Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Toronto’s Newest Show "Second City for Mayor" Opens to Rave Reviews

Second City Toronto's newest revue Second City For Mayor opened last week, and audiences and critics have been raving. Richard Ouzounian of The Toronto Star gives us 4 Stars (out of 4) and calls the show "Smart, sassy, sexy and spectacularly funny". To read the full glowing review, click here.

To purchase tickets to the Toronto show, go to online box office or call our main box office at 416-343-0011.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Give us your blood!

Actually, we'd prefer that you donate it to a Chicago-area LifeSource Blood Center. You'll save lives and be entered to win a $100 Gift Certificate to The Second City in Chicago. Find a list of LifeSource locations at

More glowing reviews for SC in the OC

The Orange County Register is the latest newspaper to give a rave review for "Can You Be More Pacific?", the Orange County-themed revue that Second City created for the Laguna Playhouse. The show runs until April 11th.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sign up now for Level A Intensive!

Level A is the introduction to our 5 level improv program. Learn basic scene terminology, and the communication and listening skills that will get you ready for Levels B-E. Complete the course over two weekends!

All Adult Intensives are $ 255.00+GST unless otherwise posted

Apr 23 - May 2 Fri.6-9pm, Sat. 2-6pm, Sun. 3-6pm
Register NOW!

They're BA-CK! Yesterday's News in the Media Formerly Known as Prints, the Remount.

April 1st 11pm
The Second City Mainstage, 51 Mercer st.

Did you somehow miss the last conservatory grad show? Well you're in luck! It's back by popular demand in an encore, no-holds-barred spectacular! That's right, the only thing that tops sleeping in on Good Friday is the not-to-be-missed show / party combo on Better Thursday. And the best part? It'll only cost you $5 cash (at the door)! One night only!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Second City alum Keegan Michael Key on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me this Saturday!

Second City alum Keegan Michael joins the panel for this week's broadcast of NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me with Peter Sagel and Carl Kassell. Wait Wait Don't Tell Me airs on Saturday at 1:00p Eastern/12:00p Central on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Second City for Mayor Receives 4 stars from Toronto Star!

Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star gives the new Second City Toronto Performance 4 stars (out of 4). Check out his review below and check out the groundbreaking show in Toronto.

Second City for Mayor: Seriously Funny

By Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

Tough times produce terrific comedy, so you won't mind the messy shape our city is in these days if it creates a revue as smart, sassy, sexy and spectacularly funny as Second City for Mayor, which opened on Tuesday night.

This is a totally now kind of production, with director Melody A. Johnson deserving three cheers for looking at the whole notion of a Second City show in a bold new light.

She's encouraged set designer Camellia Koo to throw out the venerable wall of doors and give us a giant open fire escape, which Johnson uses for some wonderfully inventive staging, ending each scene with a striking tableau.

It also allows Steve Del Balso to splash the stage with an absolute acid-trip of primary colours.
Musical director Matthew Reid has never come up with more consistently brilliant accompaniment to the action and the whole thing clicks together with the brilliance of a well-conceived piece of theatre.

Yes, it's incredibly funny, but it's also very serious underneath, revealing an urban landscape filled with tension, insecurity and anger.

Things begin in a taxicab, where a Pakistani passenger condescends to a WASP cabbie, flinging every racist cliché on its ear, before he finally tells the driver, "You people always smell like grilled cheese!"

Political satire doesn't get much sharper than one sequence where a superhero called The Blue Falcon (bearing an amazing resemblance in Adam Cawley's sly performance to a certain TTC honcho also named Adam) is brought down by his sexual misdeeds.

Reid Janisse shines in a variety of sketches especially when improvising verses of a protest folk song called "It Could Be Worse," where audience members shout out countries more badly off than Canada. Anyone who can rhyme Lichtenstein like Janisse did is a saint.

