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Second City’s ‘Laughing Matters’ tour entertains Bemidji audience

Five comedians from Second City performed a show of improvisation and quick wit at the Sanford Center Friday evening. Shown above are comedians Chelsea DeVantez and Eddie Mujica as they perform a skit about a pet bird. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — Just before the intermission of their performance Friday night, the members of Second City’s "Laughing Matters" comedy tour sketched out what can only be described as a summary of humanity’s fibs.

Playing a group of friends, the troupe’s members — Alex DiGiacinto, Neal Dandade, Chelsea Devantez and Cate Freedman — told tales of triumph from the night before.

As flashing lights flashed back to the actual events that transpired the previous night, the truth came out for audience members but not, ostensibly, to the fictional group themselves.

- Seeing an ex-boyfriend wasn’t a moment of triumph, it was a dropping-to-the-knees lesson in weakness, groveling and loneliness.

- A booze-fueled encounter with a beautiful woman at a bar provided not a display of male bravado, but an awkward exchange that netted only humiliation for Dandade’s character.

- An act of bravery performed on a tyrannical male bouncer wasn’t as it seemed: The bouncer was a woman and DiGiacinto’s character was on the receiving, not delivering, end of the beatdown.

But in all cases, the group of friends lied directly to one another, bringing to mind a quote from fellow funny man Richard Pryor.

"We like to think we’re brave, like we’re heroic," Pryor said. "But sometimes we ain’t so brave."

The script changed, though, when it came time for Mujica’s character to share his tale. He presented Dandade, now playing a cashier, with a coupon.

"It’s expired," Dandade said.

"Just take it," Mujica replied. "That’s the only thing keeping me from following you home tonight and stabbing you in the throat."

The crowd laughed heartily, and Dandade’s throat went into intermission unscathed. Or so we think.

Justin Glawe
Reporting on crime, courts and Beltrami county government. Follow me on Twitter @JustinGlawe.
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