Review: Dreams Really Do Come True! (And Other Lies) (The Second City)

I love The Second City. It’s a wonderful place where some of the greatest comedic names that ever graced the stage, the tube (in the form of SCTV and Saturday Night Live), and the big screen (Wayne’s World anyone?) got their start. This is where legends like Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Eugene Levy, Mike Myers, and John Candy learned how to perfect their funny. With that in mind, attending Dreams Really Do Come True! (And Other Lies) (directed Kerry Griffin), a comedic sketch performance, at this golden staple of a venue holds high ground.

It’s the day after my birthday and I bring my friend Daniel along with me for the show. I usually don’t like to anticipate anything before seeing a performance but this being a Second City show, I can’t help but look forward to laughing until it hurts. I can tell you that neither Daniel nor I were disappointed.

In case you aren’t familiar with the format of sketch comedy, it’s like watching SNL or Whose Line is it Anyway? in person. There is no storyline or plot to follow through the duration of the show but short bursts of comedic scenes, usually improvised and occasionally with the aid of an unsuspecting audience member. Be forewarned! It could be you.

The stage set includes various levels for the actors to work upon to create eye-catching tableaus but actions are mimed. Certain topics used in the sketches are referred to many times throughout the show, proving that the right amount of repetition is a great way to get laughs.

Our cast includes Ashley Comeau, Nigel Downer, Carly Heffernan, Alastair Forbes, Jason DeRosse, and Inessa Frantowski who are happy to show you the harsh realities of dreaming big.

Hey young, trendy lesbian couple living inToronto. Don’t get married, have a baby and move toPeterborough. It’s horrible out there! Just ask your straight married friends who moved there to have kids. If you’re a police officer stuck on horseback, just know that though it may look great while you’re riding along the street, you’re not about to enforce anything and may have to moonlight as a prostitute. Be careful what you wish for when searching a dating site; your desire for an intelligent individual may be more than you bargained for. Be also wary of researching your ancestry online, as you may find yourself distantly related to Adolf Hitler.

It’s not a show that’s meant for everyone and certainly not for those easily offended by coarse language, suggested sexuality and colourful commentary. If none of that fazes you, you’re in for a treat.

And in case the show isn’t enough for your funny bone, stay around afterwards for Second City’s nightly improv with a special guest. If you’ve an itch to check out some fine Toronto comedic talent in a legendary venue, this is the show for you.


Dreams Really Do Come True! (And Other Lies) is playing at The Second City (51 Mercer StreetatBlue Jays Way) from August 30 – September 4

– Performances are
Wednesday – Friday at 8 pm
Saturday at 8 pm and 10:30 pm
Sunday at 7 pm

– Tickets are $24 – $29 and are available online at Second City or by phone at 416-343-0011

Photo of (clockwise from top) Alastair Forbes, Jason DeRosse, Inessa Frantowski, Ashley Comeau, Carly Heffernan, and Nigel Downer by Dan Abramovici