If you like the sketch comedy style of Saturday Night Live or Mad TV, then Sex and the Second City: A Romantic Dot Comedy at the Alliance Theatre is sure to entertain you with its hilarious sketches and clever innuendos. The show is presented by The Second City Theatricals, which once again returns to the Alliance Theatre as part of the Hertz Stage season.
Known for its phenomenal line up of alumni, The Second City, based in Chicago, is an improvisational theater group that focuses on improvisations, sketches and comedic plays. Several famous members of Saturday Night Live (Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd and Tina Fey) and comedic actors (Joan Rivers, Eugene Levy, Steve Carell, Jane Lynch and Fred Willard) have been part of the Second City program.
Unlike last year’s Second City production, Miracle on 1280 Peachtree Street, this show is more scripted and reminiscent to improvisational/scripted movies of Second City alums such as Best in Show or For Your Consideration. The plot is fairly simple: an online dating service, iLove, tries to help the dating unfortunate find love. Interspersed throughout the storyline that follows Edrick (Ed Kross) and Dorinda’s (Amy Roeder) quest for love are other romance-themed sketches and a few improvisational moments that connect the stories together.
Of the four-person cast, audiences will recognize Roeder, who has participated in each previous Second City production at the Alliance Theatre. Portraying Dorinda and several other characters, Roeder provides laugh after laugh. Her quick wit is especially highlighted in one of the few improvisational bits of the show where she is sent on a blind date with a randomly selected member of the audience.
Roeder is well-matched with her castmates. The most laughs of the night come from a scene between Kross and Zach Munn in which they participate in “speed dating.” Rounding out the cast is Angela Dawe. While good in her scenes, it is quite clear that she has not been given the same level of quirky and hilarious material to work with as the other three cast members.
As with previous Second City shows, the theater space has been formed into a cabaret-like atmosphere with several tables in front of the rows of seats. Doors open 30 minutes before show time, so get there a few minutes before that if you’d like to snag a table. In addition to the Hertz Stage’s normal bar in the lobby, a limited cash bar is inside the theater, which makes it easier to grab a drink before the show starts. The show runs about two hours with an intermission.
Sex and the Second City: A Romantic Dot Comedy plays at the Alliance Theatre through December 18 on the Hertz Stage. For tickets and more information, please visit www.alliancetheatre.org.
– A. Wesley