The mood was ripe with anticipation as students flocked to Kresge a half-hour before doors opened to see Second City perform. Luckily for all those involved, the improv and sketch comedy group delivered.
The cast, comprised of five members, delighted their audience with a wide range of quick-paced jokes, often employing inappropriate or politically incorrect humor. The cast tackled a wide range of subjects, including today’s gossip headlines, grotesquely sexual situations and contemporary politics, knowing their audience well.
Beyond the strictly sketch comedy, pulled from their vault of successful shows from the past 50 years, the cast also worked diligently to incorporate the audience into their show. For one sketch, the showmen launched into a story about a long-lost love, stopping ever so often to ask the audience for an original detail. The storytellers played off of audience suggestions beautifully and wove all the details together at the end in an almost logical conclusion.
The cast also employed song throughout several scenes in their show. At one point, they asked for headlines from the current local and national news. Though this editor-in-chief could have gone without the allusion to a past troublesome headline for TKS, the way in which the cast used the madrigal form to weave the headlines together was ingenious.
In all, the highlight of the night was when the audience was asked to become part of the sketch, playing the roles of students participating in a high school band that lost their instruments due to lack of funding. While the cast led each section of the band, banter between the sections and the overall tone within which the cast conducted themselves was especially humorous to this high school band alumna. The fact that the group ended up playing Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” (a personal favorite of mine) added to the appeal of this specific sketch.
It seems that Union Board was successful in bringing a highly entertaining act to campus. The pace and smartness of the players in this particular show fit very well within the atmosphere at Knox. I hope I will have the opportunity to see these players again in the future.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars