Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Second City for the second time

AAAhhh, what baby faces!
For our first wedding anniversary, Dear Husband and I took a trip to Chicago. We recreated parts of our Denver honeymoon, visiting an art gallery and a botanical garden. We also got all dolled up for dinner at a fancy steak house and a show by The Second City. Most of the comedians you have heard of (and a great many beside) have come through this sketch and improv group. They may be famous, but they're still a casual comedy club, and the guy who took our tickets teased us that we had increased the style quotient considerably that night.

This past weekend I got to hear The Second City's traveling group. No, I haven't traded in DH for another model! A friend of ours ended up with an extra ticket, and I'm sure either of us would have been more than happy to go, but DH had a gig with his band that night. So AS and I had dinner downtown with a church group and then walked over to join the very long line to get into the theater. The place was sold out, though half a row next to me was empty--maybe the snow kept them away? That's a pity, because this "B team" really brought down the house. We were particularly impressed by their ability to make up song lyrics on the spot.

Should have used the flash.
As a sign of the times, perhaps, they opened and closed the show with skits involving gay (male) relationships (and a sketch in the middle involved a gay teen who sings). One improv ended up with a lesbian relationship, but we hope in the future they will be considered suitable subjects for scripted scenes. You can imagine the kind of awkward dialogue between a stereotypical guns-, sports- and alcohol-loving, school-flubbing older brother and his younger brother's stylish (male) prom date. What happens when it's an older sister and her younger sister's (female) date? Or, what do they say if we drop the trope of suave homosexual and knuckle-dragger heterosexual? The gay scenes in the show involved two teens and a gay wedding. Where are the jokes from gay couples who have been committed for decades? Is there a genre of gay nursing home jokes? DH thinks I'm asking too much of a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings, but maybe the tropes will change with the times.

Other favorite skits involved whale singing and a glass of water, a reporter asking a football player increasingly probing questions about his simple faith that God had blessed him with a touchdown, and a local car dealership with one of those dancing fabric "men" whose arms wave in the wind. It was a fun night, and I laughed so hard I gave myself a headache. Great comedy: it hurts so good.

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