Thursday, December 30, 2010

Something Wicked Awesome… Breaks Box Office Records

Run Extended to January 30

With record-setting ticket sales, The Second City has extended the run of its smash-hit comedy revue, Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes... through the end of January on the Toronto mainstage.

When Something Wicked Awesome... opened in August, the production was hailed by critics as the "most keenly written and full-on funny effort in recent memory" (Sean Davidson, EYE Weekly); "the funniest in years" (Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine); and "the best since the halcyon shows of the '70s and '80s" (Robert Cushman, National Post).

Audiences have agreed, with weekly attendance at its highest level since The Second City moved into its current home at 51 Mercer Street. December ticket sales jumped by more than 40%, with capacity crowds filling the theatre at virtually every performance. The Second City's holiday matinees have proven equally successful – with sold out performances of the theatre’s irreverent adult fare, The Second City's Dysfunctional Holiday Revue, as well as its new family production, Miracle on Mercer Street, which the Toronto Star hailed as "a holiday delight."

After Something Wicked Awesome..., The Second City will open a new mainstage revue (as yet untitled) on March 8th, with previews beginning in early February. For 2012, The Second City will also launch its first ever subscription series, as well as weekly family programming beginning Family Day weekend (February 19 - 21).

Tickets and information for Something Wicked Awesome....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Celebrate New Year’s Eve @ The Second City!

Where are you celebrating? Please select a city in which you would like to see this show:

Runs December 31st at 7pm and 10pm

Runs December 31st at 7pm and 10pm

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Second City’s Miracle on Mercer St. is a Holiday Hit

The Second City continues to expand its family programming. Earlier this month, a brand new family holiday musical, Miracle on Mercer St., debuted on The Second City's Toronto stage.

Featuring The Second City's new puppet troupe and their funny human friends, Miracle on Mercer St. is a holiday treat for the whole family!

The Toronto Star raves that Miracle on Mercer St. is "the best holiday present of all... with a lot of laughter, a bit of warmth and a message you'd have to be the child of Scrooge and the Grinch to resist." The show has "talented young performers, a witty script written and directed with style by Reid Janisse and a truly tuneful score by Glenn James that will keep you humming after you leave the theatre." (See full review)

The Second City's Miracle on Mercer St. is being performing on the Toronto Mainstage at 1pm until January 2nd.

(No shows December 24, 25 or 31). Recommended for children aged 5+ and their families.

For tickets, call 416-343-0011 or order online.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beth Melewski Joins Cash Cab

The Discovery Network show that turns a New York City cab ride into an instant game show is launching a spinoff version based in Chicago next spring. Second City alum Beth Melewski will be behind the wheel. The Chicago shows will begin airing within the two-hour block of four "Cash Cab" episodes that Discovery airs from 5pm to 7pm Eastern time, probably after the broadcast networks end their season in May. For more info, visit NPR News.

Monday, December 20, 2010

An Improviser's Intro To Voiceover

We're thrilled to offer a new class in voiceover, specially designed for the unique world of improv.

This class is geared specifically to the trained improvisor and through an improv based approach to entering voiceover work for commercials (radio and TV), narration, and video games. The class will explore script analysis, microphone technique, improvisation in commercials, character creation, and a great deal of practical advice for the beginning or novice voiceover artist or actor interested in getting into voice work.

Visit our course catalog for details about An Improviser's Intro to Voiceover.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Comedy Desk: Casting Chicago’s "Seinfeld"

Click to enlarge the latest Second City Comedy Desk in the Chicago Tribune by Jeff Poole.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paul Dooley Stars in Short Film with Second City Grads

Earlier this month the very talented Paul Dooley starred in the short film "Walter", written and directed by Jonathan Browning.

Paul is a proud Second City Alum (1959, Compass Players) and Jonathan is a current employee at the Second City Hollywood. Paul has appeared in a number of iconic films including; Slap Shot, Breaking Away, Popeye, A Mighty Wind and many many more. The short also stars Leslie McManus & Joe Kaplan, both graduates of Chicago’s Second City Training Center. Jonathan & Leslie are Co-Founders of Screaming Frog Productions and their short films have screened in over 250 international film festivals and have been honored with over 30 awards.

