top o' the class
Memo to Second City Mainstage cast: You've got some steep competition headed your way. Jerry Schaefer's Second City Graduate Class performed last Saturday, and a couple of the sketches are as good as anything by the bigwigs. Mike Benhaim is skilled with voices, but the women are the standouts. The first-act closer, about two prankster nuns (Leslie Kaz and Michelle Neilson) in a dry cleaner's goes to surprising places, while Neilson and John Tokatlidis's sweet scene in a beer factory gets by on lots of charm. Kaz and Dorothy Gebhardt's sketch about two old cats in a pet store shows that good writing keeps upping the ante. Best is the closer, a series of scenes set in a corporate office pitting the Temps against the Suits à la West Side Story. Brilliant. Won't be the last from them.
If you're heading off for the monthly Lab Cab, an informal presentation of short pieces, don't go to the Factory Studio, the Lab Cab's usual venue. Because of the unusual set for Down Dangerous Passes Road (see preview, this page), the pwyc cabaret moves to Clinton's (693 Bloor West) on Wednesday (November 14, 8 pm). Dennis O'Connor hosts, with performances by Tracy Dawson, Andrew Pifko and others, including Lab Cab producers Aviva Armour-Ostroff and Faradee Rudy. 416-539-9350.
Here's a chance to get a sneak peek at a potential hit play. Preview, CanStage's public readings of scripts in development, offers a trio of works. First up is Last Romantics, the story of a 50-year gay relationship between two men who grew up in the world of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. Written by Michael Lewis MacLennan (Grace), the script won the 2001 Herman Voaden Award for Best New Play. It runs Friday and Saturday (November 9-10).
Next up are Allen Cole and Michael O'Brien's musical The Miracle Man (November 15-16) and Sunday Father by Adam Pettle (Zadie's Shoes) (November 29-30). 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110.