Sarah Gee Wants You to Cheer the Fuck Up, at Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio. Former Second City Touring Company member Sarah Gee is perky but not in a mindless, annoying kind of way. Instead her sunniness camouflages the dark, often deranged characters in her one-woman show, directed by David Buckman. There’s the waitress who, in a series of scenes, breaks down further each time she sees her ex-boyfriend (an unsuspecting audience member) with another woman. The kidnapped child who’s either about to be sold into slavery or killed but is focused on being pissed off at her brother. A daffy First Lady explaining that world suffering isn’t really our problem. And a semirepentent Hitler trying to win points with a no-nonsense female God.

Though Gee’s underlying theme is the callousness of the rich and powerful, she’s created a wonderful collection of losers so quirky and human they could be people we know–or avoid on the bus. With her fine eye for detail, Gee’s portraits are sometimes too disturbing or sad to be LOL funny, but she moves quickly enough that they never fail to entertain. Accompanying her each week is an improv team or two from the Second City Training Center.