So here is the boilerplate Second City review. Capable ensemble. Snappy direction. Decent jokes. A good time will be had by all. But nothing here will blow your mind with its originality. Under the direction of Matt Hovde, this is a conventional show indistinguishable from those in recent years past. Where are the risks? The cast of six includes the additions of Brad Morris (who looks like an accountant, and plays one in a sketch about H&R Block) and Amber Ruffin (who needs more bite than she exhibits here). Both are adequate without being memorable. Veteran Brian Gallivan, now in his fourth mainstage revue—and with his sizable talent, let’s hope his last—remains a standout, both droll and very much an actor of nuance. So is Ithamar Enriquez, who performs an especially sharp improv bit alongside Joe Canale, as a pair of old geezer jazz musicians playing a kazoo and a slide whistle. (On opening night, Enriquez showed he has the chops for bitterly hilarious characters; he should do more of those.) Molly Erdman, who bears a striking resemblance to Hillary Clinton, uses this to her understated advantage in a scene wherein the senator from New York hires a contract killer to off Barack Obama. (The show is heavy on Obama references.) More like a Triple-A baseball team than an independent comedy brand that is shaping and altering audience expectations, the company churns out finely-tuned writers and performers who willingly play by the Second City rules—these are upbeat performances, always—but invariably do their best work somewhere else. (And in fact, Second City alum Peter Grosz joins the Colbert writing staff in April.) (Nina Metz)
This production is now closed.