Second City For Mayor

Second City For Mayor delivers pre-election comic relief

Second City for Mayor is a tight show full of witty wordplay and political satire-filled scenes that poke fun at our city as it prepares for its next municipal election.

While not all sketches are tied into the mayoral race, the themes, characters and songs that are interwoven into many scenes add up to one incredibly amusing show.

The sketch about Extreme Fitness was a riot, poking fun at their "first month free" offer. Nobody leaves Extreme Fitness! Taking the company's name literally, the scene fleshed out with iron-pumping superheros pumped up on steroids. They picked names derived from the magic formula of element + natural disaster and came up with gym rats named Iron Famine, Boron Locust Swarm and Potassium Chinook. Me, I'd choose Chromium Hail Storm or Vanadium Volcano Eruption.

This is Second City's 65th original comedy revue. It's written by and stars Rob Baker, Dale Boyer, Adam Cawley, Caitlin Howden, Reid Janisse and Kris Siddiqi, and it opened Tuesday night. Director Melody A. Johnson weaves it all together in a cohesive package that packs a wallop of laughter.

One scene had a minister having a hard time recruiting people for Sunday mass. He meets up with a teenager tagging the side of his church and ends up trying to recruit her. "Churches Suck!" she insists. So he asks her what it'd take to get her to attend and a couple of scenes later we see the minister rocking out to Lady Gaga.

Another sketch that pokes fun at online dating was quite amusing. It featured Janisse and Howden on a first eHarmony date. One of many, many first dates. So many that she's nicknamed "The Black Hole" by the company's executives. One of them goes undercover to discover why, revealing peculiar character traits and habits in her as well as himself.

Another scene turns things around brilliantly by satirizing Toronto's cab drivers' ethnicity. Siddiqi plays an immigrant compelled to point out the WASP-ness of the cabbie, who "always smells like grilled cheese."

Adam Giambrone doesn't escape scot-free. Giambrone's impersonated by Cawley, who plays The Blue Falcon, a modern-day superhero who's socially castigated as a result of his philandering.

Second City For Mayor is quite an improvement over their last show. Things worked best when certain characters and scenes from the first half reappeared in new scenes under totally different pretenses later in the show. When all is said and done, the depiction of the fictional City Town delivers lots of laughter.

Second City For Mayor continues until May 30 at The Second City, 51 Mercer St. (at Blue Jays Way, next to Wayne Gretzky's). Tickets are $24 - $29 and are available online or by phone at 416-343-0011.

Photo courtesy Marcel St. Pierre.


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