Relationship: defined as “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected.” They can be complicated, easy, difficult, and sometimes funny.
The humor in relationships is the basis for The Second City Swipes Right: An Incomplete Guide to the Ultimate Date Night, part of Cal Poly Arts’ 2022-23 season.
“Expect and be ready to have a good time and to be engaged,” says Maureen Boughey, one of the cast members. “We often look to the audience for suggestions for the show.”
Many of the sketches are based on reactions to relationships from real life. “For example,” Boughey says, “One scene is about how when you show someone a meal or food item from your hometown, their reaction is never good enough.”
Promotion for the show says “It’s love at first laugh . . . Bring your partner, lover, significant other, spouse, friend with benefits, friend with EXTRA benefits, platonic BFF, or your spectacularly single self to a brand-new experience you’ve been aching for. Spend a naughty 90 minutes with our caliente cast of comedians as they (consensually) annihilate everything that turns us on—and off—about love, dating, relationships, and everything else in-between the sheets.”
Boughey says that everyone knows and experiences similar emotions. “So our sketches are based on our experiences. The performance is about exploring different relationships, not just the romantic ones.”
Boughey is one of the writers for Second City. She gets her inspiration from listening to songs: they inspire her and she takes it from there. Playing off reality works well; she finds what she wants to say and finds how she wants to say it (in a humorous way, of course). She has performed at The Kennedy Center in Generation Gap, aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem, and as an understudy in the mainstage productions Algorithm Nation or the Static Quo and Happy to Be Here. She is a graduate of the Syracuse University Drama Department.
She started touring with Second City in 2017, took a break, then came back in 2019. Then, of course, she had to take a break from March 2020 to August 2021 due to the pandemic.
“We have slowly been getting back to it,” she says. “Now, we are back to our regular amount of shows and we are trying to go with the flow of things.”
Her primary role is as a cast member, which includes traveling to different cities for performances and writing some of the sketches.
In its May 25 performance at the PAC SLO, the group will be using some archived scenes from previous cast members. Those that have performed for Second City and gone on to become famous include Tina Fey, Steven Colbert, Tim Meadows, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and Steve Carrel. “It’s amazing that success doesn’t just stop at comedy,” Boughey says. “It is really great to see how far they have come once they got started.”
As for her future, Boughey says she is open to seeing what opportunities arise. She would love to work more in TV and film and is excited to see how well that goes.
If she wasn’t doing this, she would be doing more work with her husband on their podcast, Creep Street. “It is about horror and paranormal activity. I enjoy doing that,” she says. “I like working in the podcasting realm. I used to work in the fashion industry as a side job as a personal stylist, but I really feel that this is where I need to be. Being a performer has been my major goal since I was about 14.”
The Second City opened its doors on a snowy Chicago night in December of 1959, and a comedy revolution began. The small cabaret theater has grown to become the most influential and prolific comedy empire in the world, developing an entirely unique way of creating art and fostering generation after generation of superstars. Alumni including Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Fred Willard, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi helped launch the theater into the international spotlight.
In 1976, Second City launched “SCTV,” which has been hailed as one of the greatest sketch comedy series of all time.
“I hope people enjoy the show. It’s a good time,” Boughey says. “It is a great way to spend the evening.”
Tickets are still available for the performance is on Thursday, May 25 at the PAC SLO.