Everyone can laugh at ‘Girls Night Out’
‘The Second City’s Girls’ Night Out’
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights
7:30 p.m. Thursdays,
8 p.m. Fridays and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, through Sept. 8
Tickets: $28.50 to $33.50
(847) 577-2121 or visit www.metropolisarts.com
Updated: August 10, 2012 11:30AM
Metropolis Performing Arts Center didn’t exactly go out on a limb in bringing to its stage “The Second City’s Girls’ Night Out.”
Like it has for so many other revues, it’s drawn from the peerless Chicago comedy club for what’s a real crowd-pleaser.
The lively production is smartly directed by Ryan Bernier with meticulous musical direction by Lisa McQueen. It features a deft five-member cast: Christine Tawfik, Rachel Laforce, Carisa Barreca, Ariel Dumas and Tim Stoltenberg — and is decidedly aimed at a female audience. But men will find its timeliness and fun appealing as well.
Topics encompass a broad range: from a rattled airline passenger with a nosy stranger who finds herself discussing intimate particulars about her gay lover and their upcoming commitment ceremony, to the not-so-pleasant plight of women married to censors.
Predictably, the glass ceiling and relationship issues become easy targets for satirical gibes. Even the rocky state of the economy comes under scrutiny as audience members are skewered for contributing to the problem by overspending on everything from purses to cars to expensive gifts.
One hilarious sketch finds a not-so-starry-eyed couple exchanging customized wedding vows with a cynical bent.
In “I Caught a Friend,” Barreca plays a young girl who has never had a boyfriend showing off a bird (Stoltenberg, wickedly funny as a stand-in, feathered beau). It’s a short-term “relationship” that comes to an abrupt ending.
Another sketch, borrowed from a different revue but nonetheless funny, involves four Middle Eastern women in black burkas as they fantasize about the one thing they would do in America if given the chance.
Yet another familiar gem from the company’s repertoire focuses on an incident involving an inebriated fan was kicked out of Wrigley Field. It’s not the first time, and his girlfriend is clearly not amused. Later, the ensemble sings about answers to questions and concludes: “No man is perfect — at least we get a guy.” The “no man is perfect” line is a recurring theme for the evening.
Regular Second City followers also will enjoy the reprise of a sketch that spoofs how booze and drugs can take control over a person’s life and, literally, make puppets of them.
The ensemble kept its cool on opening night when a (false) fire alarm prompted evacuation of the theater during the middle of a comical scene featuring a clueless applicant who shows up to audition for a commercial and finds himself stuck in a rewinding loop. Ten minutes later, the firefighters had departed, everyone was back in their seats and the show smoothly resumed, sound testimony to the performers’ professionalism.