Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tickets on Sale for Chicago Live!

Tickets are on sale now for Chicago Live! On October 14, 2010, the Chicago Tribune and WGN Radio, in partnership with The Second City, will premiere an exciting weekly performance called Chicago Live!, hosted by Rick Kogan. Chicago Live! will be performed at the Downstairs Chicago Theatre at 6:30pm Thursdays: October 14, 21, 28, November 4, 11, and 18, 2010.

Tickets for the Thursday evening events are $25 and available through Ticketmaster here or (800) 745-3000, and at the Chicago Theatre box office located at 175 N State St., Chicago, IL 60601.

Rebecca Sage Allen’s New National Mercury Insurance Commercial

Rebecca Sage Allen’s new spot entitled, "Peasant" for Mercury Auto Insurance, has her facing off against some pretty unruly characters. Rebecca is an alum of The Second City ETC stage in Chicago, has performed for Second City on two NCL ships and traveled the world (including a USO tour to Iraq) with Second City's Touring Company. She performs regularly at The Second City Hollywood with her two smash hits, "Catnip Presents" and "Miss Lady United States: An Improvised Beauty Pageant".

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Comic Corner: Life at AirTran after Southwest Takeover

Click here to view this Comic Corner

Alum Abby Sher Releases New Book

Alumni Abby Sher’s memoir Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl who Couldn’t Stop Praying will be released in paperback on Thursday, April 30th.

"Abby Sher has written a beautiful book. It's deeply personal and original, but deals with the big issues we all struggle with -- faith, family, food, and of course, Neil Diamond." -- A. J. JACOBS, author of The Guinea Pig Diaries and The Year of Living Biblically

Click here for details

Toronto: Alumnus Anand Rajaram’s New Sitcom!

Congratulations to recent alumnus Anand Rajaram! Anand is one of the leads on the new CBC series “Men With Brooms”, based on the film of the same name. It debuts October 4th at 8:30pm. You can check out a trailer for the show right here:

Term 5 is just around the Corner!

Early Registration for Term 5 begins this Friday October 1st. Save $20 off the registration fee and guarantee a spot in the class when you register before October 7th at 6pm. We have classes for all ages and levels of experience. Browse our course catalog, and register starting this Friday!

To see class times and details, visit our course catalog.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Comic Corner: Keeping Hate Alive

Click to enlarge

2 For 1 Tickets This Saturday for Eat, Pray, Lie!

Join the Outreach & Diversity cast in their new fall show, Eat, Pray, Lie! opening Saturday, October 2nd at 9PM in Donny's Skybox Theatre (1608 N. Wells 4th Floor) featuring Second City favorites and original scenes.

Mention "Outreach" and get two tickets for the price of one!

For tickets call (312) 337-3992‎

Read more about Second City's Outreach and Diversity.

Space Still Available!!! Long Form Improvisation Workshop with Susan Messing

Delve deeper into ensemble work and creating full-length improvised performance by working on advanced scenic skills, character development and teamwork. Over the course of four weeks, students will gain a deeper understanding of both their own improvisational style, working with an ensemble, and how to create a cohesive and entertaining long-form improv piece.

Four Weeks: Wednesdays 10am – 1pm beginning November 24th. $150.

To register call the Training Center at (312) 664-3959, or register online at Second City.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Diana Martinez Named President for The Second City, Int’l

The Second City is pleased to announce that Diana Martinez, has been named the President of Second City Intl. Her role will encompass overseeing operations in Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood. Martinez has been with the Second City for one year as the Chief Operating and Marketing Officer and demonstrated great leadership, marketing and business development skills which will prove to be a great asset to The Second City. She was a lead producer on the Second City’s 50th Anniversary.

Martinez states: “It is an honor to be a part of this relevant and legendary organization. I have been a fan of The Second City for years, the opportunity to lead in partnership with owner Andrew Alexander, and the rest of the executive team and talent at The Second City, is a dream come true.”

