Second City Comedy is world renown and, of course, one of the best comedy spots in Chicago, and one of my favorites. It is also known worldwide as a premier comedy club/theatre and school of improvisation. Located in the Old Town neighborhood, Second City was founded in 1959 and the club has churned out countless top comedians and actors including; Paul Sand, Joan Rivers, Peter Boyle, Bill Murray, John Candy, Betty Thomas, Dan Akroyd, Jim Belushi, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and others. Second City has its famous American cast in Chicago and Los Angeles, a Toronto cast, and a national touring cast and touring cruises.
Thursday, June 26th was an especially funny evening for my friend and me. We went to see Second City’s 38th Revue, “Apes of Wrath.” It was an hilarious, strange, yet memorable evening of skits and improvisation that was wonderfully stranger than your average comedy show. It Starred Second City alumni cast members that included (Carissa Barreca, Brooke Breit, and Punam Patel) and new cast members (Eddie Mujica, Asher Perlman, and Tim Ryder). The show’s producing team included Andrew Alexander (CEO and executive producer, Kelly Leonard (executive vice president), Alison Riley (producer), and Jeremy Smith (associate producer).
(The show took to new heights about the more obscure behaviors, natures, and habits of humans, outer space themes, robot and pop culture. “Apes of Wrath” was a variety of laughs. The cast was very talented. Each performer brought something different and unique to the table. Brooke Breit was seriously hysterical, Punam Patel was fantastic as the token Indian woman in a group of Caucasians, Asher Perlman gave the best facial expressions and bizarre sounds, Eddie Mujica knew how to use body/hand movements to get a laugh out of the audience, Carissa Barreca’s performances were all wonderfully over the top, and Tim Ryder comically excelled at several different comedy sketches.
Several of the show’s sketches caused me to bust a gut or cry tears of mirth from continuous laughing that evening. Some of my favorites included the dating/one night stand scenes with Punam Patel, Asher Perlman, and Tim Ryder, the baby surrogate/not going to vaccinate scene (Measles are like 90’s bands: If you don’t actively prevent them, they come back!; You googled information on vaccinations with red wine when Housewives was on!), the immigrant/US citizen test with Eddie Mujica, the satirical Titanic lifeboat scene with Carissa Barreca and Tim Ryder (Where do the rich people go?; Now I know how the rich people feel!); I’m a sailor-I know whores!), the lover robot scene with Brooke Breit and Eddie Mujica (a robot affair hid in the closet).
Other funny scenes included the chess scene with Punam Patel, Tim Ryder, and Brooke Breit, the botched banana peel scene with Carissa Barreca and Tim Ryders, Tim Ryder’s musical number “We’re Sorry,” which poked fun at Catholicism, and the skits/musical numbers ongoing “Space” themes (I need space!; Love is right when it’s not a plant!; It doesn’t feel wrong when it feels so meteorite!).
Overall, I had a wonderfully funny, hilarious evening at Second City’s “Apes of Wrath.” My friend and I fully appreciated all the great, comedic scenes that the show and its performers shared with the audience. I hope to return to Second City soon for more ingenious comedy. This is a revue that should not be missed.
Photos: Todd Rosenberg
Tickets for “Apes of Wrath” start at $23.00 and are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at the Second City website.
The show schedule is as follows:
Tuesday (Aug. 6 – 13) 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday (July 9 – Aug 13) 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:00 p.m