When we really think about how long the America we learned about in history class has been around, it’s just a flash in the pan of the history of the world. The six comedians in Chicago comedy group The Second City’s Almost Accurate Guide to America, playing at the Kennedy Center this month as part of the District of Comedy Festival, certainly make it feel that way, too. A smorgasbord of sketches, one-liners, improv routines and even a Hamilton parody fly at the audience in what turns out to be a hilarious – and almost tiring – show.
No sketch show ever works 100 percent of the time, but The Second City kicks off the proceedings of the show with a lot more hits than misses, touching upon and providing a satirical look at many of today’s hottest topics, including our presumptive Republican and Democratic nominees. Cast member Andrew Knox certainly must be recognized for what may be the best Trump impression I’ve seen so far in this election cycle.
The show does lose a little steam after intermission, but not for lack of trying or energy. The cast, including Knox, Ryan Asher, Marla Caceres, Tyler Davis, Sayjal Joshi and Ross Taylor, all performed tremendously. Rather, the second act reaches a little more out there, and as a result, swings and misses a tad more than in the first half. But, to stick with the baseball analogies, you still have to love their batting average.
Special credit must also be given to the cast’s combined ability as improvisers. While the show is primarily performed in sketches, the times that they did include the audience in helping to establish scenes for them to mold were truly impressive.
But this is a show about America in our nation’s capital during an election year, so how the political wackiness that currently makes up our government is displayed is a big part of whether or not this show is a success.
Unsurprisingly, there was a clear left-leaning perspective, but that did not prevent the comedians from taking shots at Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. It was all of government, though, that ultimately found itself in the bull’s-eye of this group, and to hilarious effect.
You could say that it’s easy to make comedy based on the recent actions of our government, but The Second City has still created a spectacular vehicle to laugh at the madness.
The Second City’s Almost Accurate Guide to America is currently playing in the Theater Lab at the Kennedy Center through July 31. Tickets are $49-$65.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: 2700 F St. NW, DC; 202-467-4600;www.kennedy-center.org
Photo caption: Andrew Knox, Marla Caceres, Ryan Asher, Sayjal Joshi, Tyler Davis and Ross Taylor of The Second City’s Almost Accurate Guide to America at the Kennedy Center
Photo credit: Scott Suchman