Second City Guide to the Opera: Still Funny the Second Time?

Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Second City will once again join forces for a month-long run of The Second City Guide to the Opera May 31-June 30. The two cultural giants are hoping to recapture the hilarity of the original one-night-only performance which packed the Civic Opera House last January. One of the biggest reasons Contrapuntist and I thoroughly enjoyed that performance was its cohosts, Renée Fleming and Patrick Stewart. However, that dynamic duo won’t be a part of the cast this summer.  So will The Second City Guide still be funny the second time around?

It seems as though Lyric and The Second City have made some interesting changes to the original show which should hopefully build on the original comedic magic. For one thing, audience members will be seated on stage near the performers, creating an intimate atmosphere like that of Second City’s own theater. It’ll also be a special thrill for those of us who’ve always dreamed of being on the Civic Opera House’s stage. In addition, a wait staff will provide table service including a full bar selection and light savories before the show begins; beverage and light food service will continue throughout the evening. In terms of the actual performance, the show will include some brand-new sketches as well as a a reprise of the best material from the January show, including the infamous “Doctor Opera”.

The cast will include many of the January show’s Second City performers including Joey Bland, Beth Melewski, and Timothy Sniffen. Billy Bungeroth will return as director, Jesse Case will continue as music director and writer, and Kate James and Timothy Sniffen are also back as writers. Tenor Bernard Holcomb, a former member of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, will reprise his role as well.

Contrapuntist and I will be attending the new Second City Guide to the Opera show in a few weeks, and we’ll let you know if the new Second City Guide to the Opera lives up to the original. If you want to check out the show for yourself, tickets are available by calling 312-332-2244 and at www.lyricopera.org.

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