Review: Blast Off Your Weekend With TRUMP IN SPACE on Friday Nights at Second City in Hollywood

Review: Blast Off Your Weekend With TRUMP IN SPACE on Friday Nights at Second City in Hollywood

The Second City opened its doors on a snowy Chicago night in December 1959. But no one could have guessed that this small cabaret theater would become the most influential and prolific comedy theater in the world. With its roots in the improvisational games of Viola Spolin, its experimental and innovative approach to comedy has endured for almost 60 years with its alumni list boasting the likes of Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Robert Klein, Harold Ramis, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Martin Short, John Candy, Ryan Stiles, Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and countless others.

Today, The Second City Training Center is the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world. If you have never visited their Hollywood location where thousands of students are taught its unique form of entertainment, now is your chance! TRUMP IN SPACE, winner of the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Producer's Award, is now playing there on Friday nights through April 27, 2018 at The Second City Hollywood Studio Theatre, located at 6560 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, 90028.

Review: Blast Off Your Weekend With TRUMP IN SPACE on Friday Nights at Second City in HollywoodTRUMP IN SPACE is a combination of Star Trek and Avenue Q meeting Trump, a musical battle of good vs. bad and ideals vs. opportunism, with tons of sex and profanity thrown in for fun. This original musical is an epic space adventure filled with all the sci-fi tropes we love and all the politics we love to hate. Taking place four hundred years in the future when the fallout of the Trump administration has left humans stranded without a planet, Captain Natasha Trump (Gillian Bellinger, writer of the script and lyrics), a direct descendant of President Donald J. Trump, races to find humanity a new planet called Polaris 4 to call home.

Review: Blast Off Your Weekend With TRUMP IN SPACE on Friday Nights at Second City in HollywoodBut along with her loyal red-shirted crew, a group of American separatists threatens her commanding power when it is revealed that their blue-shirted leader, Separatist Sanders (Scott Palmason) is her one true love. Will she decide to follow him and give up her mission? And as you can imagine, along the way many obstacles get in their way to romance while laughs abound with each farcical situation based on political satire to the max - with great ensemble harmonies throughout.

Trump's second in command, Commander Sessions (Rob Warner, a perfectly bumbling gender-bending #1) Review: Blast Off Your Weekend With TRUMP IN SPACE on Friday Nights at Second City in Hollywoodseems more at ease scooting across the stage in an officer's chair than he does following commands. And for some strange reason known only to him, each time he returns to the stage he is dressed showing more and more skin, which no one, except the audience, seems to notice. Along with Lt. Kushner (Jim Shipley), at the helm is Lt. Joy (Joy Regullano), who steals the show every time her petite frame challenges the authority figures. And that girl can sing!

Review: Blast Off Your Weekend With TRUMP IN SPACE on Friday Nights at Second City in HollywoodOn the Sanders team are two of the most outrageously fun trouble-makers, the Mohawk-haired and overly emotional due to her being on a juice cleanse Carter (Nicole Pellegrino) and her compatriot Boy/Girl Clinton (Jessie Sherman). These two talented ladies chew up the scenery with their antics! And just who is that black-robed, Trump-haired usurper who arrives on the shuttle Phoenix and keeps trying to put everyone in their place? I'm not telling because the surprise is just too funny to let out of the bag!

Review: Blast Off Your Weekend With TRUMP IN SPACE on Friday Nights at Second City in HollywoodTrekkers will no doubt catch many phrases well known from the Star Trek universe such as Picard's "Earl Grey, Hot" and the familiar "shushing" of the spaceship doors as cast members mimic them opening as they move from room to room on the ship, as well as Spock's "Live Long and Prosper" greeting thrown in for good measure. For some it may feel like a too long Saturday Night sketch, but it certainly is a fun way to get your weekend started!

TRUMP IN SPACE, with book and lyrics by Gillian Bellinger and Landon Kirksey with music by Tony Gonzalez and Sam Johnides, is directed with wit and on-stop antics by Frank Caeti. Review: Blast Off Your Weekend With TRUMP IN SPACE on Friday Nights at Second City in HollywoodPiano accompanist on the night I attended was Em Hoggett, having a blast herself putting the cast through their paces. Curtain time is 8pm on Fridays through April 27, 2018, with a run time of one hour with no intermission. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased by phone at (323) 464-8542 or online at www.secondcity.com/shows/hollywood/trump-in-space. The Second City Hollywood Studio Theatre is located at 6560 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, 90028. Metered street parking and fee lots abound in the area. Please note this venue is NOT wheelchair accessible.

Photos by Joe Funk

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