Tuesday was our first official preview, and in honor of that Marc had us do something pretty unique for the show. We started with 3 blackouts at the top, and then Brian did and intro and we showed the audience a bucket that had an index card with the name of every scene we’d done in the show up to this point in the process (minus a few that were too prep-heavy, and minus blackouts). We had no running order for the night; after each scene, someone would go to the bucket at the lip of the stage, pick out a card, read it out, and we’d set up for it and do it.
It was one of the most fun shows I’d ever done. There were scenes in there we’d been running almost from the beginning, some that we’d only done once, and some we hadn’t done in a long time. It definitely kept us on our toes, and it seemed like the audience was really into it and enjoyed being a part of such a different show. And honestly, every scene hit, no matter where it ended up in the running order. We got to all but about 5 scenes. I think it made us realize that our material is pretty solidly entertaining, and because we had no real prep time before a scene, I think it made us think less about doing older scenes the exact same ways we had done them before. I feel like we were high all night from the show, and even in rehearsal today, so tonight’s show felt like a downer. I think also because there were a lot of big groups there, and for some reason it’s a common but perhaps undocumented fact of audience psychology that groups just don’t laugh as much, especially if they’re work groups. Self-consciousness or something like that I guess.
If you are in Chicago, please go see the Second City Unhinged show “A & E” featuring my good pals Abby McEnany and Erin McEvoy. I got to see about 6 minutes of it during my intermission tonight, and it was a lot of fun. Wednesdays at 8:30 in the ETC, I think for 3 more weeks.