L.O.L.’ing All Night
Renowned Second City comedy tour visits Pittsburg, earns laughs
Caitlin Taylor | Collegio Reporter
With the stage erupting in music and movement, the light begins to focus on three actors and the auditorium grows silent. One actress, playing a stewardess, tells the passengers that the plane will be landing shortly. She then moves to two men asleep in chairs, and tells them to wake up, they, the pilots, needed to land the plane now. With the audience starting to ripple with laughter, the show began.
Second City, a comedy-improvisation group, performed on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Memorial Auditorium to a crowd of about 250 people.
Before the show started, some in the audience said they did not know what to expect.
Brian Woods, senior in communication, says he showed up expecting to see something different and laugh, but was unaware of what the actors were going to perform.
Second City was formed in Chicago in December 1959, producing actors such as Bill Murray and Tina Fey.
The actors started with a few short skits that had a couple of sentences each, but gave the crowd a good chuckle.
Moving rapidly from one set to another, Second City displayed many performances including singing, improvisation and prewritten skits. This allowed for diversity throughout the show to keep the audience entertained.
The first improvisation skit dealt with a suggestion from the audience, telling a story about the longest spit. Four actors were be
ing directed by a fifth, and, each time they were pointed to, had to pick up what the previous actor said and continue from there. Then they performed the skit as a romance novel and a Stephen King novel with the same story line.
“The improv skit was pretty hilarious when they were telling the story,” Woods said. “But my favorite part so far has been the little musical songs they do randomly.”
James Smith, senior in commercial graphics, said he also expected to laugh because he had seen them before.
“I saw them before, in like a 10-minute set in St. Louis at the National Association for Campus Activities, but they are a lot better here,” Smith said. “I actually helped book them to perform here because they were pretty funny.”
Another skit dealt with four actors in a square and another one directing by ringing a bell. Each set of actors had a story line to follow, and each time the bell rang, the actors had to shift right or left and pick up where their story previously left off.
Two of the story lines involved a hooker in a trunk and a thespian mistaken for a lesbian who didn’t want to date his friend’s sister.
Alex Keiner, the comedy theater music director, accompanied each of the performances. Keiner ably switched and played piano tunes for each routine, adding to the laughter in the auditorium.
Near the end of the show, the actors went into the crowd, acting like directors of a school orchestra and brought the audience into the show. A fourth of the audience pretended their hands were flags, a fourth shook their keys twice in succession, another fourth snapped their fingers once, and the rest of the audience was considered the chorus. This created the song “We will, we will, rock you.”
Second City’s performance was well-received, and after the show was over people walked away talking about it.
Spencer Ratzloff, sophomore in business, said he had never gone to a show like that before, but he enjoyed every bit of it.
“It’s nice to be able to go out and see people who are actually good at making you laugh,” Ratzloff said. “I was busting up the entire time and I hope they come back at some point.”