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The Best of Second City: Vol. 2

The Best of Second City: Vol. 2


The Best of Second City: Vol. 2

ratings:
4/5 (68 ratings)
Length:
56 minutes
Released:
Jan 1, 2008
ISBN:
9781580813945
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Since 1959, Chicago's The Second City improvisational comedy troupe has played a critical role in developing some of the most successful comedians in the United States and Canada. Comedians such as Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, James Belushi, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, and Richard Kind, to name a few, have all performed with The Second City.

Between 1991 and 1997, L.A. Theatre Works, in conjunction with Chicago Theatres on the Air, had the pleasure of producing a number of Second City performances featuring Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Amy Sedaris, Marsha Mason, Edward Asner, and Paul Dinelo.

Colbert, Dinelo, and Sedaris went on to create the hit show Strangers With Candy for Comedy Central, and Amy's best-selling book, "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence is both witty and hilarious". More recently, both Carell and Colbert have enjoyed immense success beginning with their supporting roles in The Daily Show. Carell's show, The Office, is a hit on NBC, and his movies are box office boffos. Colbert has spun his Daily Show character off into his own highly successful The Colbert Report.

Hear these budding young comedians in some of their most hilarious work before they became the stars they are today.

(P)2007 L.A. Theater Works

Released:
Jan 1, 2008
ISBN:
9781580813945
Format:
Audiobook


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What people think about The Best of Second City

