By Megan Mooney
One of the things I love about going to a Second City show is that I know I’m going to get to laugh. Even if there are skits that drag, things that aren’t stupendous, there is *always* something I’ll like. I will *always* laugh.
Compared to the previous more theatrical revue, Second City for Mayor, the current one, Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes seemed to bring the company back to more pure sketch comedy roots, and it works.
I actually loved the theatrical approach, so it’s nice that I liked this one too. I was a little worried that after loving the last one so much I’d be disappointed if there was a shift in directions, but I wasn’t. I really enjoyed the show a lot.
I’ve realised that for me to get the most enjoyment from something it needs to feel like it’s saying something. This piece didn’t feel like it was shying away from ‘issues’, which I really liked.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh at the straight up playful sketches, like the sexual-tension filled coffee date between two exes. But I laughed harder at the sketches about the G20, or the war in Afghanistan, or not being able to talk about Israel to name a few. I also remember those ones more clearly in the cold (er, broiling hot) hard light of the day after.
I’m always impressed by the casts at Second City. Everyone delivers strong impressive performances. There has also been some obvious growth as an ensemble, and individually too.
Since the first time I saw him Rob Baker has been on of my favourite Second City performers. This piece was no different. He holds the stage and the audience in a truly impressive way. It also doesn’t hurt that he was in my favourite sketch (where we dare not talk about Israel).
Unsurprisingly, Dale Boyer, Caitlin Howden and Kris Siddiqi continue to provide wonderful dynamic energy on stage. In a scene where kids are rebelling going to the cottage because it’s soooo booorrrring they captured their characters in clear delightful ways, and included some acrobatics in the mix.
I was also really impressed with the growth I saw in Adam Cawley. In past revues he was always fun to watch, but there’s something more engaging now, something that really drew me. I can’t put my finger on it specifically, maybe it’s just that he seemed more comfortable. Anyway, whatever it is, he should be proud of it, it’s some nice growth.
And I have to commend Inessa Frantowski on her entry into the group. I imagine it’s pretty intimidating to join in on something where everyone has already worked together and already has their own rhythm. She did the job nicely, and I imagine it will only improve as time passes and she works with the group longer.
My mum joined me for this. It was her first Second City experience, and she really enjoyed it. She also liked that there was an edge to the comedy. In fact, it’s something that we discussed with the people at our table.
Everyone I spoke to after the show really enjoyed it, there wasn’t a single person who responded to me with a "meh", everyone replied enthusiastically with praise for the piece.
Definitely check this one out.
– Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes… is playing at Second City Toronto (51 Mercer St)
– Showtimes are Tuesdays to Fridays @ 8pm, Saturdays @ 8pm & 10:30 pm, Sundays @ 2pm
– Tickets are $24 ($29 Fridays & Saturdays) and available online or by phoning 416.343.0011
Photo of Adam Cawley, Kris Siddiqi and Rob Baker by Marcel St. Pierre