Rob Baker is beautifully belligerent as an obsequious politician, Kris Siddiqi has a wonderfully innocent air throughout especially when he's trapped in an SM Gym called Extreme Fitness, Dale Boyer scores with her sardonic portrayal of a Cassandra-like seer ("You drive a Toyota and you will die") and Caitlin Howden convulses with her ditzy portrait of a woman devoted to her hands ("They are like the Swiss Army Knife of the body").

And believe it or not, there's also an amazing sequence where a Muslim donut-shop owner meets the man who tortured him at Guantanamo, providing laughs, chills and moral outrage all at once.

But all of Second City For Mayor is like that. No matter who wins the election, it's the victor on the comedy scene.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Second City Itineraries: Spring Fever in Chicago

The worst of winter is behind us, right? Get out there and enjoy the sunny (but still brisk) weather.

Recommendation: Parties of 2 or more on Saturday afternoon

1:00p: Head over to the Modern Wing @ the Art Institute to enjoy their incredible collection as well as their amazing views of Millennium Park.

4:00p: Enjoy The Second City's 50th Anniversary Tour @ The Second City Mainstage

6:30p: You deserve a Margarita. Get the best from Adobo Grill, located right next door to The Second City on Wells St.

The Second City show at Laguna Playhouse opens to rave reviews

Second City's send up of all things Orange County, "Can You Be More Pacific," has gotten a host of great reviews. The show runs through April 11 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, CA.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Short Film Success for Second City Employee Jonathan Browning

Jonathan Browning, an Administrative Assistant at The Second City Hollywood, has found big success with short films. This week The Festival International des Tres Courts announced its official selections for the 2010 festival in Paris, France. Two of the shorts that will be screening were written & directed by Jonathan. Going Green is a short film with an ecological twist and The Sale is a satirical look at the busted housing market in the United States.

Jonathan will be attending the festival in Paris at The Forum des Images. What makes this festival unique is the way it shares the short films with such a wide and varied audience. The festival screens the shorts at over 80 cities in three days. Cities that will participate in the festival are located in - France, Martinique, New Caledonia, Belgium, Brazil, Guinea, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mali, Morocco, Moldova, Romania, Singapore, Serbia, Switzerland, Palestinian Territories, and the United Kingdom. So these two shorts will literally be seen around the world.

Jonathan has been making short films since his first endeavor, The Job premiered at SXSW in 2007. That short film has screened at over 200 International Film Festivals, has been honored with 28 Festival Awards and has received over a million hits on YouTube. You can see the short on YouTube.

Jonathan is thrilled to have had the opportunity to crisscross the United States going to film festivals and has traveled with his shorts to Paris & La Ciotat (France), Seoul (South Korea), Sydney (Australia) and Palermo (Italy). In addition to going back to Paris with his two short films in May, he will be heading to Tokyo for the Japanese premiere of Going Green in June. The prestigious, Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia, selected only 90 films out of over 3,000 international submissions.

All of Jonathan's shorts take a comedic look at a political or social issue. They are also all shot under his production company, Screaming Frog Productions. Screaming Frog was co-founded with the funny & beautiful Second City Training Center graduate and Chicago Native, Leslie McManus. Jonathan is proud to cast his friends, several Second City graduates and some of Chicago's best improvisers, in each short film. He surrounds himself with passionate people that he respects and adores and does exactly what he loves. Luckily, he has found some success in that equation.

Jonathan Browning's website is

Free workshops for students ages 9-18 on April 10th.

Come try one of our new classes for free! On April 10th the Chicago Training Center will offer three free workshops for students, including: Clowning & Physical Theatre, Stand-Up, and Singprov. Each workshop has students on their feet participating in exercises that develop stage presence, creativity, communication skills, patience, self-confidence and most importantly - are fun and free!

