Review: The Second City’s Live Wrong and Prosper
There is nothing “wrong” with The Second City’s latest mainstage revue, Live Wrong and Prosper, a satirical — and hilarious — commentary on our society’s obsession with looking for success in all the wrong places.
Spock, that lovable Vulcan from Star Trek, first uttered “live long and prosper” back in the 1960s, during a decade remembered for its social revolution, irresponsible excess and flamboyance. Flash forward 50 years to today’s era in which our day-to-day existence is hashtagged and Tweeted, governments are overthrown by Facebook update and people’s torrid love lives are filmed for mass consumption — and it’s pretty obvious that nothing much has changed since then. There’s something wrong — and something funny — about this, and the folks at The Second City know it.
Live Wrong and Prosper is one of Second City’s most sophisticated and spot-on shows in a while, and, being a reflection of our times, is most definitely for the tech-savvy. There are several social media sketches during the night, including a Guy Fawkes-masked Anonymous hacker telling us to shut off our cell phones and a dad (Alastair Forbes) live-tweeting his child’s birth in the delivery room.
In one of my favourite sketches of the night, three BFFs (Inessa Frantowski, Carly Heffernan and Ashley Comeau) discover their dead friend’s Facebook page is still active and pose one of the most important questions of our time: what happens to your Facebook page after you die? (Hint: you might want to update your status to show that you’re dead.)
And speaking of the ’60s, there’s a tightly written, well-executed sketch featuring Nigel Downer and Jason DeRosse as two spies who are trying to outdo and kill each other that recalls the classic James Bond movies and I Spy TV show from the flower power decade.
The biggest strength of the show is, of course, the cast. They’re a lovable and talented bunch, and a lot of people must think so too, since they’re the first cast in years to remain intact from one revue to the next.
Director Chris Earle has given the show a refined — dare I say, trendy? — look, which links nicely to the central themes of superficiality over substance and having over asking.
Sure, a show that opens with lines such as “I want an honorary degree from Yale for my sudoku-ing” and “I want people to be so afraid of me, they can’t watch me eat” can be a bit depressing for its funny-because-it’s-true appeal, but the show is so sharp and snappy that you’ll no doubt Tweet about how much you enjoyed it.
After the show is over, of course.
The Second City, 51 Mercer St., 416-343-0011. Runs throughout spring.