Politics can be a touchy subject, particularly when it is as heated as this election process has been. Unelectable You faces the election process head on. The 90-minute show is a combination of sketch, improv, music and multi-media. The Second City utilizes these multiple performance styles to approach the same complicated and incredibly relevant topic: The American election process. On Sept. 29, the show stops at Givens Performing Arts Center for a night of laughs.
Ian Owens performs in the show “It is partnered with Slate Magazine … coupled with Second City. You are getting a lot of policy wonks — people who are really in the know — helping to shape the show,” he said. “We couldn’t make base jokes about candidates, which would have been easy. They wante us to make a smarter show. We could just talk about Hilary’s emails or Trump’s outrageous comments, but we try to make it more nuanced. We make it appealing to a more informed audience,”
The central theme of the discussion is frustration, a feeling that many Americans share. For many this election is not about choosing the best possible president or the best candidate. Instead, it has devolved into voting against the worst candidate. This creative performance takes an unbiased look at all aspects of this ridiculous election. This includes discussing the candidates at length, exploring the media’s role in the election, considering the role of the public at large in the debacle and in total defining what it means to be electable.
While current politics are divisive, Owens promises this is not what the show is about. “Early on in the show people realize we aren’t there to change minds or reinforce opinions. We are just trying to come up with something smart and funny to say that hasnt’ been said before,” He added that “We are going to say terrible things about both sides … if you think we are harping on your candidate, just wait. We will do same to the other, too. There is nothing to fear here. You are in a safe place. We are going to laugh. A lot. You won’t leave any smarter, but mabe there will be more nuance to your political views.”
The show is born from collaboration between The Second City and Slate. The Second City is a Chicago theater that opened in 1959. It is one of the world’s most popular and well-known comedy clubs. It was founded by Bernard Sahlins, Howard Alk and Paul Sills. It also functions as a theater and a school of improvisation. They use techniques developed and originally taught by the Sill’s father Viola Spolin. The school of improvisation has taught some of the funniest and most talented performers in the world. The list of notable alumni is incredibly long, but here are just a few of the most recognizable: Stephen Colbert, Joan Rivers, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Steve Carell and Tina Fey. Many of the performers and the creative minds behind the creation of Unelectable You are deeply involved with or have been through The Second City.
The other group involved with the show is Slate. This is a daily magazine founded in 1996 that is published specifically on the Internet that can be accessed by the public at no charge. The goal is to offer a smart and funny interpretation of serious and relevant current events. Topics covered include politics, news, business, technology and culture. The magazine has earned awards for their work such as the National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online.
Everyone involved with this production; both performers and the creative team have long resumes beyond their work with either Slate or The Second City. It is impossible to list all of the accomplishments that each artist has earned, but it is important to recognize that each member of this team is already recognized as an incredible performer. Their months of hard work and talent are what makes this show such a hilarious, engaging and electric show every single performance.
Unelectable You is on Thursday Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. The show takes place in the Givens Performing Arts Center located at 1 University Dr. in Pembroke. The fast-paced show is recommended for viewers 16 and older.
Tickets range from $31 to $35. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 910.521.6361. For more information, visit http://www.uncp.edu/giving/advancement/givens-performing-arts-center/broadway-and-more-series.