Brad Morris, currently staring in “Taming of the Flu” on The Second City Mainstage admits he has a little trouble accepting compliments on his work. However, he has had to start practicing this skill after the success of both “America: All Better” and the “Flu”, both Mainstage productions. Morris’ talent and generosity on stage make him not only fun to watch but easy to believe as characters as different as Nicholas Sarkozy and your every day cab driver.
He is an enormous talent and a generous scene partner as demonstrated in this latest revue. His favorite scenes in “Flu” are the cab driver and a smart and hilarious scene with two Chicago bike cops where he and Andy St. Clair each get their fair share of laughs.
Morris, who started acting in high school, was introduced into the improvisation world in college. After realizing that he was not going to conquer the world of soccer he was turned onto an improv group and he thought that looked fun. He auditioned for the group and worked with them as a junior and a senior. After that he didn’t quite know which direction to follow, but, lucky for us, folks encouraged him to move back to Chicago and try for Second City.
“It never occurred to me I could work there,” Morris explains.
After studying briefly at iO, Morris became part of “The Harold” group and worked with Tom Flannigan and Matt Hovde to become part of the Galileo players. Morris also helped write “Mind Games” which was featured on Wednesday nights in the E.T.C. space.
Next came an audition for The Second City when Morris was cast as a touring company member and an understudy. He stayed in that role for two years before joining the Mainstage cast three years ago.
Favorite parts of this revue are working with a talented group of actors who each get their chance to shine and working with director Mick Napier. Morris describes Napier, a legend in the improv scene in Chicago, as “truly a person who forces you to think differently and push the limits of your creativity.” Those who know Napier will surely agree with this assessment.
For his part Napier describes Morris as “one of the best people I’ve ever worked with.” True praise indeed from the prolific Napier.
Morris is easy going and affable off-stage which is sometimes a contrast to the wide range of forceful and sometimes angry characters he portrays on stage. The sheer courage it takes to perform a monologue with his back to the audience most of the time is reason enough to see the engaging and funny “Taming of the Flu.”
For Morris, I’m willing to bet the compliments keep coming – regardless of where he ends up in the comedy world. He believes that “Colbert and Carell are the ideal trajectory, where you get to play one character for a while.” For now though, this overwhelmingly talented actor and improviser is content to do his best in the show and always support others on stage with him. That he does very well. Cohesiveness in this cast is obvious to the more than casual observer and Morris’ talent and generosity has much to do with that, I’m just guessing…
Catch Morris and the rest of his talented cast mates before they are snapped up to go elsewhere in “Taming of the Flu.” It’s a little edgy, but you can take it - just like Morris is learning to take a compliment.
Have fun and, as always, don’t forget to tip your waiters – generously.
For groups contact Anna Feneis at firstname.lastname@example.org