows us to laugh at the  things around us that make up our lives and make our World turn. The music led by Julie B. Nichols is bright and light, but in a few cases was just a bit stronger than it should be- we need to hear the lyrics, and the choreography by Brenda Didier,although limited works.Directed by Billy Bungeroth the show moves swiftly using the stage to the best advantage of the small house that is jam packed with people having a wonderful evening.

You to can enjoy this spirited show, which is somewhat open ended ( meaning , as long as people buy tickets the show will keep running) with performances as follows:

Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays at 8 p.m.,Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.

Tickets range from $22.00-$27.00 and can be purchased at the box office 1616 N. Wells Street, by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at www.secondcity.com

There are lots of great restaurants on Wells Street- Old Town is still recognized as an area with all kinds of choices.One Of my favorites is just on the other side of the street-Wells on Wells ( with a burger that will knock your socks off) and just downstairs, the Adobo Grill for great Mexican food. The theater has a bar and some snack  and finger foods to make sure your evening is complete.

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