Second City sends up holidazed season

The shows will vary with each performance.

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Every holiday season brings its share of traditional and nontraditional entertainment, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Second City, the Chicago-based comedy troupe that has produced stars from Bill Murray to Tina Fey, is among the latter variety.

“Second City’s Holidazed and Confused Revue” is a series of sketches that explores the dark zaniness of the holidays, said the show’s director, Andel Subik. Although some of the sketches tie together, there is no overall plot.

“We definitely hit on the idea of connection and communication,” Sudik said. “The reality versus the fantasy, what expectations you might have with the holidays versus what actually comes.”

The show opens at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, on Saturday, Nov. 5, and continues its run through Dec. 31.

Although the revue satirizes Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa culture, a common thread throughout is family dynamics. Some of these themes are timeless and universal, Sudik said.

“There are certain things that will always be true,” she said. “You’ll always be stuck talking to a relative you don’t want to talk to, you’ll always feel stress, you’ll always feel nostalgic for tradition while at the same time wanting to pull away from it.”

However, some of the holiday issues explored are unique to our age.

“Technology comes up,” Sudik said. “We touch on how technology can create a feeling of disconnect, of feeling alone even when you’re surrounded by people.”

Because improv plays such a significant part of Second City’s comedy, audiences will see a different show every night.

“With this show, some is archival, some of it is original and some is improv,” Sudik said. “Somebody might have an idea, and either give it in script form or verbally during rehearsal. We play with it until we work out what the scene is. We call it ‘writing on your feet.’ ”

As to why the revue is starting is run at the Playhouse during the first week of November, Sudik didn’t have a good answer.

“I guess for the same reason that you see Christmas stuff go up as soon as Halloween goes away,” she laughed. “As soon as the weather changes, let’s go.”

How to go

What: “Second City’s Holidazed and Confused Revue”

Where: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati

When: Nov. 5-Dec. 31. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays.

Cost: $40

More info: 800-582-3208 or www.cincyplay.com