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The Second City: Peach Drop, Stop and Roll

a Comedy Improvisation
CATEGORY :
by The Second City

COMPANY : Alliance Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Hertz Stage [WEBSITE]
ID# 3613

SHOWING : November 06, 2009 - December 27, 2009

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Warning: This show may cause sudden bursts of laughter, temporary holiday shopping amnesia, and comedic euphoria that may last for four hours or longer.
If side effects continue, please consult your doctor.

All new and back by popular demand – the invigorating comic genius of Chicago’s Second City is here to skewer Atlanta’s favorite sacred cows and pink pigs. Just in time for the holidays, join us for our newest gift to Atlanta: giant belly laughs.

"...I won't be a bit surprised if this cheeky little satire becomes the smash hit of the holiday season..."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution --


CAST & CREW LIST
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REVIEWS

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The Difference a Year Makes
by Dedalus
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
4.0
Last year, I took to task the Second City for creating a too-long not-funny-enough series of sketches about Atlanta and contemporary life. My chief beef was that the writing seemed like a scornful outsider’s view, a surface-only focus that seemed to sneer at Atlanta. Many of you disagreed.

This year, they’re back with another show, “The Second City: Peach Drop Stop and Roll.” All I can say is, what a difference a year makes. This seemed a product of a troupe that has actually spent time in Atlanta, that has a real sense of (and affection for) Atlantans and the all foibles that drive us crazy. Even the harshest caricatures (of news anchor Dagmar Midcap, for example) have a note of affection, of “we can pick on her because she’s ours” sensibility.

Like last year (and, to be honest, like most sketch shows in my experience), the evening is a series of hits and misses, though, this year, the hits far outnumber the misses. In fact, the only miss that comes to mind at this late date is a take-off on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and that may be because I find the entire “Real Housewives” phenomenon about as appealing as an acid enema. I truly enjoyed a Segway tour of what used to be Atlanta, a bit about the shrinking AJC, a time-travel bit in which we see the same sequence in three different eras, which proves the old adage that, the more things stay the same, the funnier they become. One that sounds really bizarre on paper but worked extremely well was the one in which a white guy returns home to a place where everyone thinks he’s a black woman – it sounds silly, but at heart, it makes mincemeat out of ethnic and gender preconceptions and the humor based on them. It was funny and provoking at the same time, as good satire needs to be.

Again, the highlight of the show for me were the short sketches leading up to a never-obvious punch line, and the moments of true improv, where the cast encouraged the audience to provide the starting points for their silliness – in all cases the troupe knew when the ideas where growing tired, when they needed a boost from a non-sequitor, and when it was time to just stop and move on.

This year, the cast was again six-strong (with Lisa McQueen again providing the music and sound support). Atlantans Amber Nash, Amy Roeder, and Steven Westdahl joined Chicagoans Anthony Irons, Niki Lindren, and late-in-the-run replacement Kevin Sciretta. All were operating on full throttles, though, like last year, I especially liked Amy Roeder’s wry approach to her varied characters, and Mr. Sciretta's welcome doses of pure energy. This is a troupe that obviously works well together, that likes working together, and that presumably continue their party long after we mere observers have driven off to our Atlanta (and environs) homes. It is this quality that makes even the lesser sketches sing with a strange music all their own.

The Second City writers obviously used their long 2008 sojourn here well, using it to learn more about the city, about its eccentricities, and especially about is diverse and always surprising population. They also developed an apparent affection for the town, and future endeavors can only hope to build on that.

I’m obviously getting this to you too late to catch up with this edition. But, maybe if we’re lucky, they’ll be back again and again and again. I wouldn't mind them peach-dropping in any time!

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)


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