Review: The Best is Yet to Come Undone (Second City)

Second City brings their latest main stage sketch comedy revue to Toronto audiences

Second City launched their latest revue for the spring and summer and their team of talented and immensely funny improv comedians are excited to keep Toronto laughing. The Best is Yet to Come Undone is a hilarious night of culturally relevant, timely, and, well, woke sketch comedy that will leave you cackling in your seats and eager to tell your friends. A healthy dose of audience participation means no two shows will ever be exactly the same.

For those unaware, Second City is an institution for education and performance in sketch and improv comedy and the masterminds behind the much beloved SCTV. Their main stage revue is a collection of carefully honed and polished sketch scenes created and performed by alumni members of the Second City training program. Leading the charge for this revue are Sharjil Rasool, Brandon Hackett, Stacey McGunnigle, Nadine Djoury, Allana Reoch, and Chris Wilson.

There isn’t a plot or story line that weaves these scenes together, just a collection of scenes that are relevant to the here and now: Google Home knowing far too much about the people who use it, the shoulda coulda woulda of a possible Tinder connection, the driving need for consent leading to first date awkwardness, a woke Sebastian clapping sense into Ariel reminding her that her beloved thingamabobs are actually pollution, just to name a few.

My date Vance, and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It’s clear the amount of work and dedication this cast put into the creation and performance of these scenes and we were hooting and hollering along with the rest of the crowd.

We both loved the sketch that involved a racially awkward situation — Hackett and Rasool, a Black and South Asian performer respectively, begin a scene together when Hackett has to leave unexpectedly. Wilson, a white performer, comes in holding a script to take over for Hackett only realizing as he dives into the script that his lines and actions become painfully uncomfortable and downright wrong when said by a white man.

One of my favorite sketches in the evening was the possible Tinder relationship and though most of this scene was performed in movement, it highlighted the strength and versatility in body movement that these actors have. I love Wilson and Djoury’s use of mime in this scene and their unashamed use of spray bottles for mist and a leaf blower for wind.

Hackett’s knack for very sharp wit won me over, he kept me laughing and engaged every time he had a moment on stage. His ‘that’s a little racist’ sketch and the Everything Can be Made Queer TED Talk sketch were incredibly fun to watch. I loved watching him do a series of Six Degrees of Separation from sport stars and macho actors connecting them to the Broadway musical Cats.

We both also loved Wilson’s The Asshole Magician sketch, where each trick performed ended with him giving flipping the bird to the crowd. This also further showed how great Wilson is at mime and movement humor; he’s a solid dancer. We loved that he also knew exactly where to end it as just another trick or two would have grown into tiresome territory.

I thoroughly enjoyed McGunnigle as a performer, as she throws herself heart and soul into each of her sketches. Each character she takes on she does so whole-heartedly which makes her such a delight to watch. She’s also happy to throw on a silly disguise to give her character that extra layer as she did as her Coach character.

Vance did find that the scene featuring Reoch, McGunnigle, and Djoury doing the ASMR-ish radio show slowed the pacing of the show and dropped the energy considering the rest of the show was delivered with such high intensity and that the humor didn’t quite carry as far. I enjoyed the sketch, maybe not as much as the others, but mostly that it reminded of this classic sketch from Saturday Night Live.

The Best is Yet to Come Undone is a hilariously fun and rowdy night out that should not be missed. If you’ve never been to a Second City revue performance, you’ve been missing out and it’s worth your while to see this show. If you’ve been to other Second City revues, you’re sure to love this one.

Details:

  • The Best is Yet to Come Undone is playing at Second City (51 Mercer St) until July 31 2018.
  • Performances run Tuesdays to Thursdays at 8:00 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and 10:00 pm, and Sundays at 7:30 pm.
  • Tickets are $27 general admission and $42 for reserved main floor seating.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the box office, or by calling 416 343 0011. Group packages and dinner packages are also available online.
  • Audience Advisory: Performances contain coarse language and adult themes, viewer discretion is advised.

Photo of Chris Wilson and Sharjil Rasool by Paul Aihoshi 

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