WHITNEY HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM, Second City. This Second City comedy revue centered around gay and lesbian themes keeps its focus tight and its humor accessible to audiences straight and gay, in the know or out of touch. There’s some recycled material–spinsters have been a misogynist comedy staple since Chaucer’s time, and the saga of a gay boy’s, uh, rise to fame as a porn star seems to exist only as an excuse to recite hypothetical titles (e.g., Intercourse With the Vampire). But a prayer that points out the similarities between Christ in agony and our ideal of female beauty is satire that stings, as is the notion of gestapolike vigilantes who ensure that gay citizens conform to stereotypical lifestyles.

The sketches are tied together with two running gags–one involving the search for an advertising image for the gay market, the other a father and son’s estrangement and reconciliation–both of which conclude with a logic, intelligence, and punch not found in the main-stage shows.

–Mary Shen Barnidge