By Barry Reszel
Chicago’s storied comedy troupe The Second City finds no subject sacred as a team of six terrifically talented comics riffs on race, politics and culture (with a whole lot of genitalia jargon) in its 106th mainstage revue, Dream Freaks Fall From Space.
Leaping to the front of NBC’s short list for next gen SNLers are Ryan Asher, Kelsey Kin, Jeffrey Murdoch, Tien Tran and Nate Varrone. Donning white jumpsuits and moving at lightening speeds through sketches lasting 10 seconds to three minutes, there really isn’t a single standout performer among this group—instead, each has his/her share of standout moments in the Ryan Bernier-directed revue.
With typical standup and Second City irreverence and foul language, employed to keep away those unlikely to say “Shit” even with mouths full of it, the disjointed sketch work is dotted with an 80s soundtrack. It’s often used as a tool toward hilarity (Bonnie Tyler‘s begging an oblivious, about-to-be-stabbed-by-a-clown woman to “turn around, bright eyes”) while illustrating the production’s prime market, young Baby Boomers.
The few original songs for Dream Freaks are highlighted by Davis’ cool jazz, Luther Vandrross-esque ballad to a new love interest, yearning for the answer to just one question: “Did you vote for Trump? And if you did, do you regret it? Just answer the question and you can be my obsession.” A second, with Tran singing, “Maybe Your Baby is Gay,” is likewise hilarious.
But really, this is musical only in the sense that there some music in it. It’s bawdy standup comedy, pure and simple, with highlights that include:
A bored housewife turning to OxyContin and meth to cope.
“I had a friend who watered a plant for three weeks and then found out it was plastic.”
A VCU 10-year reunion.
“Why is you dick shaped like an uzi?”
“You know, he did punch a cop. But they were both white so they just laughed it off.”
“What’s a cum-guzzling, dickhead shithole?”
Waldo sleeping with his girlfriend’s sister but asking, “Are you sure it was me?”
“I just lost my earlobe virginity.”
“Knock. Knock. Knock. It’s me, Tony the penis.”
Big head/little body Trump ballet to the perfect Sondheim tune.
Frasier on Ice.
“80085…it’s fucking hilarious.”
The best Uber ride ever.
The men with the biggest penises in the world club.
Funeral band, “Rigor Mortis.”
KId: “Dad, can I borrow the car?” Dad: “Suck my asshole, mutherfucker.”
And many more.
The Second City presents its 106th mainstage revue, “Dream Freaks Fall From Space,” in an open-ended run at 1616 N. Wells Street, Chicago. More information and tickets are available here. Photos by Todd Rosenberg Photography.