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Thank Heaven It Wasn't 7/11

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Midway through its run, Second City's 88th revue has added updates impaling Trent Lott and sending up cocaine sales at Burger King. In fighting form, the Second Citizens remain unabashed, confronting an abusive superpatriotic music teacher, mealymouthed ministers, the intifada, and a know-nothing president. Ruthlessly pursuing common sense in the service of some terrible swift satire, director Joshua Funk has inspired his six zanies to tackle the state of our disunion. (Rubber-faced Martin Garcia is particularly good; apparently he never met a line he didn't like.) Second City always flourishes along with America's paranoia: the el scene in which strangers bond in the face of imagined terrorism both inflames and relieves our sense of impending disaster. Then there's the couple whose "home rage" at each other would have caused Frank Capra to despair of showing that it's a wonderful life. When they belt out "I Wish I Was Amish," longing for a simpler existence, we yearn for a buggy too. Though there were some clueless audience members who wanted to wave the flag when the comics were actually spoofing knee-jerk jingoism, Second City is finally delivering revues whose tone is not set by tourists' expectations. The Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 312-337-3992 or 877-778-4707. Open run: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8:30 PM; Fridays-Saturdays, 8 and 11 PM; Sundays, 8 PM; Tuesday, December 31, 7 and 10 PM; Thursday, December 26, 8 PM only. $17; $30 for shows on Tuesday, December 31. Also: A national touring company performs The Best of Second City in an open run Mondays at 8:30 PM; no show December 30. $8. Free improv sessions follow the regular shows Mondays-Thursdays at 10:30 PM, late Saturdays at 1 AM, and Sundays at 10 PM.

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