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THE BEST IS YET TO COME UNDONE written and performed by Nadine Djoury, Chris Wilson, Brandon Hackett, Stacey McGunnigle, Sharjil.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME UNDONE written and performed by Nadine Djoury, Chris Wilson, Brandon Hackett, Stacey McGunnigle, Sharjil Rasool and Allana Reoch (Second City, 51 Mercer). Limited run. $27-$57. 416-343-0011. See listing. Rating: NNNNN
As someone who sees hundreds of shows every year, I love it when artists swing for the fences and dont just try for a base hit. (Hey, baseball fever is catching.)
Which makes Second Citys new revue, The Best Is Yet To Come Undone, such a triumph. The troupe takes on everything from big issues (#MeToo, systemic racism) to minor irritations (Google Home, self-indulgent podcasters), with lots of whimsical, silly moments in between.
But each sketch aims high. This is the closest to a perfect revue that Ive seen from the company.
The opening scene is about a man (Peter n Chriss Chris Wilson, new to the mainstage) and woman (Stacey McGunnigle, returning to the cast after several years) trying to negotiate a first date, nervously checking in every nanosecond to see whether theyve got or are giving consent. The result is predictably, hilariously, real.
The revues relationship sketches are all strong. Allana Reoch plays a woman whos convinced (sort of) of her self-worth, and Wilson is the befuddled man trying to understand her contradictions.
The Google Home sketch works because it shows how a bickering couple (Brandon Hackett, Nadine Djoury) misunderstand themselves and their jokey son (Sharjil Rasool, making an effortless move from SCs TourCo).
And its hard not to be charmed by the sketch about dating in the social media age, as a woman (Djoury) sees a profile pic of a man (Wilson) on Tinder and the two play out their entire lives together before she decides whether to swipe left or right.
Even premises that start out familiar like the one about two women (Djoury and McGunnigle) who reach for the same suitcase at the airport go to unexpected places. And theres lots of biting social satire in the sketch about two people at a Weight Watchers meeting.
Hackett excels in a couple of big scenes, such as his act one closer, which puts a new twist on the six degrees of… trope by proving that everyone is gay. And he finds the perfect balance of anger and laughs in his song about being mistaken for other Black people.
McGunnigle, more relaxed than Ive ever seen her, gets lots of star moments, not the least in her showstopper about a femme fatale who, with the help of audience suggestions, replays a very violent day.
The other standout performance is by Wilson, whose personification of a gruff, old-school computer (among many characters) is worth the price of admission.
Director Carly Heffernan is clearly responsible for shaping these performances and the beats of show.
Stylistically varied, and taking place on Camellia Koos unexpectedly effective set of movable mesh-metal screens, the revue features scenes that shouldnt work (Wilson as an asshole magician) but do, and sketches (like Rasools sweet song about a lonely traffic-light button) that provide a moment to catch your breath among all the fast-paced laughs.
Get your tickets now. This seasons home team is unstoppable.