CabaretREVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

The Winner…of our Discontent

Written & performed by

Shantra Jackson

Paul Jurewicz

Kelsey Kinney

Martin Morrow

Rashawn Nadine Scott

Jamison Webb.

Directed by Anthony LeBlanc.

At The Second city, Chicago.

Hit and miss  sketch comedy uncharacteristic of The Second City.

In their 105the revue, the new management at The Second City has presented their six creator/performers a mixed bag of sketch comedy titles: The Winner…of our Discontent which asks if its broken, should we fix it? With post-election drama filled with rich comic possibilities, I was amazed at the lack of biting comedy in the group’s sketch bits about the election?. True there were some funny bits like the Cubs bat boy bit and the three guys watering the lawn but there were also several bits that just didn’t produce laughs.

I think the problem is with the emphasis on race relations that came off more of a bitter look at the negative effects of the white privilege that dominates contemporary society. It is difficult to garner many laughs when the sketches were bitterly true. But, as one would expect with The Second City, the sheer talent made much of the mediocre material funny. But several of the cast members mumbled and swallowed their punch lines killing their jokes. The lack of enough Chicago-based sketches hurt the show. Only the Cubs success garnered humor. Among the cast of six, Martin Morrow and Jamison Webb stood out.

Possibly after they get a few performances under their belt, this revue will produce enough zingers to be worthy of the premier standards long established by The Second City. Perhaps caution prevails since the recent verbal attacks from the audience caused several cast members to quit the last revue. Audience abuse toward actors should never be tolerated. One can hope this “Donald Trump Effect’ is over.  It will not be tolerated either by Actors Equity or The Second City. Thankfully the opening night audience was quite appreciative of the six talented players.

Somewhat Recommended.

Tom Williams.

At The Second City Main Stage, 1616 North Wells Street. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 and 11 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. Ticket prices start at $19. Call 312 664 4032, running time is 2 hours with intermission, on an open run.