There’s only one way in and no way out of Second City’s 78th Mainstage offering ‘Come What Mayhem!’ on stage now.  The gleeful presentation demonstrates absurdity’s endless possibilities when all the right elements come together.


Let’s face it, 2016 has not been a very funny year with continued talk of a wall being built along the Mexican border, delivery of transit vehicles still way behind schedule, and don’t even get us started on drunken Olympic swimmers filing a robbery complaint in Rio.

Which is why all the smiley peeps in the comedy house are letting out a loud, profound ‘Hell yeah!’

Thank heavens for the giggle darlings at Second City for giving us satirical summer sizzler that goes long on creativity and short predictability.  Ironically irrational and illustriously idiosyncratic, Come What Mayhem! is hands down the month’s top stage retreat.

Mainstage Revue newcomers Roger Bainbridge, Brandon Hackett, Lindsay Mullan and Ann Pornel are looking every bit chill with this howling material thanks to Kyle Dooley and Becky Johnson making them feel more than right at home.  Nothing is forced throughout the exaggerated episodic ecstasy.

If we could go back in time and get bullied in a schoolyard sandbox, we’d want Brandon Hackett by our side.  He helps the audience to see that earning a minimum wage security job at Trump towers isn’t worth the ledge space The Donald allows him to stand on free of charge.

And if our mom made butter chicken hot dog pizza for Thanksgiving, you just know we’d be bringing sexy incarnate Ann Pornel home for the holiday to provide an erotic strip tease desert we’d totally skip out on dinner for.  Patience rewards all of us who wait for the final layer!

If you need an explanation why the world is a broken place, Becky Johnson’s school teacher plays the Devil’s advocate in helping a young student analyze the whys and hows of victimization.  She amusingly reasons with the futility of complaints as if she authored the book on injustice.

Kyle Dooley has always had a voice for reverberating the downright bizarre.  This time he lets silence do the talking with insulting signage and ‘what if’ scenarios when an Old Spaghetti Factory bomb scare plays out.

Lindsay Mullan proves she’s better than Prozac as tingly small talk gives way to unadulterated confessions in a drug store debit transaction sketch you won’t want to end.  She’s all about ‘sweet actors love’ but gets to business underscoring that sex lives matter later on in the program.

It’s undoubtedly Roger Bainbridge who runs away with the show from the opening scene we’re male audience members learn how to react of positive pregnancy results when data integrity is uncertain. Later on in the program get ready for laughs galore when he steps forward as a sarcastic game show host of You Oughta Know.

While it’s true that a comedy institution doesn’t have a firm charter to live up to, Come What Mayhem’s license to innovate has all the smart narrative bridges that lead to funny.  The highly entertaining sextet smartly comments all that needs to be said about life’s precious moments we take for granted.


COME WHAT MAYHEM! August 16 – October 31 SECOND CITY, 51 Mercer Street, Toronto TICKETS $25.00+ 416-343-0011 CAST Robert Bainbridge, Kyle Dooley, Brandon Hackett, Becky Johnson, Lindsay Mullan, Ann Pornel DIRECTOR Carly Heffernan ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Nigel Downer STAGE MANAGER/LIGHTING Meg Maguire MUSIC DIRECTOR Lee Cohen

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