News Column

Chicago's Second City at the Culpeper State Theatre

September 26, 2013


Sept. 26--The Second City generated raucous laughter last Friday night in Culpeper's State Theatre with a two-hour uncensored comedy show by an up-and-coming traveling troupe that once featured the likes of Bill Murray, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell.

Incorporating adult humor into scripted sketch comedy, one-liners and improv, the edgy act by the three men, three women Blue Company pushed the envelope on matters of marriage, religion, love, politics and popular culture.

The fabulous show incorporated recorded snippets of feel-good music as well as live song and dance beginning with all six members "twerking" on stage, Miley Cyrus style.

Red-headed, real-sized comedienne Emily Walker, a Kentucky native, was a crowd favorite in Culpeper featuring versatility in her hilarity peppered with poignant moments including one sketch involving a soldier heading off to fight in World War II.

Sarah Shook, originally of the Baltimore area, was also overtly talented as were fellow comedians Adam Peacock in glasses, Pat Reidy and John Hartman. The troupe's sex appeal matched their timing as each eased from act to act breathlessly.

Crowd participation for the improv bits included suggestions for a scene involving a pastor in a bathroom in Cape Cod, a film noir theme mixed with gospel and one about dog peeing on the carpet, "a true story," remarked Peacock.

In another instance, an older gentleman in the audience suggested an improv scene involving lesbian lovers, to the surprise of those around him, but the comedy troupe opted for a situation involving a grandmother and grandfather.

In one scripted act, a women texted her way through life, including while giving birth, and in another, the NSA eavesdropped on a typical phone conversation between girlfriends, generating a big crowd reaction.

The Culpeper crowd responded even more to a short bit about a registered sex offender knocking on the door and introducing himself to a neighbor, as required by law.

"I'm calling my Congressman!" exclaimed the woman.

"I am your Congressman," responded the sex offender.

The Second City first opened its doors in 1959 as a small cabaret theater rooted in the improvisational games of Viola Spolin. Saturday Night Live superstars Dan Akroyd and Gilda Radner got their start with The Second City which today offers comedy training centers in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles.

The legendary theater entertains more than 1 million guesst each year, according to, including a full house in the 500-plus seat State Theatre last Friday night.


(c)2013 the Culpeper Star-Exponent (Culpeper, Va.)

Visit the Culpeper Star-Exponent (Culpeper, Va.) at

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