Photography by Mara Casey

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pork & Porkopolis Extended Through January 16!

We’ve been extended! We’re excited to announce that our new show, “Pork & Porkopolis” at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has been extended through January 16. For more information to book your tickets, click here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Comedy Desk: Breaking Down the Tax Deal

Click to enlarge the latest Second City Comedy Desk in the Chicago Tribune by Seth Weitberg.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rebecca Northan’s Blind Date hits New York

Congratulations to Rebecca Northan, whose daring improv show, Blind Date, opened off-Broadway last week to rave reviews. Rebecca is an alumnus of The Second City's Toronto Mainstage, and first performed Blind Date at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre.

The show features Ms. Northan in clown nose and red dress as Mimi, a Parisian romantic waiting at a café. When her blind date fails to arrive, Mimi selects a new unsuspecting man from the audience each night to join her on stage, and be her date for the rest of the 90-minute show.

New York critics have called the show "a high-wire act of improvised theater" (New York Post) and "screamingly funny." (Theatremania).

Blind Date was brought to New York's Ars Nova Theatre by multiple Tony Award winning producer, Kevin McCollum (Rent, Avenue Q, The Drowsey Chaperone), and runs through December 20th.

For more information, visit

Letters to Santa – Performance Schedule Announced

We're gearing up for the annual Letters to Santa benefit beginning December 14 at 7:00pm through December 15 at 6:00pm in The Second City e.t.c. Listed below is the musical guest schedule:

8:00pm - Jeff Tweedy
10:30pm - Groupon’s founder Andrew Mason & Steve Albini
12:00am - JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
2:00am - Joan Of Arc
5:00am - Jeff Parker
7:30am - Sally Timms & Jon Langford
10:00am - Pro Wrestler Colt Cabana
1:00pm - Robbie Fulks
3:00pm - Bill "Sweet Pea" Callahan
5:00pm - The Blisters

Schedule is subject to change. Please stay tuned to Second City for updates!

Tickets will be available at the door only from 6:00pm on Tuesday December 14 throughout the event. Tickets are $15 (cash only) and are good for the entire 24 hour event as long as seats are available.

New Show at Woolly Mammoth Breaking Records

Our new show at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, A Girl’s Guide to Washington Politics, is breaking box office sales records in DC. According to TBDArts, Woollly Mammoth had the highest single ticket sales for a production before its first performance with 23% more in advance single ticket revenue than the previous record holder, the 2007 production of One Man Star Wars Trilogy. Check out the complete report.

Friday, December 10, 2010

12 Female Senators Attended Second City’s Opening Night @ Woolly Mammoth Theatre

On Thursday, December 9th 12 female senators attended the opening night performance of The Second City’s A Girl’s Guide to Washington Politics at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

The following Senators were in attendance:
Senator Claire McCaskill (D, Missouri)
Senator Olympia Snowe (R, Maine)
Senator Blanche Lincoln (D, Arkansas)
Senator Maria E. Cantwell (D, Washington)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, California)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D, Maryland)
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D, Michigan)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D, New Hampshire)
Senator Susan Collins (R, Maine)
Senator Kay Hagan (D, North Carolina)
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D, Minnesota)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, Alaska)

Following the success of Barack Stars: The Wrath of Rahm, Second City returns to Woolly for a riotous take on the most influential, powerful, and polarizing women in politics. A Girl’s Guide to Washington Politics runs through January 9, 2011; Tuesdays – Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 7pm & 10pm, Saturdays at 3pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm & 7pm.


A Girl’s Guide to Washington Politics runs December 8, 2010 – January 9, 2011; Tuesdays – Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 7pm & 10pm, Saturdays at 3pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm & 7pm. There are no performances on December 24th & 25th, and no performance on January 8th at 8pm. There will be a special New Years Eve performance on Friday, December 31st that will begin at 9:30pm.


