• DERRICK DUNN

Chi-Town based Improv group The Second City comes to The Kennedy Center


The world-renowned Kennedy Center hosted a night of hilarity on July 10th when Chicago's The Second City returned. The current show carries the moniker, The Revolution Will Be Improvised! It is expected that audience members who attend the show will be snapped out of their endless doomscrolling and binge-watching with this brand-new, totally original comedy show that lampoons our new, normal-including the return to work, the hidden heroes of American history, and our constant stream of news. My wife and I had seen the masters of wit in the past, and I had a blast. So I was looking forward to their brand-new show. This show features improvised sketches performed by six of the Second City's most talented performers: Sarah Dell'Amico, Sayjal Joshi, Yazmin Ramos, Adam Schreck, Jordan Stafford, and Brittani Yawn. Frank Caeti directs the cast in nearly two hours of improvised (and scripted) sketches. If you have attended an improv show before, then you know the show's genius and what to expect. One of the highlights of Second City is musical director Stuart Mott, who provides a handful of catchy original tunes throughout the show.

The show kicks off and follows a character portrayed by Brittani Yawn as she scrolls through her phone, and the other performers cater to situations around her. Some of the show's moments include questions on religion, gender, and parents discussing the birds and bees with their kids. Two particular sketches stood out for me, however. The first involves political ads, and the second involves first dates. The campaign ad sketch is nicely presented and repeated frequently during the show. It highlights an audience member who has declared herself to be running for office. The opponent of the audience member then appears in a negative advertisement that follows the sketch. While Dell'Amico manages to make her character's latent anti-Trump commentary seem fresh and humorous by dressing him in a blue denim jumpsuit, despite the overt anti-Trump commentary in the show. While As part of the first date sketches, the enchanting and sympathetic Schreck and Joshi take audience members' professions to make assumptions about their personalities on a first date. I don't want to spoil the entire show, but those two sketches were the ones I enjoyed the most. As Mark Twain once said, "Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand". Exiting the theater upon the show's end, The Second City quickly validated that saying. Final Grade: B+

Tickets ($59–$65) for The Revolution Will Be Improvised, presented by The Second City, are available at the Kennedy Center Theater Lab, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC, or by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324. The show runs until July 31st

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