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  The Winner...of Our Discontent Reviews
The Winner...of Our Discontent
Second City

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"...Perhaps as a consequence, we now get a mainstage show that is too much on the nose, too much of the time, beginning with its combining of the joy of the Cubs World Series victory with the devastation (for this cast) of the Trump victory. It is too familiar an image - it was common conversation last month, and for this to qualify as a Second City opener, it needed to be flipped, expanded or turned on its head. Progressive aims, it must be intuited here, are best served by the promotion of complexity and empathy for one's fellow human, which does not have to mean acquiescence. And, this very talented cast needs reminding, hearts must be moved for minds to be won. May happier moments be ahead on Wells Street and may God bless us, everyone."
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Chris Jones



Daily Herald- Somewhat Recommended

"..."Winner" delivers some clever bits and several poignant moments. A Lake Forest investment banker (everyman Jurewicz) smokes pot with his mother; a grandmother issues her millennial grandson a political call to action; and an overly dramatic driver's ed teacher (the deliciously frenetic Scott) overwhelms her students."
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Barbara Vitello



Windy City Times- Recommended

"...It's not all in-yer-face defiance, though: A neglected Cubs batboy rewarded for his gallantry toward a lady in distress and a self-effacing teenager comforted by a clairvoyant's assurance that patience requires courage both display sensitive insight to compensate for a few hoary har-hars that could have been recycled from the first Second City revue."
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Mary Shen Barnidge



Time Out Chicago- Recommended

"...Second City’s new mainstage cast makes no such claim to impartiality. The Winner…of Our Discontent, debuting just over a month after the election, delivers on its title: Its writer-performers are reeling, hurt, afraid and angry. Their reactions to the results of November 8, and the cognitive dissonance of its continuing repercussions, are understandably, admirably raw."
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Kris Vire



Stage and Cinema- Somewhat Recommended

"...If, fueled by "discontent," not dissent, Second City's new show seems more about making the best of a bad deal, well, perhaps that's a tribute to the temperature-taking of this comic corporation. By now they've learned what doesn't make us laugh as much as the complex chemistry of comedy. As the press release suggests, "our differences are what make America great." In 2016 the fear is that they're too big to be bridged, even by laughter."
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Lawrence Bommer



ChicagoCritic- Somewhat Recommended

"...Possibly after they get a few performances under their belt, this revue will produce enough zingers to be worthy of the premier standards long established by The Second City. Perhaps caution prevails since the recent verbal attacks from the audience caused several cast members to quit the last revue. Audience abuse toward actors should never be tolerated. One can hope this "Donald Trump Effect' is over. It will not be tolerated either by Actors Equity or The Second City. Thankfully the opening night audience was quite appreciative of the six talented players."
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Tom Williams



Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...Directed by Anthony LeBlanc with music and sound by Vinnie Pillarella and a stage-managed by Craig Taylor, the six performers (who also created and wrote the script), Shantira Jackson, Paul Jurewicz, Kelsey Kinney, Martin Morrow, Rashawn Nadine Scott and Jamison Webb all show high energy and great audience contact. Jurewicz will remind you a great deal of Second City alumni John Belushi. His "batboy" sequence is amazing (also featured in this sketch, Kelsey Kinney and Martin Morrow), Jamison Webb is another reminder of Dan Aykroyd, so perhaps these two should be paired off as a new team. The country could benefit greatly. Webb does a bit of fast talking in the second half that is absolutely amazing with a capital A!"
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Recommended

"...These may all be worthwhile lessons but given the fact that they're being delivered on the stage of a comedy venue, they still have to be embedded with humor. In this regard two performers stand out for their skill at blending emotional subtlety with laughs. Returning cast member Paul Jurewicz-now in his third mainstage revue-can capture existential despair in a fleeting gesture or expression, somehow allowing us to laugh at the pain of his characters. It's a powerful skill for a comedian to have, especially since Jurewicz is equally comfortable with slapstick physical humor."
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Zach Freeman



Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Somewhat Recommended

"...Ultimately, the revue is held back by too much sketches material that isn’t ready for Second City prime time, and a cast that at least for now doesn’t achieve sufficient comic success, Webb excepted. I’ve seen Jurewicz used to better advantage in past revues but Kinney’s flash of quiet dsesperation as the 14-year old suggests that as a stage performer she is in the right business. Jackson has a distinct theatrical personality but I had trouble understanding her dialogue. All in all, the show is an evening of some hits and too many misses."
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Dan Zeff



The Fourth Walsh- Recommended

"...Still, multiple signature lampoons provide the much needed escape from reality. Son and mother, Jurewicz and Kelsey Kinney get high in a Subaru and compare lives. And the always effervescent Rashawn Nadine Scott plays a drama teacher subbing in drivers' ed. Scott morphs into a variety of characters to attempt to elevate the joy in the room. The challenge is real. The results are sporadic. This current show provides comic relief in between serious reminders of the uncertainty we face. I wanted to laugh more I just couldn't. This time in our history is truly THE WINNER...OF OUR DISCONTENT."
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Katy Walsh



Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...The Winner... of Our Discontent could not be more appropriate for the times. If you need to find a warm embrace, a little song to sing, a dance, a call to action, a laugh, and a drink to wash it down, it's what you'll find during your two-hour stay with this ensemble. This is the best medicine we're always hearing about."
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Marielle Shaw



Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...Silliness for its own sake is in short supply, especially in the darker second act. But the audience stayed with the revue's biting hilarity throughout. Hearing her grandson's despair over Trump's win, a black grandmother asks the boy about his own efforts during the election. Facebook posts, tweets...not much else. Grandma tells him about a previous election season when she canvassed in Iowa, spending three tough weeks as "the only black person in the state." In just a few lines, this woman conveys what civic engagement really demands."
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Susan Lieberman