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The Best of Second City: Vol. 3

The Best of Second City: Vol. 3


The Best of Second City: Vol. 3

ratings:
4/5 (80 ratings)
Length:
46 minutes
Released:
Jan 1, 2008
ISBN:
9781580813952
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.

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:
9781580813952
Format:
Audiobook


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What people think about The Best of Second City

3.9
80 ratings / 75 Reviews
What did you think?
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.
  • (5/5)
    This 1953 play concerns the events of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692, and was intended by the author to draw an analogy with McCarthyism, which at that time was scarring US public discourse. Given that the witch trials resulted in deaths of innocent people, an even more appropriate comparison would be with the denunciatory atmosphere of Stalinism, especially in the purges of the late 1930s. Another contemporary (to us) comparison that came to my mind was with the political echo chambers that exist, especially on social media, on both the right and the left; as the modern day universal narrator says in Act 1: "A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence". The play is a gripping drama, with an unfolding air of suspicion and malice that ends up swallowing almost all of the main characters. Even discounting its political significance, it's a great piece of literature.
  • (4/5)
    A grim tale of the Salem witch trials and the fearful consequences of paranoid courts throughout time. When jealousy and petty revenge fantasies of young girls runs out of control, soon none are safe. John Proctor is a simple farmer who has one great sin in his life - lechery. After his wife discovered it, the house girl was dismissed, but she has since clung to hope of a reunion with her once lover. This has caused young Abigail to accuse Proctor's wife of witchcraft. But it does not stop there. Soon dozens are accused and many are executed.Which is ultimately worse: to die unjustly for a crime not committed, or to confess untruthfully and go free?
  • (3/5)
    It was good. There is a show on Netflix (or there was I don't know if it is still on there) called Salem which is based on this book. I really enjoyed the show. This felt like reading the super condensed version of that. This is one of those rare instances that I actually felt that the show was better than the book. Though I guess in this instance, that isn't too far fetched since the book is actually a play and is meant to be seen.
  • (5/5)
    Even written down the scenes of this play ring out in a terrifying way. Highly recommend.
  • (4/5)
    Very powerful and moving. At the same time it is sad, scary and so applicable to modern life.
  • (3/5)
    I have wanted to read this one for a long time. It is a play so that is one reason why it took so long to get it done. I have this book but I also listened to the audio dramatization of the play. It pretty much fits with all the other books that I've red about the Salem Witch Trials.
  • (3/5)
    Overly didactic.
  • (5/5)
    The conflict gets me so tense in this play that I'll throw the book across the room when it starts to boil.
  • (5/5)
    I just finished The Crucible. Even after knowing the story and watching the movie version, I still found it haunting and chillingly similar to our current political environment here in the US. The group hysteria (Trumpsters) fed by those who recently gained power (the Republican Party), grounded in ignorance, fear, evangelical religious beliefs, and the desire to retain power has created a similar scenario.

    Miller writes in such a way that we feel the utter disbelief, despair, and almost hopelessness of those accused of witchcraft. So many logical fallacies populate the mindset of the magistrates in charge of hearing the accusations and sentencing the accused that it’s hard to keep track of them all.

    Some archaeologists claim that the downfall of the human race came with the rise of civilization during the Neolithic revolution 5,000-10,000 years ago. More specifically, I would add that the advent of organized religion was the true catalyst. Over the millennia it has set the stage for mass hysteria, persecution, genocide, ecological terrorism, and mass animal and plant extinction. I believe belief in organized religion allows adherents to deny climate change, and gives them an excuse to persecute those who are not like them, to drive to extinction plants and animal species, and to rape the earth, all the while looking to the sky for validation. They turn a blind eye to the reality of the Mother Earth we live on in favor of the invisible father they long to reunite with. They see no hypocrisy in their actions. Yet, they ignore the wisdom and words of the god they claim to follow (Jesus) in the name of seeking favor with the lie invisible sky deity.

    The Crucible is a haunting example of the horrors that occur when church and state are not kept separate.
  • (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.
  • (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)
    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.
  • (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)
    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.
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (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)
    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" 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.
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (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.