The Second City's 41st e.t.c. revue — Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno — has a mouthful of a title, paired with a belly full of laughs. The e.t.c. stage, known for its edgier, more Chicago-themed sketch revues, keeps to its reputation, housing two hours of non-stop, goofball, slap-your-thighs laughter with its newest comedy show.
Does Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno talk about politics? Of course it does. However, it's not the entire show, and they do a great balancing act of important pieces and straight up silly.
There are a variety of scenes and songs in this show, and nothing felt too long. For example, you'll see what happens when your "work wife" or "work husband" meets your real spouse (awwwkward), and they build that tension perfectly.
Then later in the first act, you see two very short scenes about death back to back, followed by what happens when you sit in other people's assigned seats at the movies (featuring the line of the night by Alan Linic, "Don't be sorry. Just be aware.").
The political pieces hit just as hard. Comparing President Trump to The Kraken for example ("He's not my captain.") Or blacking out so hard after the Cubs winning the World Series that you wake up after the election and learn about everything that's happened since (one of my favorite scenes, especially the improv elements tied in).
The Second City consistently features strong ensembles, usually with six people in the cast. This revue has seven in the cast, and still, everyone has their highlight moment:
- Katie Klein as an author obsessed with crime on a daytime talk show;
- Alan Linic reacting to his friend who wants to be more during the zombie apocalypse;
- Julie Marchiano as a twin sister talking to her brother's friends about health class;
- Sayjal Joshi singing about being ethnically ambiguous;
- Andrew Knox moving chairs out of his ex-wife's house with double foot casts;
- Tien Tran having a heart to heart with her girlfriend about having kids;
- and my particular favorite, Jasbir Singh Vazquez doing an improvised scene in Spanish with a Spanish speaking audience volunteer.
There are so many other fabulously funny moments in Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno, but I can't give everything away! Trust me, this show is worth every penny. Plus, you never know when the talent will get plucked away and make it big (very common). So turn off Netflix, put on some pants, and go support live comedy in Chicago at The Second City.
The Second City
1608 N. Wells Street,
Chicago, IL 60614
Box office: 312-337-3992
Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno plays Thursdays @ 8pm, Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm & 11pm, and Sundays @ 7pm through January 2018. Tickets start at $19. (Fun fact: some performances feature a free improvised third act!)