Laughter filled the Reynolds Center on Thursday night as The Second City comedy touring troupe brought their popular sketch and improv comedy show to the University of Tulsa as part of Hurricane homecoming week. A good sized crowd, made up of mostly college students, sprinkled with a few older faces, filled the Western section of the arena in preparation of the show. A small stage with a few lights and four chairs awaited the performers as the house lights went down.
The cast, made up of Jessica Joy, Natalie Sullivan, Edgar Blackmon, Derek Shipman and Ross Bryant wasted little time creating laughs. Bryant opened the show speaking to the audience dressed as if he were giving a graduation speech. From there, the group went through several short sketches before changing the pace to perform some improv scenes. They asked the audience for themes and then put on a few scenes built around Texas, beer, a feminine hygiene product and psychology.
Nothing was off limits during the show, which included Blackmon during a monologue describing how hard it is to be a black Republican in college.
A brief intermission was followed by the troupe’s return to the stage, dressed in red hoodies to educate the audience on potentially dangerous situations they may face in college. A slightly homicidal roommate and promiscuous co-ed were among some of the things they warned students about.
Some of the highlights of the night included Blackmon’s rap about the well-known ‘freshman fifteen’ and Joy dressed as Lady Gaga singing the new University of Tulsa fight song.
One of the biggest hits, however, was an improvised sketch that focused on the website Facebook, using information provided by two people from the audience. The two audience members, one male and one female, volunteered some of the interests that they list on their facebook pages. Without losing a beat, the cast then acted out an extended sketch depicting what would happen if the two audience members actually met in person and developed a relationship.
The final act of the night was another improv session, during which the cast was joined on stage by Second City Alumnus Ryan Archibald.
While a bit crude at times, there were very few times during the show that the crowd was not laughing. Overall, it was a very enjoyable performance from a cast that is sure to be going places in the world of entertainment. The Second City has built a reputation of developing some of the best comedic talents of the last 50 years, and if Thursday was any indication, they will continue to do the same in the future.