SPOTLIGHT: THROUGH A COMIC LENS, SKILLFULLY
By Tapas Easwar
Second City’s latest mainstage performance, The Best Is Yet To Come Undone, is nothing short of brilliantly hilarious.
The troupe takes on big issues from #MeToo and systematic racism to minor irritations in life such as the pervasiveness of smart assistants like Google Home and self-indulgent podcasts. And throughout these marquee pieces, they pepper in lots of silly, whimsical moments, all of which add up to a triumph in comedy.
While each sketch aims high, the ones that stood out to me were the opening act centred around consent in the age of #MeToo, the scene surrounding systemic racism, and the skit about irritations in the digital world.
The first sketch is about a man, Chris Wilson, and a woman, Stacey McGunnigle, trying to navigate their way around a first date. The man is constantly announcing his intentions in order to receive affirmation from his date, nervously checking in every other second to see whether or not she (and him) is giving consent.
Wilson’s standout performance as a gruff old computer slowly trying to boot up is well worth the price of admission.
In another fabulous skit, Sharjil Rasool and Brandon Hackett are playing some basketball, talking about racial stereotypes they endure in their personal lives. Suddenly, Hackett is called off stage for what seems to be an emergency and is replaced by Chris Wilson, a white male, who is thrown off by having to act out and say things a black man has to endure on a daily basis. Incredibly uncomfortable, he offers to switch roles with Rasool, and it ends with the two of them enacting a stereotypical Bollywood dance scene.
Every scene in The Best Is Yet To Come Undone is chock-full of biting social satire, from Hackett’s excellent balance of anger and laughs in his song about being mistaken for other black people to the scene about two women who reach for the same suitcase at the airport and suddenly realize that they are both indeed “basic”.
As someone who is a fan of comedy, I cannot recommend this show enough. Get your tickets now before they sell out because this is one show you absolutely do not want to miss.
The Best Is Yet To Come Undone has been extended until 2019 due to popular demand – a near-unprecedented run for a Second City Toronto production. It is now playing on the Second City Mainstage every Tuesday through Sunday throughout the rest of 2018.
You laughing at me?
Written and performed by The Second City Toronto Mainstage cast, the production features new members Sharjil Rasool (Mantown) and Chris Wilson (Royal Canadian Air Farce), plus returning cast members Allana Reoch (The Beaverton), Nadine Djoury (New Born Moms), Brandon Hackett (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), and Mainstage veteran Stacey McGunnigle (Stacey Helps).
With unflinching honesty, this all-star cast tackles 2018’s minefield of crushing clichés and relatable revelations. The Best Is Yet To Come Undone gleefully delves into how North American society has evolved in recent months, exploring everything from the #MeToo movement to micro/macro aggressions to feminist and minority groups to what it means to be an ally. Toss in a handful of musical numbers, plus a touch of magic, and the end result is a funny show for everyone to enjoy.
Sharjil Rasool, currently a cast member of The Second City Mainstage, and an alumnus of The Second City Touring Company was born in Oman to Bangladeshi parents. He was raised in Abu Dhabi before moving to Australia for high school. Then he moved to Toronto for University.
His television credits include The Beaverton (The Comedy Network), Odd Squad (TVOKids/PBS Kids) and Working The Engels (Global/NBC) and he was featured in the JFL42 New Faces showcase in 2016. He also co-hosts the comedy pod-cast That’s How I Remember It. The actor and comedian has performed in the Bad Dog Theatre Company productions Triplespeak, the critically acclaimed Toronto, I Love You and can also be seen performing improv as a member of the Canadian Comedy Award winning troupe MANTOWN.