Ms. Martinez is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois, and a resident of Glen Ellyn. She was most recently the Executive Director of Paramount Arts Center and has served on the executive board of the League of Chicago Theatres for a number of years. Ms. Martinez has a unique blend of executive leadership and creative talent. She has helmed multimillion dollar construction projects and increased subscriptions, donors and sponsorships in addition to directing, writing and producing for a variety of theatrical productions in addition to country music star Kenny Rogers. Her awards include the "Influential Women in Business" Award in 2002, and "The Award for Business Excellence" in 2003, she was named "Today's Young Executive in 2003" by the Business Ledger, and awarded "The Hispanic Hero Award" in 2002 by the Chicago Fire.

Ms. Martinez will aide The Second City’s burgeoning training and theatrical divisions, as well as overall marketing and operational efforts for the company. With over 3000 students, The Second City Training Center has become the world’s largest improv-based Arts school. Second City Theatricals has produced a string of hit revues, including “Rod Blagojevich Superstar,” “Barack Stars” and the physical theatre production “Reverie” in association with the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Second City Proprietor and Executive Producer Andrew Alexander notes that “Diana has always impressed me as a first rate theatre executive as well as a very creative thinker. We’re proud to add her to our team.”

For more information, please contact

Check Out SNL Preview in TimeOut

Check out this week’s issue of Time Out Chicago featuring a preview of the new SNL season which premieres this Saturday starring four Chicagoans including alums Shelly Gossman and Tom Flanigan on the writing staff and Second City Touring Company alum Vanessa Bayer and Paul Brittain in the cast.

Click here to read the article

Second City Denver Gets Rave Review

"When it comes to comedy, The Second City is not hit or miss; it's a night on the town guaranteed to garner plenty of laughs." - Summit Daily

Read the full review at

Come see the final leg of our 50th Anniversary Tour.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finding The Perfect Tree

Click here to enlarge

Second City Partners with Chicago Tribune for New Show

On Oct. 14, the Chicago Tribune will premiere an exciting weekly event called Chicago Live!

In partnership with The Second City, Chicago Live! will tell Chicago's stories in innovative ways.

"For 163 years, the Chicago Tribune has portrayed the drama, conflict and joy of life in the Chicago region through our stories," said Tribune Editor Gerould Kern. "This show will tell these stories in new ways, capturing the experience of life in Chicago today. Just about anything on the Tribune's pages could make it to the stage in Chicago Live!"

"I'm delighted by the partnership with The Second City," Kern said. "The show is going to be lively, surprising and fun."

In the intimate Downstairs Theatre of The Chicago Theatre in the city's Loop, the public will be able to see and hear local and national celebrities and newsmakers in hard-hitting, provocative and surprising segments featuring some of Tribune's top personalities. There will be on-stage interviews, performances by the best of the arts and entertainment communities and topical sketch comedy by The Second City.

"We are very excited by this opportunity to be part of a bold and important new adventure," said Kelly Leonard, executive vice president of The Second City. "It is a collaboration of two great Chicago institutions, and we're approaching this as a thoroughly original and compelling way to tell the stories of our city."

Hosted by veteran Chicago reporter, author and radio/TV personality Rick Kogan, each 60-minute show will be followed by a reception where guests, performers and the audience members can mingle. The series of six Thursday evening events will also have a prominent presence in print, online, radio and television.

Each show will be recorded for broadcast on WGN-AM during the weekend.

"We're always looking for fascinating Chicago-focused stories to share with our listeners," said WGN Radio program director Kevin Metheny. "Broadcasting Chicago Live! on WGN Radio will be a great opportunity for captivating and engaging programming."

Tickets for the Thursday evening events will be $25, available starting Sept. 30 through, Ticketmaster, & The Chicago Theatre box office. The Chicago Theatre Downstairs is located at 175 N. State Street.

Updates about show development and guests, as well as opportunities for audience engagement, will be available soon through, Facebook and Twitter.

