Soul Brother, Where Art Thou? | Second City E.T.C. | Theater & Performance, Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader
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Rashawn Nadine Scott, Lisa Beasley, and Carisa Barreca

Rashawn Nadine Scott, Lisa Beasley, and Carisa Barreca

Todd Rosenberg

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 19 2015
Price: $23-$48
For a comedy show, the Second City E.T.C.'s latest sketch revue, directed by Anthony LeBlanc, seems unusually poignant. The venerable theater's offerings—particularly on the main stage—have long saved room for little bursts of sentimentality, but I don't remember ever seeing a revue that felt quite as touchingly suffused with longing as this one does. We meet, among others, lonely online daters, roommates singing about the sorrow of parting when one gets a fiancee, and a fatherless tyke aching for a stepdad who'll play Dance Dance Revolution with him. Even the title, Soul Brother, Where Art Thou?, while containing the customary groan-inducing pun, amounts to a kind of plea for human connection. If I had to name an overarching theme for the show, it would be that. There's a recurring bit about ordinary city folk trying to defuse a bomb, suggesting the production's six warm, affable writer-performers intend to file the whole thing under "anxieties of modern life" or some such catchall. But many of the sketches actually go deeper than that, touching on thorny subjects like our seeming inability to talk about race in a meaningful way, our dependence on technology that's supposed to help us communicate but ends up alienating us, and our yearning for an authentic, valuable, shared experience, any way we can get it. Continue reading >>
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