Do You Believe in Madness? is more befuddled than angry | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

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Do You Believe in Madness? is more befuddled than angry

In its 108th main-stage revue, Second City tries to get a handle on our crazy times.

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UPDATE Friday, March 12, 10:20 AM: this event has been canceled through March 26 or until further notice. Refunds available at point of purchase for tickets through March 26.


A year ago, Second City unveiled Algorithm Nation or the Static Quo, a grim affair featuring simulated onstage shootings and torture as well as an extended rant from an unapologetic female Trump supporter. In its place, we now have the 108th main-stage revue, Do You Believe in Madness?, a more endearing though frustratingly shapeless endeavor directed by Ryan Bernier and featuring a brand-new cast devoted more to nodding sympathetically (and occasionally nudging us in the ribs) about the ongoing disruptions of life in these dis-United States than to fanning the flames.

Well, we do meet the distaff equivalent of the Internet's "Florida Man" in Sarah Dell'Amico's Sunshine State denizen who urges us to make like the UK and vote for "Flexit." (Don't get too comfortable, Indiana—you're next on her list.) On the other end of the national-identity spectrum is Jordan Savusa, who strums a ukulele while reminding us that, though he is from Hawaii (and yes, idiots, it's part of the United States), "Hawaiian" refers to Indigenous people in the 50th state.

This revue also focuses successfully on slice-of-life two-character scenes. One of the strongest involves a woman in her 50s (Dell'Amico) going to an abortion clinic with her daughter (Asia Martin)—the catch being that it's mom who is seeking services. ("My first one. You're welcome.") But maybe the best sign of how exhausting and crazy-making these times are comes in a Hee Haw-esque number whose lyrics are composed entirely of the names of everyone who has resigned from the Trump administration. It's funny, but it seems to go on forever, with no sign of when the insanity will stop.  v

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