BWW Review: THE SECOND CITY: IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME at Des Moines Performing Arts: An Evening Full of Laughter
The Second City is a premiere improv troupe from Chicago, and they are back in Des Moines for an all-new show. "It's Not You, it's Me.-The Second City" opened on April 30 at The Temple Theatre as part of the Prairie Meadows Temple Comedy Series. I had the opportunity to go to the May 1 performance and found myself laughing from beginning to the end.
If you haven't heard of Second City, they are an improv troupe that does a mix of comedy sketches and Improv. Their Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto companies have launched the careers of some of our favorite comedic actors such as Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Tina Fey, Amy Pohler, and Stephen Colbert. What I loved about this show, was how they used the audience. By using them for the improvised segments, it made this show a unique experience that will never be duplicated.
The joy of improv is when you have a team of people that play off each other well. The 6 artists that are in Des Moines for the show's run had a great rapport built with each other. I appreciated that it didn't matter who came on stage for a sketch or improvised scene, they were still able to deliver the humor each scene needed.
When seeing the set up of 4 chairs on a bare stage before the show, it doesn't seem like there is a lot that would be happening. The way they use the 4 chairs throughout the show was impressive. They were able to transform the stage during each sketch by how they moved the chairs. It reminded me of acting class the day your professor gives you a chair and tells you to find 100 different things you can do with the chair.
While each performer did an amazing job, there are two performances that stood out to me. Those performers are Rob Wilson and Julia Morales. They were both in my favorite sketch of the night where they played to different couples. They did this simply by switching the side of the chair they were sitting on. I found myself laughing harder each time they switched between the two couples they were playing. It paid off so well in the end when they got to the final punchline of the sketch.
Another fun moment came at the end of the night when they did an improv based on the day in the life of an audience member. It started by the audience member telling them about their whole day and then the improv troupe asking questions that influenced how they played the different characters and situations that the audience member told about. My favorite part was seeing how they took local places in Iowa that were brought up and put their own spin. The Take That made me laugh the most was Exile Brewery where the audience member had gone for supper. They played it so when groups came in they were "exiled" to opposite places in the restaurant.
This show was a great evening to sit back, relax and be entertained. If you don't have tickets yet, purchase them soon. Everyone needs to be able to have a good laugh, and this show does that. "The Second City: It's Not You, It's Me" plays at the Temple Theatre through May 19. To purchase tickets visit https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/18-19-the-second-city/