The face of sketch comedy stumbled into a merciless, bloodthirsty bar fight late last year. But the thrashing—dealt by the six tenacious comedians behind The Second City Mainstage's 103rd Revue, "Panic on Cloud 9"—provided a rugged and seasoned look to its otherwise pure appearance.
The result? Chicago sketch comedy is handsomer than ever.
Chelsea Devantez, John Hartman, Paul Jurewicz, Daniel Strauss, Christine Tawfik and Emily Walker deserve our applause for refusing to blend into the comedy mold. Instead, they've punched the industry directly in the face—and done so gleefully.
"Our director [Ryan Bernier] brought in a white board on day one and asked us what we wanted to accomplish," said Walker, a Mainstage regular. "We wanted to make the audience feel encapsulated by our emotions; make this show dark, scary and funny in the most uncomfortable way, and play with silence in scenes. We tested ourselves and said, 'What can we do that hasn't been done before? What boundaries can we push?' "
Goal attained. Sketches intricately tear your emotions from one side of the historic theater to the other. One minute you're cackling so hard your whiskey and Coke nearly flings off the table, the next, your face is concerningly stagnant as tears begin to build...
Read the full interview here.