The Second City Totally Likes You: REVIEW

Jillian Welsh, Nicole Passmore, Christian Smith in The Second City Totally Likes You
Jillian Welsh, Nicole Passmore, Christian Smith in The Second City Totally Likes You

The Second City‘s Touring Company Revue is currently in Toronto and performing their love, dating and romance inspired show: The Second City Totally Likes You. Torontonicity was invited to preview the show at industry night on Sat., Feb. 1, 2020, and treated to an evening of new and archival material that pokes fun at and explores the complexity of romantic relationships.

If you haven’t attended a Touring Company Revue show at Second City Toronto before, this is the perfect opportunity! The crew is presenting material that was previously performed in Chicago, with all-new material for Toronto – so it’s actually a completely new sketch comedy experience.

Jillian Welsh, Nicole Passmore, Christian Smith in The Second City Totally Likes You
Jillian Welsh, Nicole Passmore, Christian Smith in The Second City Totally Likes You

The National Touring crew is a group of hilarious comedians, and each one stood out in their own way. I enjoyed the energy and timing of Nicole Passmore throughout the entire night though! Right from the start, this comedy veteran brought intensity, physical comedy and killer improv skills. There’s one improv part where she plays a jazz musician who sees her ex in the audience, and sings them a song about what played out after their intimate night together – absolutely amazing improvisation skills that made for serious laugh out loud moments.

Passmore wasn’t the only stellar talent that night; Jillian Welsh also owned the stage. There’s one sketch where Welsh ‘sets the mood’ for a couple on a date, by being as outright and overtly sexual as possible while singing a classic romantic song (in anything but a romantic manner). Welsh isn’t afraid to take on physical comedy and move in an almost cartoonish way. She also received the loudest applause and laughter during an improv performance where the ensemble describes what having sex with them individually is like by comparing it to school and classroom items – it’s amazing!

To be perfectly frank, this entire ensemble is fantastic in the improv department. Matt Folliott flexed his improv muscles and demonstrated his amazing poker face during so many scenes that left his fellow cast members stifling laughter. Those moments aren’t for everyone, but I’m a fan of seeing professionals push themselves and their colleagues in such a manner. It’s so refreshing to see people enjoy their work, and keep each other on their toes!

The show is split into two acts, with a brief intermission between the two. I would absolutely recommend a bathroom break at this point (especially if you enjoyed an alcoholic beverage or three during act 1), because the second half of the show brought way more laughs! The first act of The Second City Totally Likes You is fun, but feels like a warm-up when compared to the second half. Comedian Hannah Spears was fantastic in the second act, so pay attention to her auto-tune sketch.

I’d like to take this moment to remind anyone who is planning on attending the show that even though the room is dark and feels quite intimate, a lot of the audience can hear when you engage in private conversation. Please don’t be that table, and keep your side commentary to intermission, bathroom breaks, or for your post-show full debrief and discussion.

If you’re planning an adventurous night out with friends or a romantic date (which is probably ideal for this revue show), you can buy tickets for the front row and keep your fingers crossed that the comedy gods smile upon you and have the Touring Company ensemble pick you for one of their improv moments. This is for the truly brave who would genuinely enjoy being put on the spot, and well worth it for a larger group!

The Second City Totally Likes You is currently being performed on Mondays at 8 p.m., Fridays at 10:30 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m. Don’t miss out on another evening of hilarious fun! Tickets are Premium $35-$40 and General Admission $20-$25 and can be purchased online.

You might be interested in reading, “Second City Toronto’s New Show: If I Could #ThrowBack Time“.