In Review: The Memeing of Life

“A day without laughter is a wasted day.”               
– Charlie Chaplin

So true; I have always believed in the power and beauty of laughter. Laughter is beneficial beyond belief. The Second City, in Toronto, knows a thing or two about that sentiment. Renowned for their comedic productions, Second City is a well-established playground where comedians hone their talent. Famous Second City alums include Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Catherine O’Hara, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, Ron James, and Mike Myers.

One of Second City’s current productions is a sketch comedy entitled, ‘The Meme-ing Of Life‘. To clarify, a meme (pron.: /?mi?m/; meem)[1] is “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture,” according to Wikipedia. And that’s exactly what this production illustrates, by offering up a variety of sketches illuminating certain popular aspects of our society, to which we have all been exposed.

Of course, the sketches are heightened (slightly) in order to reveal the absurdity of some of our more prevalent cultural behaviours. They range in topic, from gun control and schools to drunken parents, picking up in the club scene, the difficulty in cancelling a gym membership, aging adults and conception, YouTube and the internet, dealing with a cantankerous customs officer, and a Spanish soap opera thrown in for some additional laughs.

This powerhouse cast is anchored by six talented actors: Craig Brown, Jan Caruana, Jason Derosse, Nigel Downer, Stacey McGunnigle, and Allison Price, each playing off one another with a tremendous amount of success. Sketch comedy is a difficult game to master, yet these performers keep the pace of the show moving along at a fine speed, never once dropping the ball.

The cast knocked it out of the park for close to two hours. Their timing was impeccable and their energy and enthusiasm was contagious, spreading like a wildfire throughout the audience. These gifted artists also collaborated in creating the pieces, and worked with the direction of Kerry Griffin.

An interesting aspect of comedy is that it is often based completely in reality, which is what actually makes it funny; because we’ve all been there in terms of perhaps making a questionable decision, or being on the verge of saying words we may regret. There is a rawness, with respect to emotion, which is ultimately revealed. And what makes it a ‘comedy’ is that it’s not you. It’s a troupe of professional actors on stage, playing out the results of your possible decisions, which is why one can completely relate. We are given a front row seat to the meme-ing of our lives.

This show runs until June. If you have a chance, go and see it. I guarantee, after viewing a performance, your day will not have been wasted.

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