3.9
68 ratings / 65 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (1/5)
    So dated and ridiculous as to be almost unlistenable. Add a star if you have a significant interest in the history of comedy or really want to hear Marsha Mason or other stars of that era.
  • (2/5)
    The Crucible has been on my to-read list since sometime in 2014, and is one of the oldest added things that still remained. I decided to pick it up after finishing a biography of Eisenhower, since it was contemporary with the McCarthy Red Scare and his presidency. I thought that, while the play is quite famous, the text lacked proper play structure and relied too heavily on out-of-act descriptions of the characters as they entered the scenes. I was unsure if these descriptions would be read aloud to an audience, or how they might be incorporated into a staged play, since some of them are key to understanding the action. I also thought that Miller's stage directions were heavy handed. In general, the entire play seemed to be the outline of a short novel and Miller stopped short of writing a complete work. Also, while the subject matter is immensely interesting and the Salem witch trials are an oddity in history, I don't necessarily like works that rely too heavily on the "this is a true story" trope to garner sympathy with the audience. I thought that if I had not already known about the trials, the characters would not have been well-developed and would have been hard to play. Overall, I do not recommend this work unless the reader has a particular interest in the witch trials or Miller's trial under McCarthy.
  • (4/5)
    A dramatic, and occasionally melodramatic, production, the character, distinct and the excitement, high.
  • (4/5)
    Loved it. Learned the term "scapegoat." Hated Abigail, who symbolized every evil in the world to me. I don't know why, but Abigail was my scapegoat--what the citizens of Salem did was all the fault of Abigail. I think that for me she symbolized cheerleaders and popular girls in my school.
  • (4/5)
    A fictionalized history of the Salem witch trials. The author changes some of the dynamics of the time, making the girls older than they really were, and introducing a love triangle between a major player, John Proctor, and one of the main girls involved in accusations, Abigail Williams. This is unfortunate, because it loses some of the power that the play might have by adding in the revenge fantasy of a teenage girl who in real life was a bored pre-teen. In spite of that, the play uses characters and situations that actually existed, and is a powerful indictment of mob hysteria. The work is still relevant, as people continue to deal with situations of mass responses to events.
  • (5/5)
    Incredible classic novel which gets better everytime I read it. Salem witch trials come alive in this historical fiction novel. Having lived in MA, and been a frequent visitor to Salem in my older years, I've found this to be so enriching while reading "Crucible" as an adult. Great book not to be missed!
  • (4/5)
    This was a very interesting read. It was terrifying, frustrating, and infuriating. The Salem witch trials often have that effect on me.
    I found myself yelling out loud during parts of the book.
    I wasn't too pleased with the treatment of the women in this book, both by the other characters and the author. There was a definite "blame the psychotic mistress/cold distant wife" angle. The man who cheated on his wife and resented her feelings about it was supposed to be sympathetic, and it was hard for me to side with him, for obvious reasons.
  • (4/5)
    Preceded by both All My Sons and The Death of a Salesman, this historical drama has also withstood the test of time to become a standard of the American theater. Once considered by some to be not much more than a political pamphlet allegorically railing against the excesses of McCarthyism, in its maturity it has gradually been revealed to be a masterfully insightful take on the tragedy of the Salem witch hysteria. Perhaps too this play is better read independently of contemporary political rhetoric. I find it a provocative take on the passions of ordinary people during colonial America undergoing a battle with their passions that is as old as the dramatization of tragedy itself.
  • (4/5)
    A seminal piece of critical American Literature, this short play encapsulates the McCarthy era by enhancing the tragic story of a witch hunt in Salem in colonial times. The concepts of a shared lie and mass conformity are discussed in critical detail.
  • (4/5)
    This play, first performed Jan 22, 1953, is a powerful work, even though it is only loosely based on the actual Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693, the historical persons being changed. I have seldom been so transfixed by reading a play and can imagine it would be a very gripping event to see the play performed. I have long been much interested in European witch trials--an ancestor of mine was a defendant in such a trial in the 16th century in Germany, but with the help of an able lawyer she was not convicted. I have not paid much attention to the Salem trials but after reading this play would like to read an able historical account o the trials. Does anyon e kow of such a nonfiction work? The best book on The European wich trial craze I have read is Servants of Satan: The Age of the Witch Hunter, by Joseph Klaits (read 11 Oct 1986).
  • (5/5)
    Wow . . . I haven't read this since high school. I forgot how powerful this play is - deserves six stars, at least.
  • (3/5)
    A sad and scary true account of the Salem Witch Trials and mass hysteria. The girls were so convincing in their acts, but it's too bad that the judges didn't see they were sabotaging people to save their own butts of guilt. It seemed so obvious that anyone that came to revealing their secret would all a sudden by a witch. I enjoyed John Proctor's character--a moral man that has past baggage he has to get over. The ending was horrific, but we all know that we are not judged by humans, but by the almighty God.
  • (5/5)
    This is a timeless work of art in writing. Arthur Miller's classic about the Salem witch trials, in which a group of teen-age girls are both accused of witchcraft and in turn blissfully accuse others. Miller has done an astonishing job of taking a real historical event and finding the unfortunate truths about humanity in it that make it not an isolated circumstance. Having had seen both the film and stage play and read the book itself this will always be a favorite of mine.
  • (4/5)
