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The Second City's 45th Anniversary Tour

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While not the towering retrospective that the title suggests, this is a finely tuned revue of sketches from the Second City's vast repertoire plus a smidgen of improv. Director Jim Carlson mixes and matches an impressive variety of diverse but identifiable characters: the ingenue (Rebecca Sage Allen), hunk (Alex Fendrich), imp (Nicky Margolis), Belushi-ish dude (Craig Uhlir), sultry vixen (Lori McClain), and regular guy (Andy St. Clair). Given the rich archives, it would have been great to see material from the perspective of a non-Caucasian, nonstruggling actor. But the performers deliver what's been chosen very well. In the few improvised bits I saw, the cast successfully transcended pottyish audience suggestions (outhouse, sewer worker) to derive humor from situations and relationships instead of poop--the mark of true professionals. Overall the show offers a solid taste of (or at least the white meat of) Chicago's trademark humorists. Through 1/29: Fri 8 PM, Sat 7 and 10 PM. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 Campbell, Arlington Heights, 847-577-2121. $15-$22.

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