The Second City’s 106th Revue Forces You to Laugh Through Your Pain
The Second City presents its newest debut the 106th Revue “Dream Freaks Fall from Space.” The annual Mainstage Revue presents an outstanding show meant to help you laugh through the pain of 2017. The new cast is a more diverse group that chooses to face Trump’s America head on and laugh through the pain even when it’s uncomfortable. Other than the cast, the first thing I noticed about the show was that it felt more musical than previous revues which made it so much better. From the very beginning to the end, ensemble members used music creatively along the way to make us laugh. Without spoiling the show, my top-three musical moments in the show were as follows:
3. Ryan Asher’s Musical Mix-ups:
Ryan Asher plays a character in a group of friends meeting for a college reunion that keeps correcting the wrong dates her friends are using to retell memories. Cast member Jeffrey Murdoch at one point retells a story mouthing the words as Chicago’s, “Saturday in the Park” plays where he says, “I think it was the Fourth of July.” Asher abruptly interrupts him to clarify it was the fifth of July, not the fourth. She does this a few other times, including interrupting Tyler Davis’ character when he retells a crazy college story mouthing Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” lyrics. She interrupts him to let him know that it was not the 21st night of September in the middle of the story. These playful antics set the show’s beginning tone that continue throughout the rest of the sketches.
2. Tien Tran’s song, “Maybe Your Baby is Gay”
A hilarious song about why at baby showers and all of their infant lives we push on babies a hetero narrative. Tran takes a hard look at the fact that maybe your baby is gay, because otherwise where do gay adults come from? The catchy song ends with a gay baby doll crowd surfing through the audience, forcing everyone involved to really think about gay babies, and where they come from, in a funny way.
1. Tyler Davis’ song, “Did You Vote for Trump?”
My number one favorite musical moment of the night goes to Tyler Davis’ song asking a recent love interest if they voted for Trump. Davis turns up the funk to a 10 and in a sexy Lenny Kravitz kind of way asks the new girl he’s seeing if she voted for Trump, or at least if she did does she have any regrets about it. The song is perfect because it comes from the only African-American cast member, making it interesting to contemplate the politics of one’s love interest.
The whole show is filled with those moments – all of the hard-hitting political points were equally matched with moments of stupidity and sheer fun. The first moment is when Kelsey Kinney’s character’s looking for Waldo and you see Nate Varrone hiding in plain sight in the back of the theater. Kinney tells him she can see him right there and that she wants to talk to him. He keeps listing excuses when she comes out and says, “You had sex with my sister.” This moment is so silly and funny, because it completely derails whatever you thought that scene was going to be about and makes it ridiculous. There are several moments like this throughout the night. Ensemble members Jeffrey Murdoch and Tien Tran went into the audience to show how the theory, “Six Degrees of Separation” works. They asked a series of questions to the audience in hopes of connecting them back to the original audience member, but the participant was not the most cooperative and gave the duo a run for their money. On the final question the person was asked if they were cat or dog people and they responded cat. The original participant replied that they were a dog person, but instead of getting discouraged, Murdoch asked if he’d ever seen a cat and they had so Murdoch proved the theory was correct!
Overall, this was a great show fueled with music, politics and sheer absurdity. The cast of “Dream Freaks” seamlessly blended comedy with important matters that made us all laugh. It was a show worth watching to help us laugh off the pain this year has given us. The cast genuinely seems like they’re happy playing together and that made the show even more enjoyable.
See “Dream Freaks Fall From Space” at Second City 1616 N. Wells Street
Tuesday – Thursday @ 8:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday @ 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $29 & Up and available at 312-337-3992 or www.secondcity.com