Scarlet Letter

Drum roll, please! Here, as promised, is the letter that apparently lost us our New Years’ Eve gig at The Second City:

January 7, 2004

Artistic Director
Second City
56 Blue Jays Way
Toronto, Ont.
M5V 2G3

Dear [whoever the artistic director is]:

This letter is being written in regard to a show we saw on New Years' Eve at the Tim Sims Playhouse entitled "Bash of the Titans 2003". We were looking forward to a fun evening. I understand that they rent space independently but needed someone at Second City to be aware of what happened to us.

I have been to Second City on numerous occasions over the years and recommended it to many for a fun night out. My boyfriend and I tried to get tickets for the dinner, show and party package but it was sold out. The girl at the box office encouraged us to buy tickets for the Playhouse which she stated was just as good or better than the main stage but cheaper.

We have never been so disappointed as we were that night. I'd like to list my comments, concerns and complaints because there were many:

- We were told that the doors would open at 9:30 and to be there by the latest 10:00. We cut our dinner at a restaurant short to get there at 9:30 as we wanted good seats. At 9:40, they came out and told us to line up. We stood there for 50 minutes until 10:30. No one told us what was going on until 5 minutes before they let us in. Finally we were allowed in and the show started immediately; there was o time to relax and have a drink beforehand.

- The two hosts were mildly funny but overall poor. Out of all the acts, there really were only two that were worth seeing -- a young guy from Calgary and another rather crazy guy but funny. The worse [sic] were the last two acts. The second last one involved a young girl and guy who basically started their act saying "Just remember, we get paid regardless." There wasn't anything funny in their act and the audience wasn't responding at all. All they did was change places on stage and talk to each other. Then they put on a picture on the screen with some voice talking about God while they proceeded to sit on the side of the stage and smoke. The club is a non-smoking venue and I have a problem with someone being so arrogant they just didn't care about those in the audience who may have allergies or whatever. The audience started booing them off the stage. The next act was even worse with a guy who appeared drunk when he came out and then proceeded to be offensive calling mentally-challenged people "retards", then just "tards". Everything that came out of his mouth was so disrespectful, insulting and totally offensive. Again the audience started booing him off the stage. There were no laughs, just people getting angry. I looked around the room and everyone was furious. Luckily, it was almost midnight so the two hosts came out and got him off stage as he now was bad-mouthing the audience.

- Also disappointing was the fact that we were in that venue for 1 1/2 hours and weren't able to get a drink. It was New Years' Eve and we thought that it wouldn't be a problem; however, for 100 people in that audience, there was only one waiter. That's disgusting. You should know that on New Years' Eve, people are going to want to drink. He never even got around to many of the tables like ours so many sat with nothing until we got champagne right before midnight. You are losing money because you don't have enough staff -- it just doesn't make sense.

When the show ended, there were many people talking about writing in and complaining. Many wanted to demand their money back. It was a total waste of money - $64.20 for the two of us. The party afterwards was okay so we at least had a bit of fun then.

I write this letter to inform you that as a well-known comedy club, you need to scrutinize what is presented so that your name and venue isn't thought of as a place not to visit or a place that is extremely offensive and insensitive to important issues. In all the times I've attended Second City, I've never been offended like that. WE definitely will never attend the Tim Sims Playhouse again. We also are telling friends and family to avoid going also. I understand that they are independent but if definitely reflects on all of Second City. People don't know that they are independent and assume that you are all one and the same. Due to their poor performance, you could very well lose business.

I would like to hear back from you and would love to be compensated in some way, if possible, for a very disappointing New Years' Eve.


[name omitted]


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5 responses to “Scarlet Letter”

  1. AC:

    Do you have this show on video? I’d love to see what I missed: surely the best suburbanite-baiting show in years!


  2. I agree. It sounds even better than last year when I was waiting for this one lady in the front row to actually throw her glass at Boyd (or whomever was closest). I saw this as the natural progression to steady simmering look she wore throughout the evening.

    If we’re lucky, her face got stuck that way.

  3. Third dibs on the tape, please!


    This sounds more like a Box Office problem to me. And clearly, the Playhouse is sorely understaffed. I thought Second City’s policy was that the show doesn’t begin until everyone has a drink in hand…?

    By the way, my Level E grads just had their show on January 18th at 7:00 p.m. The Box Office staff told one of my student’s grandparents that it started at 8. So they patiently sat in the loud bar area and missed the entire thing! ARGH!!

    Don’t even get me started…

  4. matt: what a whiney bitch.
    mae: she just needs to get laid.
    matt: what a cunt.
    mae: there was an act between us and boyd, this woman is obviously unstable or she would have remembered that – I mean, she wasn’t drunk…
    matt: what a stupid, fat, retarded cow.
    mae: yeah. fucking tard.
    matt: i hope she dies. of cancer.
    mae: but we do still get paid regardless.
    matt: regardless of if she dies?
    mae: yeah.
    matt: yeah.

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