There’s something to be said about consistency.
Although it’s often fun to throw a new ingredient into the mix to see how that affects the recipe, director Mark Levenson has wisely kept The Second City’s main stage cast intact for its 31st revue, “The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue” – because when you’ve got a great thing going, why mess with success?
You don’t – and he didn’t. And the result, which premiered last week, is by far the most consistently funny night of original comedy the troupe has written and staged in ages.
And the reason is obvious: Levenson’s five performers have gelled together so well over the past two shows that they now work in total unity. There is no standout performer in this slick, often hilarious production. Rather, Brett Guennel, Quintin Hicks, Jaime Moyer, Tara Nida and Tim Robinson have all risen to the top of their game as a single, harmonious laugh-factory – with so many crazy ideas that you can’t help but ask yourself, “Where the heck do they come up with this stuff?”
That’s especially true of a scene in which choosing music for a nun’s funeral becomes difficult, due to her peculiar collection of albums. Then there’s a unique ballet set to one of the world’s most popular classical pieces. And the night’s best punch line – a showstopper – comes when a daughter learns way too much about her mother’s teen years while at mom’s high school reunion.
But for those familiar with the previous revue, the night’s highlight might be the welcome return of a puppet teddy bear (whose favorite exclamation with a deep, Southern drawl is “Hell, yeah!”) and his human girlfriend keeping company on a park bench.
(FOR “REVIEW BOX”)
‘The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue’
The Second City, 42705 Grand River Ave., Novi. Every Wed.-Sun. through Dec. 31. Tickets: $15-$20. For information: 248-348-4448 or http://www.secondcity.com