April 1, 2014 was a perfect time for the opening night of Second City’s new review Depraved New World”. I agree with the audience member who said, “It was a perfect show”. It was certainly a show that brought much needed laughter to the audience. During the improv portion, most of the audience members were laughing so hard there were tears in their eyes.
It was very interesting to contrast this production with performances that my husband and I attended many years ago when both the company and we were young. In contrast to this tight, rapid paced and polished performance, the old days were experimental. The room was tightly packed as it is still, which brings a great deal of energy. It was a delight to enjoy the show now without the smoke that used to fill the room.
We knew Second City in the days before it developed its branches in Toronto and Hollywood and I recently read that “Second City is Taking Tokyo”. Last summer, we attended one of the “Second City’s Guide to the Opera” (view this article) performances, where the Second City flavor was transported to the stage of the Civic Opera House. It is interesting to observe the Second City format adapting to many different situations.
Returning to The Second City Mainstage, prolific Jeff Award-winning director Mick Napier leads returning cast members Steve Waltien and Tawny Newsome along with new cast members Chelsea Devantez, John Hartman, Mike Kosinski and Emily Walker. Jesse Case is the new Musical Director and Composer and Craig Taylor returns to the booth as Stage Manager. The producing team for “Depraved New World” includes Andrew Alexander (CEO & Executive Producer), Kelly Leonard (Executive Vice President), Alison Riley (Producer) and Jeremy Smith (Associate Producer).
Attending this performance on Second City’s turf, the place where techniques that are now well developed began, was a real eye opener. There were many differences that caught my attention. The bare stage with simple chairs remains. The lighting is very embellished and has become important. There was once a feeling that the actors were learning by doing. The cast this night was talented, skilled and very polished. I remember the pace being varied. This night the performance was slick and fast paced. It included singing and dancing, and lots of cleverness.
The theme of what people are really thinking, presents the audience with typical Second City scenes including: musical orgies, blind dates and the innocent beginning of an international email scam. It was a wild, rapid-paced ride revealing what is happening behind the eyes of the beholder. The performance sizzled. The cast was terrific with Tawny Newsome and John Hartman being the standouts.
Second City is a great attraction to visitors to Chicago but for residents of this area, this show is balm after an impossible winter. Make your way to Second City for this terrific new show-now!
Tickets for “Depraved New World” start at $23.00 and are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at Second City’s Website. The show schedule is as follows:
Tuesday - Thursday 8:00 p.m.
Friday - Saturday 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:00 p.m.
If you're hungry or looking for a drink, a full bar and appetizer menu is available throughout all performances.
Photos: Todd Rosenberg
Got kids? Note:
The Second City has a nightclub atmosphere and alcohol is served. Our shows contain adult content and language. Most of our shows are the equivalent of an R-rated movie. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when coming to the 11pm shows due to Chicago curfew laws. Please note we're not able to admit anyone under the age of 10. The Second City is best for savvy teen and adult audiences.
If you require special seating or accommodations (wheelchair-bound, hearing impaired, or visually impaired) please contact the box office at (312) 337-3992 to ensure the best service. Want to join a larger party but pay separately? Call (312) 337-3992 and the staff will be sure you're seated with your party. buy tickets now