Written and performed by Ashley Comeau, Jason DeRosse, Nigel Downer, Alastair Forbes, Carly Heffernan, Stacey McGunnigle. Directed by Melody A. Johnson. The Second City, for a limited run.
It’s been a tough summer for satire: Civil war in Syria? Gun violence in Toronto? Not a lot of laughs there. That may explain why The Second City’s new revue, We’ve Totally (Probably) Got This!, lacks the inspiration of its last mainstage show. The six-member ensemble begins by playing on the dire mood of the times, warning us in a series of mock-disaster tableaux to brace for a “shit storm.” What follows, though, isn’t likely to blow you away.
These City folk are at their best when they go to the dark side. There’s a wicked skit with a pair of stalkers (Alastair Forbes and Stacey McGunnigle) on a blind date, comparing obsessions with their exes. And a hilariously twisted one about soldiers on a battlefield (Forbes, Jason DeRosse) trying squeamishly to fulfill the last request of a dying virgin comrade (Nigel Downer). An audience member is recruited for another nasty routine, to help bully a female school-bus driver—although, thankfully, unlike that poor lady in the viral video, Ashley Comeau’s battle-axe gives as good as she gets.
Just as often, however, the material is tired, repetitious, or lame (it’s not a good idea to parody Sean Connery if no one can adequately impersonate him). Directing at a gallop, Melody A. Johnson uses a surfeit of blackouts and spoof disaster-movie music (supplied by Matthew Reid) to camouflage some soft punchlines and weak endings. But she can’t hide the fact that this would-be satirical storm should be downgraded to merely scattered bursts of laughter.