“Can we get a volunteer?” asks Tim Ryder (who was also in The Second City Guide to the Opera). The audience is silent and still. For most people, the idea of going on stage is terrifying. However, after you have taken a few improv classes at the Second City Training Center, it doesn’t seem daunting at all. So, I raise my hand. Ryder looks relieved as he invites me to come on stage. I take a seat center stage and he asks me where I live. “Wicker Park. I live with one roommate and we’re looking for one more.” Mark Campbell steps forward and says he is looking for a new place to live. “What are the requirements to move in?” I reply, “You must be able to pay rent and be a dog lover.” He shakes his head and pulls back. Was it the paying rent or the dog part that he didn’t like?
Later on, Tim asks what I do for a living. “I’m starting a new business, axe throwing!” I can see everyone looks confused. “It’s like darts, but with axes.” Brooke Breit steps forward and asks if there is alcohol involved. “At this time, there is no alcohol. However, it is something we are looking into.” Tim then says “So, it’s like bowling where you rent a lane?” “Yes, exactly.” So, what’s it called, he asks? “Thunderbolt Chicago Axe Throwing!”
I leave the stage and they proceed to do an improvised scene called “A day in the life of Quinn”. An actor wakes up to an axe being thrown over his bed by Ryder. “Sorry about that. Just getting a few throws in this morning.” “Well, I did put that target right next to my bed.” Brooke then enters barking and growling like a dog. “Oh no, another Craigslist applicant!” The audience cracks up! Callbacks to Thunderbolt occur throughout the rest of the right as this talented cast flexes their improv chops.
Get tickets now for Legendary Laughs on Thursdays at 7. Volunteer and you can have a scene created about you!
It’s a cold and rainy night in Chicago. The audience enters the theatre and the entire cast is sitting on a bench on their phones. They are all millennials and the idea is that they are all using dating apps. They don’t look up at all for the 15 to 20 minutes until the show starts.
The show features a whole lot of different scenarios including two threeways. One is an all-female threeway where one of the girls feels left out. The other is an all-male threeway where one the guys is disinterested. They both draw a lot of laughs from the awkwardness of the situation. Are these really based on real life stories?
One of the guys keeps ruining dates by describing his love for Game of Thrones. So, he tries to pretend he has never seen the show on a future date, but he just can’t resist. It’s hilarious watching him struggle. Later on, he discovers his parents met via CB radio, aka, 1970s Grindr.
Get tickets now for Love Me Tinder: Swipe Right through May 24th! You won’t be disappointed.
A group of four people walk up to the host of a restaurant. “Table for four please.” The host responds, “I see two. White this way.” Everyone stands still with a look of shock on their face, and then the two white people slowly start walking with the host, keeping the look of dismay on their face. The audience is roaring with laughter. It’s this type of topical humor that Second City is the best at delivering.
In another scene, a man and a woman who are work wife and husband meet at a party. They have alongside them their actual partners. Things get awkward and funny quickly as they describe getting lunch together all the time. Then, the crowd laughs when they discover he bought her diamond earrings for Secret Santa. “Woah! What was the limit?!” says the actual husband. It ends hilariously with them singing “Can anybody find me somebody to love?!”
In another great performance, two multiracial actors sing about their different nationalities. “If I was 100% Latin, I would eat at Taco Bell… less often!” Many more funny lines about being biracial lead up to the fantastic line saying that in the future, everyone will look just like them! The strengths of this cast are expertly utilized in this fantastic production making this an absolute must see! It is sure to be legendary within the history of the Chicago comedy.
Get Tickets now for Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno at Second City!
Also, see our review of The Winner Of… Our Discontent!
Ben Palmer gained some infamy by creating a Facebook page called City of Atlanta and posting bogus updates such as “If you just moved here, please come to our office to pick up your parking ticket. New residents receive one parking ticket to help them get used to life in Atlanta.” He uses a projector to go through the best of the posts and his hilarious response when City Hall asked him to stop. He asked for all his tickets to be absolved, $60 cash, and two free trolley rides.
He then has a bunch of stock photos next for which he has great comments. For the one above he says “I been in this country 7 years. I’ll be damned if they let immigrants come in and ruin my hard work!” In another one, he says “Come join our company, … so we can fire this guy in the middle!” It’s basically live internet trolling, and Palmer is great at it. Follow Ben Palmer on Facebook!
The Comedy Underground is a great space that is actually below street level. They also have a full food menu with waiter service. Check out their upcoming lineup!
Flanagan has passed away. But don’t be sad, let’s celebrate his life. Here are five of the best ways.
- Upon arriving at your table, one of the characters will ask you about your most fond Flanagan memory. Use your improv skills and spin a might tale or provide a quick anecdote. Either way, they’ll play along and reminiscence.
- If you’re really adventurous, you can go up and sing “Oh, Danny Boy” solo!
- Console dear old Grandma and give her a kiss.
- Hit up the bar, frequently.
- Convert to Catholicism.
Get tickets now for Flanagan’s Wake!
Also see our post for Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding.
Kristen Schaal tells a story about hanging out with Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson. “I don’t mean to name drop, this is just my life now!” (Kristen stars with Mary on The Last Man on Earth.) She recalls how she fell off of a stool and her dress came up, exposing her granny panties. She explains that she wears them because they are comfortable and she didn’t plan on anyone else seeing them that night. If she was among old friends, she wouldn’t really care that she just made a fool of herself. Also, if she had just met them, she wouldn’t care either. However, in this case they were right in the middle and she was quite embarrassed. This tale is completely in line with Schaal’s persona and it makes for a great story, which the audience loved.
Later on, Johan Miranda talks about how he is an illegal immigrant. His parents brought him to the US when he was 3 on a travel visa. In 2012, he applied for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and became official. With Trump expected to repeal DACA, he feels like his days are numbered. When he first looked for a lawyer, he discovered they charged $250 an hour. “I guess I’ll take my chances without a lawyer then!” he exclaims. He did eventually find representation and he is doing everything he can to stay. Well, except get married—that would ruin his dream of being a commitment-phobic boyfriend!
Also of note, Andrew Sleighter realized his LA dream of doing a cool show within walking distance of his apartment!
Catch The Hot Tub Show every Monday at The Virgil
Mike Obrien and Mark Raterman host this monthly showcase. In the opening segment, they talk about how they just took an improv class. They go ahead and get a bunch of suggestions. Right before they are about to start a scene, they decide to get more suggestions. Once they have way more suggestions than they can remember, they go ahead and bring out the first comedian. Sometimes the best part of an improv show is getting the ideas from the audience!
Brooks Wheelan tells a story about going snorkeling in Maui, while on acid! It’s impossible not to fall in love while doing this. Unfortunately, his girlfriend didn’t feel the same way. She told him they have two different spirits. He said that’s not a problem. Too different spirits, she says.
Ithamar Enriquez then did an amazing movie montage. He put together the music from a bunch of movies back to back while acting out the scenes with his hands as the characters. It included movies from Jurassic Park to Dirty Dancing. It was really creative and it had everyone laughing. It also was a great way to add variety to a show of mostly standup.
Be sure to watch Mike Obrien on 7 Minutes in Heaven and catch The Go ‘head show next month at NerdMelt!