No joke: The Second City delivers a first-class show

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Photo courtesy of Sept. 10, Krannert Center Website

Comedians of The Second City perform on stage. The comedy group visited the c on Sept 10.

By Nicole Littlefield and Aarushi Aggrwal

A pleasant September evening set the scene as an audience entered the Tryon Festival Theatre at Krannert Center for Performing Arts. An exciting evening awaited, with one of the nation’s oldest and most renowned improvisational comedy troupes coming to perform: The Second City.

On Sept. 10, Krannert Center opened the doors to the Tryon Festival Theatre for the comedy show, The Second City: Out of the House Party. The world-renowned improv comedy group first lifted its curtains in 1959 in Chicago, and has had many famous alumni, including Steve Carell, Keegan-Michael Key, Stephen Colbert and more.

As the crowd filed in on the red carpet, four chairs sat center stage covered in purple light, and a piano was off to the side. Music played over the speakers before the show and the audience grew. Their anticipation could be heard through the chatter that overtook the music.

Healey Kogan, junior in Engineering, said she was a little familiar with the Second City and was there with a friend.

“I’ve heard they’re really funny,” Kogan said, prior to the show. “I’m very excited!”

With only four chairs as props, some of the audience members were unsure of how the show would unfold. Hanna Willwerth, graduate student studying agricultural and consumer economics, said she had high expectations for the show, as she had seen the group before.

“It’s fun to see people who might make it big one day,” Willwerth said. “We are excited to see them again. They’re a good comedy group!”

The lights turned down, and the show began with a perfectly coordinated jig and a high-energy musical number by the comedians. A few sketches quickly induced the audience into an evening full of laughs, chuckles, hoots and howls. The show proceeded in two interweaving segments: sketch and improv.

The audience found the sketches hilarious in their own element. One sketch the audience enjoyed was one that poked fun at socially anxious people. A performer struggled to ace his first human interaction on a Monday morning with a Starbucks barista. After two takes and a third take in German, he eventually caved and requested another person to get him coffee — finally failing that interaction as well.

The group played many improv games on stage, but an audience favorite was the singing game. The performers asked the audience for a premise. Then, two of the comedians performed. When a third comedian clapped, the two of them would have to sing the last line spoken. This led to the group coming up with hilarious songs instantly, with their musical director on the piano. The theater filled with laughter as the performers played a therapist and patient relationship, and the therapist had to sing “Let’s Dive Deeper,” an improv song about getting into her patient’s psyche.

Laura Quintero, a graduate student studying Community Health, thought the group was “super talented.”

“They have a very good skill at improvising and just coming up with things at the moment and do it very well,” Quintero said. “It’s really cool and you laugh all the time, so I like it.”

With deafening applause and cheer, the troupe bowed and bid their outstandingly satisfied audience home. The number of smiles they left was simply a sight to behold.

 

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