When: Sat., Feb. 11, 8 p.m. 2012
Of course The Second City, perched atop the sketch/ improv universe, has impressive bloodlines. As the Chicago training ground for much of the casts of Saturday Night Live, SCTV, The Daily Show and the like, it has loosed a greater volume of comedy on the populace than the next thousand standup joints and college troupes. The question for Triangle audiences is: What can The Second City do for me right now?
Fortunately the company doesn't live off its reputation but rather continues to earn it with smart, well-crafted shows. Often they're based on local politics and events—a few years ago I caught a performance of Rod Blagojevich Superstar, a consistently funny musical tragedy about the indicted former Illinois governor—but when they leave their home theater, touring shows are sometimes customized for other locales. Whether or not they've cooked up a local angle for their Durham stand (John Edwards Superstar?), you can expect solid sketch comedy, traditionally followed by a serving of audience-suggestion improv. And be sure to remember the names of the performers, so rich are they in unhatched celebrity. The show is presented in conjunction with the N.C. Comedy Arts Festival. —Marc Maximov