December 18, 2016


Let's be totally honest - if you supported Donald Trump in November, you're probably not going to enjoy some of the sketches in Second City's latest review, The Winner of Our Discontent.

For the rest of us, don't worry - this Second City revue is not only one of their funniest revues, but it's also one of their more insightful productions that really strikes at the heart of how people are feeling...and processing...the events of the past year.

Now, if you are expecting particularly partisan sketches, well....there are a few moments. But many sketches in Second City's Winner of Our Discontent really strike at the heart of how many people are feeling. Everything from a son asking his mother not to smoke pot on her porch because they're "In Lake Forest, not Lombard" to a person frustrated at a bass player showing up in her dying mother's hospital room speaks to a general commentary on how some things seem off place, yet somehow gel.

Or as a quote from one sketch suggests, "Some things were meant to be broken."

Several sketches turn on a basic wish to be safe, to be secure, like the three African-American cast members "magically" becoming Caucasian, with additional complications. (There's no way I can do justice to the sketch - it deserves to be seen). Another focuses on a unique driver's education instructor and her effect on her students. You could state that Second City's Winner of Our Discontent has the unique claim of being both funny and compassionate, reassuring its audience as it ventures forth to explore that sense of disconnection.

My personal highlight was a monologue discussing the wish to go to "Black Heaven", where "Prince is Jesus". (I'm not making this up, nor am I going to try to quote the rest - it's best experienced live). It was one of the most touching, insightful, and flat-out funny monologues I've ever seen in years. (And you're reading the blog from a man who saw the Kids in the Hall live in the studio and onstage). Even towards the end, when another monologue states that we "lost a lot", the revue strikes on that feeling of disconnection and disappointment...and allows us the best laughing at it.

Second City's The Winner of Our Discontent revue is a masterpiece: well-written, well-performed, and with insight and energy to spare.

At the end of the revue (right before the "unscripted third act), several brave souls - including myself - gave the troupe a standing ovation...because they deserved it.

Check out Second City's The Winner of Our Discontent, and you'll come to the same conclusion.

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