Review: If I Could #Throwback Time (Second City)

Second City brings audiences on a trek through nostalgia for their 83rd main stage show

For their 83rd (wow!) main stage revue, Second City presents If I Could #Throwback Time — a sketch variety show that brings the audience on a trip through nostalgia with nods to Power Rangers, ET, and old school video games. As with any Second City show, there’s a chance you may be prompted on stage or otherwise asked to get involved, but one thing is for sure, you’re bound to laugh.

Right from the start I noticed that a good portion of the nostalgic throwbacks were in the form of music. As someone in their mid 30s, the music stood out for me as the soundtrack to my high school years with Aqua’s “Doctor Jones” and Darude’s “Sandstorm” — something that seemed to resonate with the majority of the crowd.

I also noticed that though this revue is certainly funny and a joy to watch, I wasn’t as blown away as I have been with other Second City shows. This one is a bit of slow build with jokes that garnered a few chuckles before they found their footing closer to the intermission.

As always, the cast does a great job with creating and spinning material on the fly. Especially when it comes to audience participation which I always feel nervous about — if you’re relying on someone from the audience to carry a particular scene, it will only be as good as what that audience member is willing to provide. Luckily, when Natalie Metcalfe brought an audience member on stage and proceeded to ask her (playing the role of Natalie’s older self) for life advice, the audience member played along near seamlessly resulting in a genuinely sweet and heartwarming moment.

Tricia Black joins this main stage cast again. I’ve loved watching her perform in previous Second City shows, namely the first iteration of She The People, and here she shines — taking on the role as the resident lesbian. Her raunchy song about what makes her a great lesbian is a delight to watch.

This is the first time I’ve seen Shane Lewis on stage and he’s a hoot. My favorite sketch of the night is their take on the classic ET with Shane taking on the role of the “alien” now considered “illegal” even though he’s only from Trinidad and Tobago. The comedic timing in this sketch is superb.

Though If I could #Throwback Time may not be the strongest revue Second City has done, it’s still a pretty solid show and worth a night out. This is playing into the new year, making this a great idea for a holiday outing free from too much Christmas cheer.


  • If I Could #Throwback Time is playing at the Second City Main Stage (51 Mercer St) until January 19 2020.
  • Performances run Tuesdays to Thursdays at 8:00 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and 10:00 pm, and Sundays at 7:30 pm.
  • Tickets begin at $28 for general admission with varying pricing for front row or premium rail tickets. See website for details.
  • Run Time: Two hours with intermission.
  • Audience Advisory: This performance contains coarse language and mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised. Rated R.

Photo of Chris Wilson, Sharjil Rasool, Tricia Black, Clare McConnell, Alan Shane Lewis, and Natalie Metcalfe by Paul Aihoshi.