The top Chicago comedy troupe, The Second City, has taken over the Lyric Opera stage during the month of June for a show devoted to making fun of all things opera. And there are plenty of things to laugh at when it comes to opera. The summer shows follows a special January performance that featured Patrick Stewart and Renee Fleming.
The ambience gives the show a different flavor with the audience seated on the Lyric Opera stage, recreating the setting at the main Second City stage. It’s one of the rare opportunities for an audience to roam where opera greats like Maria Callas once stood.
The obvious change is the heavy-hitting stars are no longer there, instead replaced by two professional opera singers. Even without Stewart and Fleming, the show still successfully pokes fun of opera. While some of the jokes/skits remain the same, some different ones were added to give something a little different from the January show. In addition, the January show included pre-recorded video, the summer run doesn’t, but some of the material from the video is acted out live.
The show offers something for opera geeks and for newbies alike. For example, the Arnold Schoenberg skit, which was in the original show, returns. And let’s not forget the first date at the opera to watch the Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle (4 opera). Dr. Opera returns with some new skits providing therapy to popular opera characters. You won’t want to miss the new Comcast skit either; subscribers will surely appreciate it.
All in all, the show stands on its without the star power, offering a little opera during the summer. The Second City Guide to the Opera runs from May 31-June 30 at Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive. Tickets are available by calling 312-332-2244 and at www.lyricopera.org.