    extremely powerful book with a lot happening at many intersecting levels: it is like a chain reaction of personal petty motives against a bleak background of ideological and political instability. some of the details are amazingly powerful (Abigail can feel the heat of John as he wanders lustful through the night; the cows wandering on the highroads while their masters are in jail). strongly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Arthur Miller is becoming one of my all time favorite playwrights and novelist. While I have never seen the play, the printed version is very lively and engaging. It was a pleasure to read, though it was rather disturbing to say the least. A mob can be a very dangerous thing. Add to that religious fanaticism and intolerance, and you have an extremely destructive force. MIller does a fine job of showing how this experience is often created and propelled by irrational fear and supersticion. He also illustrates how common folk, with pure motives, can be caught up in an injust movement based upon lies and unreasonable assumptions. People often do the wrong thing for the right reasons. While the sinister motive of some of the characters is plain and obvious, there were many innocent people caught up in the fervor and hysteria of the moment. And these otherwise "good" people participated in a grave injustice. The parallels to what was going on in Miller's present day experience is easy to see. The message of this drama, unfortunately, will likely always be relevant. While the Western world has made great strides in the area of inclusion, intolerance always has the potential of raising its ugly head. Keeping the message of this book alive will go a long way in helping to prevent such grave injustices from ever happening again.
  • (4/5)
    I first heard of this play when we studied Arthur Miller in high school. Of course it was the other class that got to study The Crucible - we got stuck with Death of a Salesman. At the time this was cause for jealousy, though the intervening years have taught me the value of Death of a Salesman. Despite a great desire to do so, I never seemed to get around to reading The Crucible. It was worth the wait.This play is full of drama and suspense, despite the fact that the events it describes are well known. The parallels between Salem and the McCarthy era are obvious, but not so obvious as to spoil enjoyment. Other, more recent (and perhaps more disturbing) parallels can be drawn between Salem's treatment of their women (and McCarthy's paranoid witch-hunts) and today's paranoia about terrorism.The Crucible was written well before modern events were even predicted, however the comparison remains valid. Today's society responds to the word 'terrorist' with the same knee-jerk reaction as the citizens of the 1950's did with the mention of 'communism' and the good people of Salem with the mention of 'witch'; and we are just as quick to condemn. This play is definitely worth reading, and I would like to see it performed sometime.
  • (4/5)
    The Crucible is a play set in the 16th (or it may be the 17th, who knows.... spark it) about the Salem Witch Hunts. There's this girl called Abby, who basically wants to get revenge on John Proctor's wife, because Goody Proctor fired her because she found out they were having an affair. (I so did not give it away).Abby's cousin is sick, and they think it's because all the girls were out in the forest practicing witchcraft. They accuse Abby at first, but then she starts naming names and so begins the witch hunt.Abby and these other girls go around testifying with "Spectral evidence", i.e., going into fits before the "witches". Meanwhile, John Proctor and others are trying to bring real justice into the system.We read this in class, and apparently, it's called The Crucible because each character is put through a test (like in chemistry, a crucible is a container in which you heat things to purify them. or something.). This play was written during the Red Scare, which was like the witch hunt of the 20th century. The playwright, Arthur Miller, was accused of being a communist. So this play really says a lot about America in the time it was written.
  • (4/5)
    "The Crucible" provides an interesting allegory for the communist witch hunts by way of the Salem witch trials. The language is beautiful; possibly one of the few plays that is as engaging read as seen. The only quibble I really have is that some scenes seem to move a bit too slow, which is easily rectified by a top-notch cast. A very, very good play.
  • (3/5)
    The classic story of the battle between Abigail and John. Set in puritain America, a small town is flung into the fever of the which trials when the girls in town are caught in an unsavory ritual. The girls claim to be controlled by the voodoo powers of a slave and so begins the trials that would bring the town to a halt. In the background is the story of Abigail and John who have had an affair and when John tries to break it off, young Abigail accuses his wife and eventualy John of witchcraft.It may be a classic but the whole time I read this I wanted to crawl into the book and slap the characters around. I suppose that is a sign of good writing.
  • (1/5)
    This book is definaitly not my style. I'm not much for religious stories. This play was just too out there for me. I didn't enjoy any parts of it. I couldn't wait for the book to end. The characters did not appeal to me at all.
  • (4/5)
    This was a lot of fun to read, though I had to go back and reread it outside of class because I wasn't paying attention in class due to mathematics. It was a simple, classic play though, and I enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of the Salem Witch Trials and it was interesting to read about.
  • (4/5)
    Having both read the play and seen it acted out, I can honestly say this is a wonderful work.
  • (3/5)
    I read this for a library book club, and I really enjoyed it, I wish I could learn more about the witch trials in school!
  • (3/5)
    I really enjoyed reading this play at school, and still reread it now. The film was good I thought, although a bit too fanciful. This play sets the scene for the Salem witch trials in America, that have spawned the tacky souvenirs and witch type mania over there. Based on the true events that happen.
  • (4/5)
    Hm. This is one of those stories that left me with that contented sort of feeling when through with it.
  • (4/5)
    a play about the salem witch trials. i never though it was too extraordinary.
  • (3/5)
    Read aloud in a HS classroom wherein a large subset of the boys snickered any time the name Tituba was pronounced. That aside, I enjoyed it very much.
  • (2/5)
    I'd probably like this better if I could have gotten over how *stupidily repressed* everyone was.
  • (4/5)
    I thouroughly enjoyed the play, although it wasn't quite what I expected. I think the play's more about a broader sense of suspicion and mob mentality than it just being limited to an allegory on McCarthyism, but overall Miller does a wonderful job of showing the tricks and consequences of a little white lie spinning out of control. Abigail is a fascinating character. I didn't feel like the constant narration was particularly useful or necessary. I can understand it from the point of view of his constant interruptions showing the play as a piece of fiction and not completely realistic, something to remind the audience/reader to pay attention to the issues being discussed rather than the more traditional dramatic experience. It's Brecht-lite in a sense (guess which pretentious degree I'm studying for!) but it felt a tad overdone. The play is effective on its own merits and works as a strong, powerful allegory without Miller having to remind us that it is an allegory. It's definitely one of the plays any drama/literature nerd should check out in their lifetime.
  • (3/5)
    recorded in 1972 ... directed by John Berry...full cast recordingthe highs and lows of speech make this difficult to hear without continual adjustmentbut...note the recording date...Unfortunately it bothered me and I probably missed some important conversation.3.5*.....recorded as 3.0r