If broadcast television can program reruns all summer long, why can’t theaters do something similar – but with a twist? They can – and one venue is doing just that every Sunday evening with “The Best of Second City – Detroit,” an archive show that features some of the best sketches and songs from the troupe’s 29-show history. But while the skits might be familiar, the performers in them are not, as the original cast members are replaced by up-and-coming local improvisers who add a fresh perspective to these laugh-filled classics.
Each of the show’s seven cast members has several fine moments, but it’s the men who have the meatiest – and funniest – roles. Saurin Choksi and Sam Richardson solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem when the two diplomats discover a common bond: Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Later, Choksi and Chris DiAngelo play next door neighbors whose hatred for each other becomes an obsession neither can overcome, while Richardson and DiAngelo have a totally unexpected Bugs and Daffy moment in a scene from “Roots.” Adam Peacock does one of the best mimes you’ll see of a man eating a sandwich in a sketch that Democrats wish would really happen, and you’ll sympathize with Marke Sobolewski as he tries to get his driver’s license replaced by dimwitted Secretary of State employee Lauren Bickers.
But the hit of the evening is surely The Grosse Pointe Boys, a look at what might happen if Disney hand selected a rap group to “get real” about life in the Pointe. Rappers and singers they ain’t – but laugh inducers they are!
‘The Best of the Second City – Detroit’
A Second City Alternative Production at Second City – Detroit, 42705 Grand River Ave., Novi. Every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. through July 22. Tickets: $7. For information: 248-348-4448 or http://www.secondcity.com.