Written & Performed by:
Rashawn Nadine Scott
Directed by Anthony LeBlanc
Music Director Alex Kilmer
At The Second City e.t.c. Theatre
Second City opens their 39th revue, Soul Brother, Where Art Thou?, in their 2nd floor space at Piper’s Alley. Consisting of a fresh new faces: Lisa Beasley, Scott Morehead and Rashawn Nadine Scott together with 2nd city veterans Carisa Barreca, Eddie Mujica and Tim Ryder, this new revue is fumy with many current political and social references with many pop cultural references. This revue is geared to Second City’s demographic (20/30/40somethings) as many of the references simply escaped me. Thankfully, my associate Jacob Davis explained many references to me as he laughed throughout.
This blend of new and veteran players each worked hard to make their short bits and their featured skits funny. These innovative bits hilariously explore the ups and downs of modern life; our dependency on technology (mobile phones, I-pads, etc.) with references to online dating. This worthy crew deals with our judgmental voices in our heads; the foibles of golfing buddies, as well as political attacks on our mayor and the state of public education.
Lisa Beasley and Rashawn Nadine Scott team up for several funny bits on the state of black men in Chicago. Some of these racial skits and the long reference to remembering 911 were borderline offensive. But, the sheer honesty and clever presentation saved the day. While the opening night audience mostly laughed making this revue effective, I sensed a work-in-progress that needs some re-writes and tightening. But, taken as a full revue, the comic timing together with the cute songs and the dynamite rap bit gives this revue legs.
Scenes like the Keystone Cops silent film and the time machine demonstrate the skills of this cast. The bit that has a Christian bookstore clerk denying service to an atheist was a hoot as was Eddie Mujica physically playing a mobile phone running out of power. This two hour laugh fest works nicely for the targeted audience. I saw a family of high schoolers who seemed to enjoy the revue. The Second City keeps their fine comic aplomb and strong production values fresh and professional. This troupe offers one of the finest night-outs for couples, groups and families (of older teens). This is a good-time destination filled with honest, raw humor with stinging contemporary references.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2015
For more info checkout the Soul Brother, Where Art Thou? page at theatreinchicago.com
At The Second City e.t.c 2nd floor at Piper’s Alley, 230 W. North Ave., chicag, IL, call 312-337-3992, www.secondcity.com, tickets $23, Thursday at 8pm, Friday & Saturdays at 8 & 11 pm, Sundays at 7 pm, running time is 2 hours with intermission, on an open run.