This American Strife

The best comedy, in our opinion, combines sharp wit with keen observations, promotes talent, braves stands, and draws from the heart. It is clever, not caustic. Think Modern Family, Seinfeld, the Gilmore Girls, MASH and All in the Family, all of which relied on strong writing that addressed social issues in a way that made us both laugh and learn.

The best live comedy incorporates all of those things and takes advantage of a symbiotic energy between cast members and the audience.

We enjoyed excellent live comedy this weekend in Chicago at Second City’s Donny’s Skybox Theatre. This American Strife showcased a drunk John Hancock in one of my favorite sketches, a bullied tomato in another and a rapping Ayn Rand in one of Molly’s favorite skits. Full disclosure, our sister/daughter Katherine Biskupic is a member of the troupe and, as such, gets to sing a torchy love song to Don Draper in what was, of course, our very favorite sketch.

Kudos to the writers, Warren Arnold, David Dritsas, Carlos Freytes, Paul Hughes, Jeremy Molgaard, Katie Nixon, Mollie Reyner and Jacob Roman and to director Lauren Dowden.

We’ve been privileged to see plenty of live comedy and This American Strife ranks as one of the funniest, sweetest, bravest shows we’ve seen.

Here’s a little clip of “I Want a Don Draper”

Katherine mentioned that she wouldn’t mind if I took pictures as long as I didn’t use flash, so I went to town.

Please enjoy these show photos and, if you’re in the Chicago area, there’s still time to purchase tickets to the show, which will run November 8 and 15 at 7:30. Get tickets here.

Cast members Michael Silver and C.J. Tour play a couple of old men contemplating life over a game of chess.
Cast members Michael Silver and C.J. Tuor play a couple of old men contemplating life over a game of chess.
Fasten your seatbelts
Fasten your seat belts, these flight attendants (Katherine and Kris Lantzy) control the not-so-friendly skies.
Dancing fruit
Shunned by the regular fruit, the goofy fruits hang together. A bit of social commentary, a lot of fun.
Tomato rocks
This tomato (Matthew Russell) rocks
Katherine the cucumber
I really liked this skit.
Of course you have time for that
Opening number, “Of Course You Have Time For That” set the tone for a witty evening.
Jessica Maciejewski, who also played the rapping Ayn Rand, joins Katherine and C.J. in a running Superman gag.
She wants a don draper
She wants a Don Draper in a Justin Bieber world
In a Justin Bieber world
Katherine had a lot of fun with this number
Don Draper
So I took a few pictures.
Grandma Aunt Doris and Uncle Steve
Here are Katherine’s opening night entourage — her Grandma Peggy, Aunt Doris and Uncle Steve and me.
Katherine's entourage
A bigger group caught the show the second weekend including Aunts Jenny, Kathy, Donna and Robin, Uncle Keith, Cousin Hannah, me, Molly, Vince, and friends Suzy and Bob. Great fun!

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