Workshop Schedule:

Clowing & Physical Theatre (ages 9-12) 4:30pm-5:30pm
Stand Up (ages 13-14) 4:00pm-6:00pm
Singprov (ages 15-18) 4:00pm-6:00pm

After the workshops, all students are invited to participate in our weekly teen jam in the deMaat Theater from 6:10 - 6:50pm. To reserve your spot, call the training center at 312-664-3959. Space is limited so don’t miss out!

The Hollywood Training Center welcomes John and Kevin Farley to our faculty!

The Second City Training Center in Hollywood is thrilled to have John and Kevin Farley join our school. John, an alum of the Second City's Detroit stage, will be leading the Training Center's Wednesday night “Grad Group,” and Kevin will be teaching advanced Long Form. Please join us in welcoming John and Kevin to our faculty.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Win a Scholarship to The Second City Training Center!

This is no laughing matter.

PUMA and The Second City's Outreach and Diversity Program are seeking diverse actors: Apply for The 2010 PUMA "LOL" Scholarship and receive one year of improv training with The Second City. Hurry, as time to apply is running out! For Scholarship eligibility and application, please visit


Second City Theatricals is proud to announce the extension of Rush Limbaugh! The Musical at The Second City e.t.c. (1608 North Wells in Piper’s Alley, Chicago, IL) with 2:00pm matinee performances through Sunday, May 9, 2010.

Rush Limbaugh! The Musical has received rave reviews from critics and fans alike including:

  • "A great antidote to the news and certainly a lot funnier"

    Marilyn Soltis, Huffington Post
  • "balancing outrageous whimsy with harsh truth"

    Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader
  • "a screaming hate fest"

    Betty Mohr, Southtown Star
  • "tried and true liberal joyride!"

    Jason Heidemann, Time Out
  • "Vicious satire with real teeth...primal scream therapy for liberals"

    Zev Valancy, Centerstage

Tickets for Rush Limbaugh! The Musical are $25.00 and can be reserved by phone at 312.337.3992 or at Premium seats are available - please inquire at the box office. Performances are scheduled for Sundays at 2:00pm through May 9th.

The Candy Box Crunch!

It’s the newest improv tournament to hit the circuit! Teams of 3 have 9 minutes to impress the audience and the special guest judges to move on to the next round in hopes of taking home the coveted Captain Crunch Trophy! Improvisers are encouraged to make teams with people they haven’t played with before. It’s all dedicated to the space that gives alumni, faculty, students and members of our extended Second City family the opportunity nightly to create, experiment, and explore new voices and theatrical formats.

Candy Box Crunch
March 24, 31, April 7 @ 9pm
Finals: April 14 @ 9pm
John Candy Box Theatre, PWYC

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Beer, Corned Beef & Blarney: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day @ The Second City Chicago!

Get your Irish up and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day @ The Second City Chicago on Wednesday, March 17th! In honor of this sacred Chicago Holiday, tickets are only $17 for “Taming of the O’Flu” on the Mainstage or “Rush O’Limbaugh! The Musical” on the e.t.c.

Enjoy drink specials on Pitchers of Green Beer, Guinness, Irish Coffee, Jamison and Corned Beef Sandwiches.

Grab a cab, take the train (Brown Line: Sedgwick) or hop on the bus (#22, #36, #151, #156).

To book your tickets, visit our box office at

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Second City Loco Opens in Miami

The Second City Loco presents "El Show Mas Funny" at The Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami on Thursday, March 11, with performances running through Sunday, March 28. Created for the company's Miami debut, the newest show from Chicago's acclaimed Second City mines comedic gold from the clash of cultures at the heart of all great American cities. Oh, and the show’s in Spanglish, in the tradition of "Que Pasa USA.

To book your tickets and for more information, visit The Adrienne Arsht website.

The Second City Toronto Thanks Everyone Who Participated in Second Harvest’s Lunch Money Day

On February 25th 2010, The Second City teamed up with Second Harvest for Lunch Money day. Second City staff, students and performers filled Dundas and St. Andrews station during the morning and evening rush, chatting with commuters and collecting donations. We are pleased to announce that Second Harvest raised $43,271.52 which is over $4000 more than last year!

