Over a dinner of pasta and pollo Roma at a table covered with white butcher paper, Cady, serious now, asks John for advice on her fledgling acting career. He suggests that because of her Southern accent, she should employ a voice coach to broaden her range. "But," Cady points out, "Julia Roberts is a Southern girl with an accent, just like me, and she rose to the top quickly." John smiles at her youthful optimism. "Yes, but she doesn't just do Southern accents anymore." It's time for him to get over to the theater to prepare for the evening's show, so he excuses himself. But he has a surprise for Cady. "How about joining us for a small part in the second act?" Suddenly timid, Cady demurs, but we cajole her until she agrees.
The small, scuffed lobby of Second City is mobbed with people waiting to get into the theater, so John escorts us through a side door to the troupe's equivalent of a balcony seat -- a stool at the rail -- where we can catch the first act. Throughout the performance, Cady's presence creates a stir -- especially when one of the skits refers to her upcoming Playboy video and the audience realizes just who that great-looking woman seated at the railing is. For Cady, who is getting nervous about her stage debut, the lights rise for intermission all too soon and it's her turn to go backstage. Her scene opens with Rubano, Steven Carell and Ron West playing musicians panhandling at an airport. They vary their music to suit the foot traffic: "The Yellow Rose of Texas" for a burly fellow in a ten-gallon hat, "Pretty Woman" for a flight attendant in a hurry. Then Cady appears on the arm of Tim O'Malley; they mime an uptight couple studiously avoiding the musicians' entreaties. It's over all too soon -- literally a walk-on part. But Cady beams when she returns to her seat. "I've been in Chicago a few times, but before tonight I'd never gone out on the town. Now I've been on stage! My mom's gonna die when she hears."
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