Tuesday 20 April 2021
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First Look review: Second City’s “Game Night” is a hilariously off-the-cuff take on classic game shows

Game Night-27 - web sizeBy Amanda Parker

Playing at: UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave.

When: Wednesdays at 8 p.m., currently on an open run.

Basic storyline: This isn’t your normal improv show. In Game Night, Second City cast members are contestants on their own versions of classic game shows. It’s totally unscripted, and every segment of the performance involves audience participation.

What to expect: At the beginning of the show, the audience is split up into two factions that compete against each other throughout the night. One or more audience members from each team are brought on stage for each game, and the battle for points that ultimately decides the victorious team ensues. Expect things to get competitive. If you’re not totally terrified of getting on stage, jump up and volunteer to compete for your team in a re-imagined classic game like Family Feud or $25,000 Pyramid.

The show has skits that might request you do things like bring a tampon on stage during an audience scavenger hunt or shout out names of rare diseases. Because of the emphasis on audience participation, the show changes drastically every week.

What stood out: The cast is hilarious and diverse — each member brings something different to the table. Joey Bland, the totally believable emcee, will convince you that you’re actually attending a (strangely inappropriate) game show taping. Paul Grondy, Megan Hovde, Tim Paul and Sue Salvi are all quick on their feet and alternatively wacky, deadpan and theatrical, not to mention shockingly good singers.

Final thoughts: I really recommend seeing this show. It’s silly but smart, and supercharged with off-the-cuff hilarity that the cast makes seem effortless.