Walking into Piper's Alley, I had high hopes for "Show Title Deemed Indecent by FCC," The Second City e.t.c.'s 26th Revue. I rushed into the theatre, suppressing my sore throat, and was quickly seated in a cramped space next to a tiny table. Growing up watching Saturday Night Live, I could not wait for my first live experience with this legendary group, especially since the show had such a provoking title.
So perhaps it was inevitable that I was disappointed. It is one explanation for the feeling I had as I left the theatre. Why was this show so bland? It wasn't the actors. This ensemble certainly has the chops for great comedy and their characterizations were delightful. As I sat in my seat, waiting for the show to begin, I admired the set -- a tribute to irreverent thinkers of the past. Combine that with the show title and I was up for an evening of Bush-and-Ashcroft-bashing and genuine political humour. That's not what this show gives out. Instead there were cliché and half-hearted investigations of human mating, and tenuous jabs made at the political right and left.
There are a few gems in this show that make me still recommend it -- the musical tribute to gay marriage and the amazing theatrics of a simulated car chase (forget the matrix, I was more in awe of these acrobatics) are the two that jump to mind -- but the recommendation comes with a warning. Just as Saturday Night Live has gotten less risky with time, so did this revue. There is, unfortunately, nothing indecent about "Show Title Deemed Indecent by FCC."