As someone who is knee deep in Chicago comedy, I can tell you first hand that it's difficult to keep up with the vast number of shows produced in this city. However, I am lucky enough to not only get to see a lot of shows, but am also privy to some inside scoop. So it's my pleasure to share with you my thoughts on the brilliant shows The Second City has on its resident stages right now.
Let Them Eat Chaos at The Second City's Mainstage
Let Them Eat Chaos is the best show I've ever seen at Second City. I had high expectations for this show, but boy, I had no idea what I was in for. This show takes you on a whimsical, colorful and satirical adventure through art, technology, war, rap and everlasting love. The entire production is incredible, but hats off to the Director, Matt Hovde, and Musical Director, Julie B. Nichols, as the music and projected scenery add so much context to the show.
This all-star cast delivered beyond expectations. Katie Rich is hilarious and adorable. Holly Laurent is a delight. Tawny Newsome has the most beautiful voice - absolutely gorgeous. Edgar Blackmon lights up the stage. Steve Waltien is a jack-of-all-trades and brings them all to this show. Ross Bryant is smart, patient and grounded and helps lay a solid foundation for this fanciful production. I couldn't be more proud of this cast - what an incredible ensemble. An insatiable statement about the world. A brilliant performance by all. I am obsessed with this show. Phenomenal.
A Clown Car Named Desire at The Second City's e.t.c. Stage
A Clown Car Named Desire just opened about a month ago. This sketch comedy show sheds honesty on the face of laughter as it takes the audience through the journey of self-discovery. Experiencing life at all ages and situations we manage through on a daily basis. From awkward breast pumping at the office to American Apparel employees who try too damn hard to be individuals to a sneak peak into a never released before Tennessee Williams play, this show will leave your heart happy and your face in pain from laughing for an hour and a half.
This cast is stellar and the ease with which they grace the stage is so fun and light-hearted. It's the best. Brooke Breit's delivery couldn't be more spot on. Carisa Barreca (who was just named Chicago Reader's Best Choreographer) is clearly a seasoned performer. Everything about her screams stardom and if her sheer presence wasn't enough, her voice will prove my point. Punam Patel is a silent killer. Her character work is insane and her commitment to physicality keeps you wanting more. These ladies may be newcomers, but keep an eye on them, as I'm sure they will be shooting up the comedy ladder quickly. Veterans Michael Lehrer, Chris Witaske and Mike Kosinski each bring a unique voice and committed characters to the stage and offer a number of pleasant surprises. This show is a delicate blend of controlled chaos and blissful ignorance that spiral together and create a world that is all too familiar but simultaneously lends itself to unlimited discoveries.
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