Thursday, March 11, 2010

Katie Rich talks improv

Katie Rich was interviewed by the Daily Cardinal. In addition to being a member of BlueCo (Second City Touring Company), Katie can be seen at IO on Wednesday nights, performing the Harold with Carl and the Passions.
“I think Second City’s staying power is that it finds a way to reinvent itself while still staying true to its roots,” explains Katie Rich, a member of Second City’s touring company.

“Our shows are organic, always in flux and we’re willing to change so much, it’s never going to get old.”[...]

Although the comedy of Second City draws in fans from all age groups, Rich is confident college students will be particularly attracted to the show. Because they are familiar with and fond of the humor in shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show,” she expects students to enjoy Second City’s similar satire on political and social issues.

“Having grown up with The Onion and Jon Stewart, I think college kids are so very well versed in satire and irony. [Our] style itself is perfect for college kids,” said Rich.[...]

“We actually have a scene from the first ever Second City review that Alan Arkin was in,” Rich said. “It’s all archived material.”

This is not to say, however, that the show does not make room for some improv. Weaved throughout the archived sketches are chances for the cast to improvise, something Rich describes as providing “more fun for us.”

Traditional shows put on at Second City’s Chicago main stage often include humor meant specifically to amuse the city’s natives, whether this means mocking Cubs fans or taking a jab at a lowly Chicago suburb. However, the touring show has been adapted to appease its national audience. But as Rich explains, it cannot fully avoid mentioning its hometown.

“We’re so proud of it,” said Rich. “There’s always going to be some nod to our roots.”

But regardless of whether you live in the birthplace of Second City, the Badger State or anywhere else, everyone could use a laugh these days. Comedy, specifically this Friday’s Second City performance, can help to supply this much-needed laughter.

“I think in some ways with everything that’s going on sometimes laughing is the only thing that makes sense,” explains Rich. “Sometimes comedy is the best way to make heads or tails of a situation.”

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