Second City’s one-hundredth revue jumps right into election year by kicking off with a bit where race, religion and Fox News take the forefront. From the opening moments, director Matt Hovde has shot the entire show through with a fast-paced, slightly unpredictable quality that makes for the best kind of sketch comedy. Even when we find ourselves in a familiar place (a pool hall or a couple’s living room) the characters we meet are captivating and original (without being caricatures… okay, without being complete caricatures). There’s a particularly apt moment where rather than just letting people shout out phrases to kick off an improv bit, the cast actually takes (non-refundable) bids on suggestions. Part of the fun of this section is watching the audience raise the stakes by upping the price on each other. But the true moment of comic genius comes just before the bit starts when the cast announces “You have just voted the way we vote in this country.” Nailed it. Edgar Blackmon stands out (and not just for his scenes as a more hardcore second-term Barack Obama). So does Mary Sohn who proves herself a master of physical comedy. (Zach Freeman)
At Second City, 1616 North Wells, (312)337-3992. Tue-Thu/8pm, Fri-Sat/8pm & 11pm, Sun/7pm. $23-$28. Open run.