When you’re touring with the most prolific comedy group in the country, The Second City, you don’t know what to expect when you’re on the road.
One of cast member Alison Banowsky’s favorite memories was from when they were doing a show in Ohio at an old theater. The cast was told that bats lived in the facility. During the improv set, Banowsky looked up to see one of the nocturnal creatures flying straight toward them.
“IT’S THE BAT!” she screamed at her fellow cast members.
Everyone on the stage stopped and her cast mate, Jordan Savusa, grabbed a chair to defend the other actors against the incoming bat. “EVERYONE SAVE YOURSELVES!” he screamed. Banowsky still can’t tell that story without breaking into laughter.
“It was one of those moments I’ll always remember on tour. Where I was like, ‘This is a disaster but it’s also so funny, and I think the audience enjoyed watching us lose our shit,’” said the Colorado native.
Those in Durango can watch the troupe, which has spit out comedy legends like Bill Murray, John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler (to name a few), lose their shit Jan. 24 at Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
The show consists of a two-act show. It’s mostly sketch comedy with a mix of material drawn from the old and the new.
“So the show will be a combination of a lot of, like, older scenes throughout from its canon of the past six years. And then also some original scenes that the cast has written, and then there will also be some improv speckled throughout the show,” Banowsky said.
The key to making attendees laugh at their antics, Banowsky said, is to perform from a place of honesty and to completely commit to the scenes – even if it means acting out a meltdown in front of a large group of people. Or trying to fight a bat.
“I think in improv, the scenes that hit me the most is when it’s just real, like, you’re reacting from a real place. And that’s relatable in those moments. And I think it’s human nature of being honest to what you see and observe in the world. … You get to see somebody in this raw, vulnerable state, and you get to laugh at them, which you don’t get to do in real life,” she said.
Banowsky is excited to return to her home state and share a good laugh with us. The cast keeps the audience on its toes by switching up the sets, incorporating volunteers into the show, and keeping the scenes moving fast. There’s a little something for everyone.
“It’ll be super fun, and will be like a variety of all kinds of things. So if you don’t like one scene, there will be another one that will probably tickle you.”