Thanks to everyone who volunteered and donated!

For more information on Second Harvest and how you can donate, check out their website at

Take the full IFA program in one term this summer!

Students who are interested in taking the Improv for Actors (IFA) program can take the full program in one term this summer. Improv for Actors is a condensed version of our popular Improvisation program designed specifically for students who have completed a degree program in Theatre. Completion of the IFA program also fulfills eligibility requirements to audition for the Conservatory and Music Improv programs.

The Summer Full IFA will meet twice weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays during Term 4 2010, running from June 28 through August 18. The Full IFA course costs $495. Students must be approved to enroll in IFA, so any interested students can send their theater resume to Audrey Flegel at To register, call the Chicago Training Center at 312-664-3959. For more information, visit our website at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Get Outta Town! Check out The Second City Touring Company in Aurora, IL

Make it a night and get outta town! Check out The Second City Touring Company's 50th Anniversary Tour at the Paramount Theater in Aurora, IL on Saturday, March 27, at 8:00pm. Tickets are only $25 for the show and overnight packages are available at the Baymont Inn & Suites including dinner at Walter Peyton's Roundhouse. For more information on the show, visit to book your tickets today!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Toronto Parents – Let The Second City Entertain Your Family This March Break

If you are looking for something to do with your children in Toronto this March Break, join us for the return of Big Bad Wolf Vs. Lord Underwearface Von Schtinker! Back by popular demand, this hilarious musical romp takes a new look at a children’s classic. This interactive show is sure to dazzle children and the sly jokes will keep the parents chuckling too!

Come see what all the fuss is about!

Show Dates: Tues Mar 16th to Sat Mar 20th at NOON at our Toronto theatre.
Tickets are $12 each or $40 for a Family 4 Pack!

To purchase tickets go to or contact our box office at 416-343-0011.

Second City Itineraries

Morale Boosting Staff Party
Recommendation: Parties of 15+

Your staff has been working hard and they deserve a break. Don’t bore them with a stuffy dinner – get out, eat up and have fun!

5:30p: Cocktails & appetizers @ Club 33 (1419 N Wells) – Enjoy an Old-fashioned Sidecar and Bacon Popcorn to get the night started.

6:30p: Fireplace Inn (1448 N. Wells) Take your group for a quick trek down Wells St. for mouth-watering BBQ Baby Back Ribs and enjoy a nice relaxed dinner on their all-season patio.

8:00p: Check out the hilarious new show “Taming of the Flu” on The Second City Mainstage (The Second City Theater – 1616 N. Wells)

We can help you with your reservations! To book your dinner and show reservations, contact Anna Feneis at 312-664-4032.

We’ll see you soon!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Congratulations to Harold Ramis!

Second City alum Harold Ramis, along with Ernie Banks and Lee Flaherty, will be honored at the 5th annual Legendary Landmarks Gala on Saturday, March 6 at the Palmer House Hilton (17 E. Monroe). The Legendary Landmarks Gala honors those who have made significant contributions to the civic and cultural life of Chicago and Illinois. Proceeds from this event benefit Landmarks Illinois, the state’s leading voice for historic preservation dedicated to protecting historically significant sites, structures and districts. For more information, visit

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tour Co Alum Tom Purcell named Exec Producer for Colbert Report.

Congrats to Second City Touring Company alum Tom Purcell who was recently promoted to Executive Producer for “The Colbert Report.” Purcell was recently seen at Second City’s 50th Anniversary weekend appearing in a “Colbert Report” panel with fellow alumni who work on the show. Check it out at Hollywood Reporter.

Monday, March 1, 2010

We heart Jeff Garlin

Thank you Onion AV Club for this great interview with Jeff Garlin. You can also check out Jeff's new book, "My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World" @