Second City . . . in Color | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Second City . . . in Color

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Over the past ten years, the Second City comedy franchise has sought to diversify by developing farm teams of color. This Theater on the Lake production is a "best of" revue featuring sketches developed by such spin-off troupes, punctuated by piquant improv. Second City...in Color doesn't quite make it through the evening without mentioning the back of the bus, but it does include droll, provocative pieces that provide relief from threadbare scenarios featuring poor but proud black folk, who maintain their dignity though they have only roaches to eat for dinner. The cliches make their appearance but don't sound single notes. Aaron Freeman is the cornerstone of the production, which includes an ironic scene on Ellis Island, a thought-provoking send-up of liberal whites' need to believe that racism has passed away, a surreal bit about how people are viewed differently in their hometowns, and a new old chestnut in which former Cabrini-Green residents move next door to Wrigleyville buppies, a surefire piece of pork-and-bean-can stature. Theater on the Lake, Fullerton and Lake Shore Dr., 312-742-7994. Through August 17: Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 PM; Sundays, 6:30 PM. $15.

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