Welcome to The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy’s biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.
I’m guessing Second City is more baffled than most by the outrage surrounding the new female-fronted Ghostbusters movie, because as this clip from 1997 shows, women have been infiltrating traditionally male roles for decades now. From Second City Toronto’s revue Last Tango on Lombard, the above scene “Glass Mamet” features an actress (Melody Johnson) who auditions for the role of Ricky Roma in David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, but her only prior theater experience are multiple stints as Laura in The Glass Menagerie: “Well actually, I think that I’m bringing a lot of vulnerability and fragility to the role that, quite frankly, Mr. Al Pacino missed.” Thanks to some inspired thinking by the director (Bob Martin) and help from a fellow actor (Jack Mosshammer), the actress ends up nailing a new production of Menagerie with extensive rewrites by Mamet himself. Check out the full scene above.