Second City E.T.C. Company | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Second City E.T.C. Company 

Ameri-Go-Round marks a return to the comedy club's great old shows.

click to enlarge Jill Talley, Mark Beltzman, Ron West, Ruth Rudnick, and Michael McCarthy

Jill Talley, Mark Beltzman, Ron West, Ruth Rudnick, and Michael McCarthy

Courtesy the Second City

The typical Reader review of any current Second City show starts out talking about the great old shows of legend—the ones nobody ever actually saw, where Mike Nichols and Gilda Radner did patient/therapist routines while Severn Darden and John Belushi ran drills for the U. of C. football team. The review then explains why the current show is a complete, pathetic betrayal of everything those old shows stood for. This review is different. This review is about the current Second City E.T.C. show, Ameri-Go-Round, which is not only not a betrayal of the company mythos but may actually come close to being one of those great Second City shows-of-the-mind. Ameri-Go-Round is sharp, shrewd, brightly caustic, very funny, and possessed of what may very well be a point of view—perhaps even an analysis—about politics and culture and money in Bushoid America. Better yet, the men wear ties just like Shelley Berman and Andrew Duncan in the old photos. If you can't see this one you'll at least want to pretend you did. Open run (Second City E.T.C., 1608 N. Wells, 642-8189). Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, 9 PM; Fridays and Saturdays, 8:30 and 11 PM. $8.50-$9.50.

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