BWW Review: THE SECOND CITY TOTALLY LIKES YOU Is A Cute, Crush-Worthy Take On Love And Relationships
It might not be the most gut-busting show from the company, but The Second City's new romance-themed show is still a fun, funny, and far healthier alternative to stuffing your face with chocolates this Valentines Day.
Featuring The Second City's touring company, made up of Andy Assaf, Matt Folliott, Nicole Passmore, Christian Smith, Hannah Spear, and Jillian Welsh, THE SECOND CITY TOTALLY LIKES YOU is the company's take on relationships, love, sex, and the obstacles that come with each.
The show, directed by Kirsten Rasmussen, is largely made up of new sketches and improv pieces, with a few previously performed bits that fit the theme returning to the stage. Not unlike a box of chocolates at Valentines, you never know what you're going to get; there are a few sketches that don't make a huge impact, however the ones that do hit hard. Welsh and Smith take on the 21st-century 'cheating' trope as a couple who've been binging shows ahead of their partner and play the common - albeit ridiculous - situation to hilarious fallout.
Spear is the Tinder date from hell opposite Folliott's blunt character, using her tall stature to dominate the stage as a rowdy woman who downed a few flasks in the Montana's bathroom. Thankfully, she gets the chance to go big on all her roles, and has a great knack for physical comedy that really elevates any scene she's in. Likewise, Welsh is hysterically over-the-top in all her roles, from the aforementioned streaming-obsessed girlfriend to a mood-setting Alexa; she also switches flawlessly into sweeter, softer characters to add depth into sketches that need that shift to work.
The improv isn't lost in ...TOTALLY LIKES YOU, either; Spear mediates a question-answer period between the audience and the author of a book, who's played by Smith and Folliott simultaneously. The two speak in unison almost too well, and the sketch has great potential to be completely different at each performance depending on how well they learn to read each other's minds over the show's run. The entire cast gets the chance to flex their comedic muscles towards the show's end as they delve into a rapid-fire round, using crowd suggestions like 'Purell' and 'rulers' to joke on "what sex with them is like."
Musical director Ayaka Kinugawa incorporates great music and sound effect work, from squeaky sneakers through to a huge autotuned number, into the production. Even with a few sketches that only resulted in half-hearted laughs from the crowd at the opening performance, THE SECOND CITY TOTALLY LIKES YOU leaves a sweet taste in your mouth - making it a good alternative to overpriced chocolates pre-Valentines day, or heavily-discounted candies on February 15th. Whatever your take is on the holiday of love, it's clear that the touring company at The Second City have put a lot of heart into their latest production.
THE SECOND CITY TOTALLY LIKES YOU runs through March 30 at The Second City Mainstage Theatre, 51 Mercer Street, Toronto, ON.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.secondcity.com/shows/toronto/the-second-city-totally-likes-you/
Photo credit: Paul Aihoshi