When was the last time you laughed?
I don’t just mean a polite “ha, ha” that is required after a friend’s joke, I’m talking a nice, robust belly-laugh. If you can’t remember the last time you let loose, you should definitely make plans to catch “Hooking Up With The Second City” while you still can.
The show is touring from it’s home-base in Chicago. Over fifty years ago the group was formed, and although they still call Chicago home, they now have stages in Toronto and Los Angeles. They’ve been providing laughs to audiences for over fifty years, and have many alumni you may have heard of, including among many others, Dan Aykroyd, Tina Fey, and Keegan-Michael Key.
Part of the fun of the Second City is its quality of being unconventional and non-conformist. Today the group continues to produce premier talent – and this show – is a must-see performance.
The Second City has been to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre before, making it a tour stop for over forty years, and is a delightful treat. This particular show was scripted around the things we do for love, a goofy girls night out, missed connections, and so much more.
With all of the audience participation and quick quips, you’re bound to laugh. During opening night, the cast and creative team was wonderfully strong. Both Ali Barthwell and Jasbir Singh raise serious belly-laughs from their ongoing characters that share a bench outside of an old folk’s home. It’s also great to follow a few cheerleaders at their reunion, as Martin Morrow leads them in reminiscing about the past, and also manages to show the audience his carefully crafted dance moves.
The music is as much a part of the show as the actors themselves, effortlessly pushing and pulling you from scene to scene. There are a few musical numbers as well, including when Casey Whitaker brings down the house with a particularly lovely song … about why she’s crying. You’ll likely be in tears near the end – but joyous ones – from laughing so hard.
Although the show is largely scripted, the comedians take a moment at the end of the production to get back to the roots of what Second City is all about – improvisation. With the help of the audience they run through a few capers on the spot, which is worth the price of admission all its own. Get out to see the show while it’s still here, until this Sunday.