What do we love about Schmicago? Everything

Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, and cast of Schmicago

If you’ve been waiting to binge on season 2 of the hit musical comedy series Schmigadoon! now is the time to do it. Season 2 has dropped on Apple TV+ with a new name, Schmicago!

Creators Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul raised the bar for season 2, Schmicago as they move forward to a new musical era with the darker, edgier themes of ’60s and ’70s musicals that, as Cecily Strong’s character Melissa points out, are darker, sexier, and more violent. And often don’t end happily.

Cecily Strong, one of our very own Chicago girls, is the star and producer of the hit series. Strong was raised in Oak Park. She lived in Chicago after graduating from CalArts and was hired for Saturday Night Live while doing improv at The Second City. She was a member of SNL cast from 2012 to 2022, holding the record as the longest-tenured female cast member in the show’s history. She has received back-to-back Emmy Award nominations in 2020-21 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Strong announced she was leaving SNL last December.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, season 1 of Schmigadoon is a loose parody of the 1947 musical Brigadoon. It follows a young couple, Melissa (Cecily Strong) and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) who have become disillusioned with their mundane life together. In an attempt to reconnect, they embark on a backpacking journey but get lost in the woods and find themselves crossing a bridge into the magical town of Schmigadoon (as it appears through the fog, like Brigadoon.) They soon learn they are trapped in a world of Golden Age-style musicals, and cannot escape until they find true love. After an entire season of making mistakes, the two find their way back to each other and are finally able to leave Schmigadoon. 

Season 2, Schmicago opens as the happy couple find their way out of Schmigadoon, followed by a montage of them getting married and making efforts to “live happily ever after,” but the couple soon finds themselves disillusioned once again with the monotony of their day to day lives. They attempt to return to Schmigadoon but instead arrive in the town of Schmicago, to find themselves trapped in another musical era, meeting the same people they saw in Schmigadoon, playing different roles.

The couple had to prove their true love to get out of Schmigadoon. They’ve got the love part down, but to get out of Schmicago, they need to write themselves a happy ending. They need to figure out what will make them happy in life, as each musical number seamlessly reflects how they are evolving.

Schmicago doesn’t just reference the musical Chicago, it also references Cabaret, Annie, Oliver!, Sweeney Todd, Sweet Charity, Company, Pippin, Godspell, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line, and more! Creator/composer Cinco Paul pushed the envelope ever further this season for this amazing cast of players to do what they do best. SING!

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite song parodies featured in season 2 Schmicago:

Welcome to Schmicago sung by Tituss Burgess, a parody of Magic to Do from Pippin, complete with Fosse-style choreography. (Episode 1: Welcome to Schmicago)

Do We Shock You? is a parody of Big Spender from Sweet Charity with choreography inspiration from Chicago’s Cell Block Tango. (Episode 1: Welcome to Schmicago)

Kaput sung by Dove Cameron, which is an obvious parody of the title song from Cabaret, with the choreography referencing Sally Bowles’ Mein Herr, which Cameron mentions in the lyrics. (Episode 1: Welcome to Schmicago)

I Need To Eat features Cecily Strong singing a direct parody from A Chorus Line’s opening number I Hope I Get It, while also making references to The Music and the Mirror and A Chorus Line’s Dance: 10, Looks: 3. (Episode 2: Doorway to Where)

Bustin’ Out performed by Dove Cameron, Cecily Strong, and Ariana DeBose, which parodies You Could Drive a Person Crazy from Company and also features musically references parts of the Chicago overture. (Episode 2: Doorway to Where)

The Worst Brats in Town very clearly references Worst Pies in London from Sweeney Todd. (Episode 3: Bells and Whistles)

Bells and Whistles, Jane Krakowski‘s Bobbie Flanagan is the show’s version of Chicago’s lawyer Billy Flynn, with her performing a take on his most famous numbers: Razzle Dazzle becoming Bells and Whistles (Episode 3: Bells and Whistles)

Talk to Daddy references The Rhythm Of Life and The Rich Man’s Frug from Sweet Charity; Telephone Hour from Bye Bye Birdie; with a touch of Godspell and Hair. (Episode 4: Something Real)

Good Enough to Eat sung by Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming which parodies Annie, Sweeney Todd, Bye Bye Birdie, and Oliver: (Episode 4: Something Real)

Maybe It’s My Turn Now sung by Cecily Strong is inspired by Maybe This Time from Cabaret. (Episode 5: Famous as Hell)

Famous as Hell sung by Tituss Burgess and cast references “Heaven on Their Minds” in a tribute to Jesus Christ Superstar (Episode 5: Famous as Hell)

Over and Done is Schmicago’s rendition of Dreamgirls’ And I Am Telling You. (Episode 6: Over and Done)

The second season of AppleTV+’s hit musical comedy includes new original musical numbers from co-creator, executive producer and showrunner Cinco Paul, as well as returning stars Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana DeBose, Martin Short, Dove Cameron, Jaime Camil, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Ann Harada, Jane Krakowski, and Aaron Tveit with Tituss Burgess and Patrick Page joining the cast for season two.

The entire first two seasons of Schmigadoon! are available for your viewing pleasure on Apple+. 

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