Jun 16, 2022 - Things to Do

New Second City show delivers

Actors on stage

A scene from the 110th mainstage revue at Second City. Photo courtesy of Second City

👋 Hi, Justin here! I had a chance to see the new Second City mainstage revue, "Do the Right Thing, No Worries If Not."

Context: Second City has long been an economic engine for tourism. After a tumultuous 2020, it was sold in 2021 to a private-equity firm based in NYC.

Quick take: Directed by the great Jen Ellison, the new revue features a strong cast that will no doubt be entertaining us on streaming services for years to come.

  • Notable sketches include a thespian using stage combat to fend off a robbery, a French cabaret earthworm crooning about the simple things in life, and a dinosaur gynecologist (dinocologist) having trouble with their hands.

Yes, but: While Second City always has something to say about politics, specifically Chicago's brand, the new cast steers clear of taking on big issues like wars, gun violence or the upcoming elections. Also omitted: the pandemic.

  • Maybe the show wants to be an escape from the world we live in. But with new owners, the hope is that's not a directive from on high.

💭 Justin's thought bubble: I saw my first Second City show when I was 15. On stage, a young Steve Carell made my eyes light up. So when I watched my (almost) 15-year-old's eyes go wide right before a huge belly laugh, it made me realize how important Second City has been for generations here.

  • Second City has work to do to make its company inclusive and fair. But it doesn't have to work on being Chicago. It's been there all along.

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