Chicago Live! is one part of a new initiative of community outreach, which also includes "Chicago Forward: Conversations About the Future," a series of live gatherings of policymakers exploring issues of great importance to the Chicago region; programs by columnists and personalities; literary events; and a series of classes and seminars titled "TribU: Lessons for Life."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chris Kattan at The Second City Hollywood!

Kevin & John Farley brought a few familiar faces to The Farley Brothers Radio Hour this week. The show, a live podcast held at the Second City Hollywood Theatre every Wednesday night at 8pm, is filled with some of Hollywood’s biggest comedic talent.

Chris Kattan, of SNL fame and numerous movie & television appearances, stopped by to play with Kevin & John. Derek Waters, the creator of "Drunk History" and winner of the Jury Prize Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, joined in the podcast as well. Rounding out the evening’s guest list was Nicky Whelan, who co-stars with Derek in the new film "Hall Pass" that is directed by the Farrelly Brothers.

The Farley Brothers Radio Hour is a brutally honest, wickedly funny, viewer-discretion-advised confab on all things Farley. Listen live as Kevin & John spin tales of sex, drugs, and comedy alongside their hilarious takes on life, love and family. This is a free show!

Read more about how Derek Waters’s Drunk History Wins at Sundance or his upcoming film Hall Pass

Comic Corner: Man Up And Make Up

Read Seth Weitberg's Comic Corner in The Chicago Tribune

Joshua Funk Appears in National Commercial with Golf Great Phil Mickelson!

Joshua Funk, the Artistic Director for The Second City Hollywood, has a new national commercial for Barclays currently running. This golf themed spot pairs Josh with professional golfer Phil Mickelson and was directed by Peter Farrelly, of the Farrelly Brothers fame. In this comedic piece, Joshua plays a frustrated golfer who takes out his frustration on his clubs.

Read more about Joshua Funk.

Read more about Phil Mickelson.

Read more about Peter Farrelly.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alum Tim O’Malley Hosts New Show at Beverly Arts Center – One Night Only!

Second City alum Tim O'Malley is hosting his second big show this year at the Beverly Arts Center on the south side.

Tim O'Malley's Super Fun Comedy Extravaganza will be presented for one night only on Friday, September 24th at 8:00pm starring Burning Desires ( O'Malley & Guest Stars Alum Michael J. Gellman and others), Sketch and Sniff ( Conservatory Level 5 Class), and stand-up sensation Beth Stelling (The Readers' Pick for Best Comedian 2010).

Tickets are only $18 and can be reserved at the, Beverly Arts Center website or through the Beverly Arts Center Box Office at 773-445-3838.

Sassy Gay Friend Live in Hollywood

The Second City’s internet phenom “Sassy Gay Friend,” created by and featuring Second City alumni and training center teacher Brian Gallivan, sells out live performances in our Hollywood theatre. Read a review of Brian's show at

Test your Sassy Gay Friend knowledge with our Sassy Gay Quiz.

Second City is Coming to Denver

The Second City is closing out its 50th Anniversary Tour on a Mile High note with a extended run at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Check out this preview in the Denver Post.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kick Off the Fall in Old Town

Kick off the Fall season this weekend at Old Town’s Wells St. Fall Festival! Check out this suggested itinerary for your weekend and click here for more info:

Saturday, September 11

12:00p – Get a late start and enjoy a lunch at one of Old Town’s great new restaurants, 33 Club (1419 N. Wells).

1:30-3:30p – Roam around the Wells St. Fall Festival and sample wine, check out the juried art showcase and enjoy live music from one of their three stages.

4:00p – Check out The Second City Touring Company’s new show, "Fair & Unbalanced".

6:00p - Top off your afternoon by heading back to the Wells St. Fall Festival, grab a pint of Blue Moon and enjoy more nonstop live music

Sunday, September 12

3:00p – Take in the sights and smells of Fall at the Wells St. Fall Festival. Enjoy amazing wine samples, sample some of the local cuisine and listen to more great music.

5:00p – Treat yourself to an incredible meal at Perennial, one of the best new restaurants in Chicago.

7:00p – Relax and enjoy Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies, the newest show on our mainstage – the perfect way to get ready for a new week and a new season!

