Second City: solid, funny sketch comedy

Second City has consistently been putting on great shows in Toronto for 47 years, and it is now 60 years since a motley crew of comedians started in Chicago, mocking the ‘second city’ status of Chicago to New York.

Their current show, The Second City Totally Likes You is directed by Kirsten Rasmussen who also directed the gay spectacular Extravagana Eleganza in this welcome trend of fast-paced, solid, funny sketch comedy. The speciality cocktails (Boy Problems, Call Me Maybe, and Emotions) foreshadow the theme. Suddenly Carly Rae Jepson blasts through the speakers as various poses are assumed under bright lights, and we’re off.

The show’s theme, obviously, is dating in today’s modern world. In true Second City tradition, you think you recognize many of the setups but then are turned on your head by the twists and turns of this very talented touring company. The sketches UBER their way through topics as varied as Alexa, Netflix, book clubs, auto-tune, conversion therapy, boyfriend meets parents, among many others.

There’s not a weak link in the troupe, with the additional prize for physical comedy going to Hanna Spear for her variety of contortions throughout. 

Second City sketches are largely sourced and refined from the late-night improv sets they perform after their main shows. Clearly all the players in this show are talented improvisers. Amongst the hilarity, many of the crowd favourites were the improvised sketches, whether an improved song about an audience member, two actors playing the same character, or sourcing vignettes from an onstage couple, they had everyone rolling in the aisles.

[Warning: in-jokes to follow] So don’t wait to have a baby, grab ya’lady, order a side-salad and come see the show. You’ll really really really really like it!

Photo above of Jillian Welsh, Nicole Passmore, Christian Smith by Paul Aihoshi.

The Second City
Mainstage, Toronto
51 Mercer St.
Until April 5, 2020

Mondays at 8 pm

Saturdays and Sundays at 4 pm
Friday at 10:30 pm