The Second City e.t.c’s 40th Revue: A Red Line Runs Through It Review

Second City Comedy is world renown and, of course, one of the best comedy spots in Chicago, in my opinion. 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.


For my third Second City e.t.c viewing, their 40th review, A Red Line Runs Through It, was a major success. My friend and I attended the opening night performance on Friday, April 29th,  2016 (second floor of Piper’s Alley, at 230 West North Avenue).


(L-R) Lisa Beasley, Katie Klein, Scott Morehead, Aasia Lashay Bullock, Peter Kim, Julie Marchiano (Photo: KIRSTEN MICCOLI)


A Red Line Runs Through It rides the rails of Chicago in order to answer life’s tough questions. How does the past sculpt the future? Are we all guided by anger? In this ever-changing landscape of nostalgia and uncertainty sometimes we need a brunch with friends to sort it all out. Who will snap first? No one knows what tomorrow will bring, and the only thing that is certain is that this train keeps moving. This diverse cast of comedians will take you on their own ride exploring the new mother blues, black girl magic, and salacious local news. This non-stop locomotive launches from north to south along a transit line of pure comic bliss.


To be honest, I am not sure where Second City finds their amazing talent. The incredible talented cast of comedians, who wrote and performed the show, included Lisa Beasley, Aasia Lashay Bullock, Peter Kim, Katie Klein, Julie Marchiano and Scott Morehead. (Beasley, Lashay Bullock, and Scott Morehead, all returned to the stage from last year’s 39th revue, Soul Brother, Where Art Thou?)



(L-R) Katie Klein, Julie Marchiano, Lisa Beasley, Scott Morehead, Aasia Lashay Bullock, Peter Kim


This revue was particularly interesting thanks to its female dominated cast, as well as a diverse list of performers. I loved each cast members in different ways. However, Beasley, Lashay Bullock, and Morehead, all outdid themselves in sketches such as in the Supreme Court rap rant (in which they made fun of every current politician out there), with hysterical cases such as “U-da-ho vs Idaho”, “Indiana vs Education,” “New Mexico vs Old Mexico,” with protestors such as Did Not Plan That Parenthood, Germans for Uber, and NRA for Politicians with Caliber!



Scott Morehead



Peter Kim


The revue also centered its focus on crime and gun violence in the streets of Chicago, as well as bits about Mayor Emmanual and the Chicago Teachers Union for Chicago Public Schools, and also work offices (“Teachers have hopes: You send your kid to public school, you get public knowledge.”; “I’m a PDF that was turned into a word file-no one knows how do to that.”) Black Magic, starring Beasley and Lashay Bullock, was so funny, that my constant laughing made me forget all of their lines.



(L-R) Aasia Lashay Bullock, Lisa Beasley


Among other favorite sketches/lines of mine included everything from “Where babies are named Splenda,” “K-Spa is a genuine Korean spa,” complaining about running to exes, and black humor, “Black coffee matters – ALL coffee matters!” There was also the Channel 11 News Team (“Is the Pope mobile bullet proof? Find out tonight!”) and Nashville News (“How many pair of boots do I need to buy?”; “Is that smog out there? No, its peoples’ dreams not coming true and being soul.”)


Another performer, Julie Marchiano, also shined during her sketch Barb’s Barbells, where you “use the past to build your future.” A parody of drag queens, starring Kim and Morehead was also ingenious, enlightening the audience on how difficult it can be to emerge out if the closet (“I tried to come out to my school librarians; Just be quiet!”; “I’ll call myself Ruby Rich of the FBI-get down to the ground!”)



(L-R) Peter Kim, Julie Marchiano


The Newborn Baby Blues song parody featured complaing about pregnancy and a new mommy (“When the baby is I asleep, I drink,” “When the baby is awake, I drink,” “When I’m breast feeding, I drink.”)



Lisa Beasley


Second City e.t.c-congratulations on another hilarious, believable, and successful comedy revue. I cannot wait for the 41st next year!



Photos: Todd Rosenberg unless otherwse noted.





Thursdays - 8:00pm

Friday-Sunday - 8:00pm and 11:00pm

Sunday- 7:00pm



Tickets start at $23.00 and are available by phone at 312-664-4032, or online at the Second City website.



Written and Performed By:

Lisa Beasley, Aasia LaShay Bullock, Peter Kim, Katie Klein, Julie Marchiano, Scott Morehead

Directed By: Matt Hovde

Musical Direction, Original Music, Sound Design: Jesse Case

Stage Manager: Laura Hunt

Assistant to the Director: Tabetha Wells

Set Design: Bob Knut

Lighting Design: Kyle Anderson

Stylist: Rachel S. Parent

CEO & Executive Producer: Andrew Alexander

Creative Director: Tyler Alexander

Producer: Alison Riley

Associate Producer: Jeremy Smith

Publicity & Communications Director: Robin Hammond

Marketing Manager: Jana Liles


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