What if the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer isn’t all that it seems? What if we only know the toned down kids version. The Eight explores the very adult side of the story. It turns out that Dasher is a big fan of the drink. Cupid is the only gay reindeer. Well, the only openly gay reindeer. Prancer is a movie star who now goes by the name Hollywood. The shocking revelations go on including some very strong allegations against Santa that are all too relevant this year.
The acting in this production is fantastically funny. A rotating cast is used for the eight roles. Each role is played by two to three different actors, who each give their character a uniquely hilarious interpretation. This has allowed the show to stay fresh in its 14th straight year. By just adding a few modern references, it feels like the entire show was written this year! Also, the theater is small and intimate, which plays well with the monologue format.
Skip The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol this year and get tickets now for The Eight: Reindeer Monologues through December 23rd!
This is a very musical cast. Jeffrey Murdoch plays the trumpet. Tyler Davis plays bass and guitar. Tien Tran (who was also in Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno) plays violin. Nate Varrone (the one who looks like Borat) plays drums. Kelsey Kinney (who was also in The Winner… of Our Discontent) rocks a tambourine. Ryan Asher sings. Together, they integrate these skills very smoothly into the show and it pays off in spades. Here are the Top 5 Moments from the show:
- “Total Eclipse of the Heart” starts to play. A woman begins to singing it to a man of the left when a clown with a large knife approaches from behind her. In synch with the song, he continually begs her to “Turn Around”. Is this song actually about a killer clown?
10/24/17 8:24:33 PM — The Second City 106th Review “Dream Freaks Fall From Space.” Featuring Tien Tran Nate Varrone Jeffrey Murdoch Ryan Asher Kelsey Kinney © Todd Rosenberg Photography
- Everyone asks “Where’s Waldo?” But nobody asks, “How’s Waldo?”
- “Saturday in the Park” by Chicago starts to play. A man begins to tell a story, in synch with the music. “I think it was the 4th of July.” The music stops and his friend interjects “It was the 5th of July!”
10/24/17 8:38:42 PM — The Second City 106th Review “Dream Freaks Fall From Space.” Featuring Tien Tran Nate Varrone Jeffrey Murdoch Ryan Asher Kelsey Kinney © Todd Rosenberg Photography
- An audience member when prompted, “what is a small change in your life?”, says her kids leaving for college. Well, to most people that is a huge change!
10/24/17 9:30:58 PM — The Second City 106th Review “Dream Freaks Fall From Space.” Featuring Tien Tran Nate Varrone Jeffrey Murdoch Ryan Asher Kelsey Kinney © Todd Rosenberg Photography
- All the cast members dancing with Trump masks. Comedic gold!
Get tickets now for Dream Freaks Fall From Space at Second City!
It was a great night of laughs on Monday at Broadway Comedy Club, which is in a basement on 53rd St, just off Broadway. There was a 13 year old in the audience, but it’s really a show for adults. Here are three of the best comedians that night, and a few of their best jokes.
Rodney Laney (Comedy Central, MTV, BBC, HBO, CBS Late Show)
So you were guided into a dark basement without windows in the middle of NYC. You should feel lucky that you are alive!
My name is Rodney. They named me that because when I was born, my rod extended to my knee! Also, you should meet my brother, Rod-Ankle.
Mike Somerville (Letterman)
I travel often as a comic. I was just in Oklahoma where I ordered three beers. “$3 dollars says the bartender.” “I said three.” “I know.” “Wow, I feel rich!”
“I love you.” “I love you more.” “Ah, I guess you’re right”
Joe Devito (NBC’s Last Comic Standing, CBS Late Show, FOX Red Eye)
“Dating is hard at my age. Dinner, sex, and a movie. Pick 2!”
Spamilton parodies more than just Hamilton. It pokes fun at many different Broadway shows including Book of Mormon, (aka, “Last Year’s Hit” featuring Hello!), Cats (Memory), and Ragtime. Other targets include the actors in Hamilton, such as Lamar Odom, who played Aaron Burr. Odom is sure that he won’t be in the movie version, whenever it happens. The main target is Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. They joke about how he is everywhere now, from all the late night shows to Moana to Mary Poppins!
The music is fantastically done. Most of the songs parodied are from Hamilton, including “His Shot” where he sings, “I am not gonna let Broadway rot!”. The album is now completely on Spotify. Also, the cast does a great job with the lyrically dense numbers.
Get tickets now for Spamilton in New York or Chicago!
“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!