As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Saturday, December 16

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« The Art of Futbol Chicago Could Be TV's Hottest Star »

Comedy Thu Apr 14 2011

Seeing South Side of Heaven Might Send You to Hell, but it's Worth it

SSideHeaven.jpg

Second City's new show, South Side of Heaven, directed by Billy Bungeroth, is a goofy yet unapologetically irreverent pastiche of comic bits with themes ranging from local sports and politics to death and bigotry, all in keeping with Second City's Chicago-centric proclivities. The show is surprisingly dark, and pulls no punches--always returning to the old Buddhist mantra that life is full of misery and pain (so why not make fun of it?). There is plenty here to offend, but the offensive material is executed so damn strangely, we're left furrowing our brows in confusion rather than anger. And I mean that in a good way. It certainly catches you off your feet.

SC_SOUTHSIDE_PR_Photo_002.jpg

(L-R) Timothy Edward Mason, Tim Robinson, Edgar Blackmon, Katie Rich, Holly Laurent,
Sam Richardson. Photo by Michael Brosilow

Tim Robinson is responsible for most of this weirdness--his style is reminiscent of a slightly more tortured and erotic Andy Samberg. The weirdness begins sometime around the moment he hops off stage to kiss and lick (in this case) an older male audience member's forehead, and climaxes when he begins giving a burrito a blowjob. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Edgar Blackmon, who brings things back to earth with his lifelike portrayals of everyone from a South Side homeboy to an awkward child to some sort of extra badass version of Rahm Emanuel. The women in the show certainly don't suck, either--my favorite scene with them being one in which a teenage character questions an older, authority figure about why she broke up with her "hot" boyfriend. "Did he put on vests and say to himself "This is okay"? Did he use LA Looks hair gel? Did he drink Sudafed until he thought the car was a dragon and try to fight it with a broom?"

The woman who really steals the show, though, is Julie B. Nichols as the sound engineer. Throughout the show you can watch her on the sidelines frantically pecking away at a laptop and several keyboards, perfectly synching her sonic contributions with the action on stage, all-the-while sporting a serious-looking pair of black, fingerless gloves.

Race is a hot topic in South Side of Heaven and is addressed much in the way you might imagine it addressed in a bar on Clark St. at 1am-- this is not the Tavis Smiley show. But you have to give the writers credit for having the cojones to take the ignorance and bigotry off the street and put it on stage, recontextualizing it for all to pick apart. Or maybe I'm giving them too much credit, there. Who knows?

Perhaps the most over-the-top, knee-slappingly hilarious moment in the show is toward the end. In a transcendent moment of (very) physical comedy, Sam Richardson plays a jaded male stripper with the dancing abilities to break up any family (it is not only hilarious, but impressive). Who knew physical comedy could be so funny? Not me.

Although you may want to think twice before bringing your grandma, your kids, or other faint-of-heart family members to this show, it is certainly good for some laughing-till-you cry. You may not walk out in the most optimistic of moods, but you'll likely walk out with a big, stupid smile on your face.

Tickets for South Side of Heaven are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at secondcity.com.

 
GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store

 

Events


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop, nancy@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15