The Second City Hollywood Grand Re-Opening and Open House

The Second City Hollywood is proud to announce a grand re-opening and open house celebration, Saturday, October 2, 2010 in honor of their newly renovated facilities on Hollywood Boulevard. The training center has recently added classrooms as well as a first floor student lounge and box office.

The Hollywood school of improvisation, acting, and sketch comedy has expanded to accommodate their growing classes in writing, video, music, advanced studies, teen and youth workshops as well as classes for non-actors wishing to improve their communication skills, meet new people or simply enrich their lives. The Hollywood Training Center is the only school with a roster full of teachers who are Second City resident company alums.

The Hollywood location also houses The Second City’s New Media division, responsible for Their comic videos, featuring Second City Alumni, have reached up to 12.8 million upload views in their first 6 months and have been featured on Comedy Central, MSNBC, CNN and The Huffington Post. They are also the home for internet sensation "Sassy Gay Friend," a sassy time traveler who visits famous women in history and gives them advice that only a gay man can.
The grand re-opening will feature a family open house from noon to 2:00 p.m. with snacks, videos, and drop in workshops, followed by a performance of The Really Awesome Improv Show. The evening festivities will feature cocktails and appetizers along with screenings and film makers from The Second City Network, drop in workshops, alumni performances and celebrity appearances.

To help celebrate the grand re-opening Kevin and John Farley have called on their friends Norm MacDonald, David Spade, Horatio Sanz and David Zucker to perform with them in a tribute performance benefiting the Chris Farley House.
All are welcome to attend this great event; join a drop in class, watch a show, or just raise a glass and celebrate. For tickets to the performances or to RSVP to this great event, please call, 323-464-8542 or go to

12-3pm Family Hours: Snacks and refreshments, videos, prizes and a special performance of The Really Awesome Improv Show at 2pm (tix for the show $10)

6-10pm- VIP cocktail hour Open House with celebrities, agents and press

6-10pm – Screenings of the Best of the Second City Network

7:00-8:30pm Farley Bros Radio Hour- $50 Starring: John Farley, Kevin Farley, Norm McDonald and David Spade.

8:30-9:30pm Off the Wall - $25 Starring: Joel Murray, Fred Willard, Tim Meadows

9:30-10:30pm 313- $25 Starring: Keegan-Michael Key (Mad TV) and Larry Joe Campbell (According to Jim)



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Alum Jon Glaser Chats with Jimmy Fallon about New Show

Alum Jon Glaser visited Jimmy Fallon to talk about the new season of his show, Delocated, on Adult Swim on Sunday nights at 10:00p.

Click here to see a clip from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on

Comic Corner: America's 5 Most Insensitive Buildings

Comic Corner: America's 5 Most Insensitive Buildings

Click here to enlarge.

This piece was created by Seth Weitberg for The Second City’s Comic Corner in the Chicago Tribune.

Improv Classes Still Available For This Term

If you missed out on registering for an improv class for the current term, it’s not too late! Two sections of Improv Level A and one section of Improv for Actors Level 1 will start on the week beginning September 27. These classes will meet twice a week over four weeks.

To register, call the Chicago Training Center at 312-664-3959. For more information, visit our website at

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It’s Official – Second City Cast Members Join SNL

The Second City is proud to announce that Second City cast members, Shelly Gossman & Tom Flanigan, have been invited to join the writing staff and Touring Company ensemble members Vanessa Bayer and Paul Brittain have been invited to join the cast for the 36th season of Saturday Night Live on NBC. Producers and writers from Saturday Night Live visited The Second City last month to scout for new talent.

Andrew Alexander, CEO/Executive Producer for The Second City, said, "They are all consummate Second City performers - smart, funny and always ready to say yes...they will be missed at Second City."

