by KACI LIVINGSTON//Staff Writer
The Best of Second City highlights some favorite original, hilarious, frequently changing sketches from the past 52 years. It also features unscripted improvisation by the next generation of comedians.
The Second City’s Blue Co. touring comedy ensemble performed in Lubbock on Nov. 11 in conjunction with the Presidential Lecture and Performance Series at the Allen Theatre at Texas Tech University.
The lights dim and the audience quiets as the performance begins with short scenes from a Second City original skit. The cast was quick to jump into their comedic characters.
As an improv troupe, the group was very involved with the audience. They split up into three groups of two, then asked for something odd the audience heard that day, a relationship, and a place. The people answered with great responses. Audience members shouted out, “Why am I painting? I’m color blind?!”, “a doctor and patient,” and “IKEA.”
This, in turn, led to Maria Randazzo and Alison Gates talking about if the colors used to paint even mattered, because Alison was color blind and Maria had never learned her colors. With a clap to interrupt, the next group began their skits with the last phrase the previous group had said. Adam Archer and Danny Catlow acted as doctor and patient. For an unknown reason, Danny’s stomach was cut open. Danny was able to hold the wound closed with one hand and a cigarette in the other in Doctor Adam’s office, aka his car. Greg Ott and Eve Krueger portrayed a couple in IKEA admiring the tiny home aspect, even going down to 25 square feet, where Krueger, in turn, left the relationship.
Bringing in real-life scenarios made it easy to admire the comedy. People who slow down traffic if there is a wreck, solely from rubber necking, taking way longer to look than necessary, and turning all the way around, were the subject of a successful skit that the Second City group portrayed perfectly.
While in a traffic jam, each person chattered to one another about how annoying it is when people slow down and gawk at car accidents, causing a traffic jam. The six drastically slowed down, jumped on their seats, stared out of the sun roof and glared at the wrecked cars. Their faces perfectly depicted, with a bit of exaggeration, the common response from rubber-neckers.
With everything going on in America with the election, the nation sort of seems to be falling apart. Protests have evolved into violent riots; the racial and cultural divides are shining through the red, white and blue.
Maria Randazzo picked three audience members, one from each side and the middle. She then continued to coach each of the three through a part of “America the Beautiful.” Even though Randazzo was joking around and being improvisational, a tone was set for respecting our fellow citizens as well as our country. Randazzo encouraged everyone to sing- symbolizing coming together as one through humor.
Laughter filled the theatre and made for a spectacular Friday night. Through the undeniable humor, crowd-influenced improv, and satire, The Best of Second City impressed with their second performance in Lubbock.
The Second City has many original performances, each as funny as the next. Do yourself a favor and check them out. If you’re unable to make it to Chicago, catch a touring show.