Shelly Gossman attended St. Olaf College and The National Theatre Institute before moving to Chicago to study improvisation. During her early years in Chicago, she studied improvisation at The Second City Training Center and eventually became a teacher for The Second City Training Center’s Improv Program. She performed extensively with The Second City Touring Company and wrote her first resident revue at The Second City Las Vegas. Additionally, she has been a volunteer and member for Gilda’s Club Chicago. She has co-written and appeared in four Mainstage revues at The Second City including No Country for Old White Men, America: All Better! and The Second City’s 50th anniversary revue, Taming of the Flu. Most recently, she co-wrote and performed in The Second City’s newest show, Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies.

Tom Flanigan moved to Chicago after earning a biomedical engineering degree at the University of Iowa. While studying and performing improvisation, he was also a co-founder of the science-minded sketch group, Galileo Players. After traveling around the world with The Second City Touring Company, Tom was hired as a cast member of The Second City e.t.c. He has co-written and performed four revues on the e.t.c. stage including Campaign Supernova, Brother, Can Your Spare Some Change?, the Jeff Award Winning Studs Terkel’s Not Working and the current hit revue, The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life.

Vanessa Bayer was most recently seen in The Second City’s productions of Jewsical and Girls Night Out as well as performing in a variety of roles as understudy for The Second City Touring Company and The Second City Mainstage. Additionally, Vanessa is a graduate of The Second City Training Center Conservatory Program.

Paul Brittain had recently joined the talent ranks at The Second City appearing with The Second City Theatricals production of El Show Mas Funny.

Shelly, Tom, Vanessa and Paul join a long list of fellow alums that have been a part of Saturday Night Live including Dan Aykroyd, Peter Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, John Belushi, Cindy Caponera, Stephen Colbert, Brian Doyle-Murray, Rachel Dratch, Robin Duke, Ali Farahnakian, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Tom Gianas, Mary Gross, Tim Kazurinsky, Joe Kelly, David Koechner, Michael McCarthy, Adam McKay, Tim Meadows, Jerry Minor, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Michael Patrick O’Brien, Bob Odenkirk, Gilda Radner, Tony Rosato, Horatio Sanz, Martin Short, Jason Sudeikis, Rich Talarico and Nancy Walls.

Youth Program Fall Classes begin this week!

There are still a few spots in our fall classes so don’t miss out. Students ages 2-18 can choose from a wide range of classes including improv, stand up, sketch or one of our new our new classes like Singprov or Acting for ages 13-14. Classes start September 11th and run for 12 weeks through December 5th with a student demonstration on the final day.

Each class has students on their feet participating in exercises that develop stage presence, creativity, communication skills, patience, self-confidence and most importantly - are fun!

All classes at The Second City Training Center, Piper’s Alley 4th floor, 1608 N. Wells Street in Chicago.

For more information check out:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Alums Fred Kaz and Jane Morris – 2 Nights Only in Chicago!

Second City alums Fred Kaz and Jane Morris will perform All These Are True, but Some of Them Didn’t Happen for two nights only at the Annoyance Theater on Saturday, September 11th and 18th at 10:00pm. Directed by Jeff Michalski, performances by Jane Morris are tied together by the music and storytelling of Fred Kaz. For two nights only, long-time veterans of the Second City, Jane Morris and Fred Kaz deliver a show worth coming out of the woodwork for. To purchase tickets and for additional show information, please visit

Thursday, September 2, 2010

EYE Weekly says "Awesome is awesome"

This week marked the opening of a new Second City show on the Toronto mainstage: Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes... EYE Weekly endorses the awesomeness:

"As spontaneous as it is daring, the new revue is the mainstage cast's most keenly written and full-on funny effort in recent memory."

Read the full review at Eye Weekly.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

• The Second City Training Centre Open House October 16th

The Second City Toronto is pleased to announce that it will host an Open House Celebration on Saturday October 16th in honour of the expansion of its Training Centre facilities.

The Open House will feature family programming from 1-4pm with snacks drop in workshops, puppet shows, face painting and a special performance by The Second City’s Education cast "My Homeroom Teacher's a Vampire!" There is fun for the whole family - and it's all Free!

For more information or to reserve a seat to one of the shows please call 416.340.7270 or e-mail