Tickets for A Girl’s Guide to Washington Politics start at $30, and can be purchased through the Woolly Mammoth Box Office at 202-393-3939, online at, or in person at 641 D Street, NW (7th & D). For directions and parking information, please visit


Now in its 31st Season, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company continues to hold its place at the leading edge of American theatre. Acknowledged as “the hottest theatre company in town” (The Washington Post), “known for its productions of innovative new plays” (The New York Times), Woolly Mammoth is a national leader in the development of new plays, and one of the best known and most influential mid-sized theatres in America.

For more information, visit

Second City Comedy Desk With Seth Weitberg: "Insert Obama, and The Plot Thickens"

Click to enlarge the latest Second City Comedy Desk by Seth Weitberg in the Chicago Tribune

30 Rock’s John Lutz to lead workshops, Writer’s Salon

Training Center students will have the extraordinary opportunity to train and interact with writer/performer John Lutz. Lutz grew up in suburban Chicago and Detroit. He was hired at NBC's Saturday Night Live in February 2004 after spending three years touring with Second City. During that time, he also appeared in small roles on SNL. Lutz is currently playing the recurring role of sketch comedy writer J. D. Lutz on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock.

Lutz will be teaching two one-day writing workshops on January 12 & 13. He will share what he has learned over the years from his work on SNL and 30 Rock and give advice on how to brainstorm, pitch ideas, collaborate on projects and get over writer's block. The workshop is open to students who have completed Writing 3 or have been accepted into the Conservatory program.

Lutz will also be sharing his stories and experiences as part of our new Writer’s Salon series, a regular series of discussions with professional writers from the television, film and theater communities for Training Center students and their guests. John Lutz will be the special guest on Friday, January 14 at 5:30pm. Tickets are $20 per person and include wine and light appetizers.

To Sign Up for the Writing Workshop with John Lutz Click Here
To Sign Up for the Writer’s Salon with John Lutz Click Here

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Celebrate Second City’s Birthday!

From December 1 - 16, we're offering $16 tickets to celebrate our birthday! Guests can receive $16 tickets to performances of "Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies!" on Sunday - Thursday through December 16th, 2010. To reserve your tickets, order online or call our box office at 312-337-3992 with the code "BIRTHDAY." Offer good for orders of up to 4 tickets. Limited Availability - call today!

Second City Weekend Guide – Sunday Shopping Excursion – 12.12.10

On Sunday, grab your best friends and head out for unique shopping and help us celebrate our birthday.

Sunday, December 12th

2:00pm – Grab your favorite shopping partners and head over to Architectural Artifacts (4325 N. Ravenswood Ave) for their annual Holiday Show. Browse gifts made by more than 75 artists, including jewelry, ceramics, paintings, textile art, paper goods and more at the sixth annual holiday sale in the building's atrium.

5:00pm – Head north on Ravenswood and turn left on Montrose to head towards Beans & Bagels (1812 W. Montrose), a great neighborhood coffee shop, to relax for a bit with a delicious cup of coffee and one of their delicious sandwiches.

6:00pm – Walk next door to the CTA stop and catch the Brown Line towards the Loop. Exit at Sedgwick, walk north to North Ave, take a right and walk towards North & Wells. Second City is left on Wells St.

7:00pm – Celebrate our birthday with us! Tickets to "Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies" on our Mainstage are only $16. We're offering specially tickets to celebrate our anniversary on December 16th. Get into the spirit with one of our signature holiday cocktails.

To create a map for this trip, visit Google Maps. For more Chicago planning tips, you can check out our Plan Your Trip page. We look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dysfunctional Holiday Revues Receive Rave Reviews

The Second City's Dysfunctional Holiday Revue has received rave reviews! Albert Williams with the Chicago Reader gave it a Recommended rating calling it "hilarious" and says the cast has "crisp timing and first rate physical comedy skills." Read the full review on Chicago Reader.

Additionally, Allegra Gallian with the Chicago Theater Blog describes it as "witty and hilarious." Read her full review at Chicago Theatre Blog.

For Chicago performances at The Second City, click here for tickets.

For Arlington Heights performances at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center, click here for tickets.

Don’t Miss Second City @ Alliance Theater! Closes This Sunday!

If you’re in Atlanta, don't miss your opportunity to see The Second City: Miracle on 1280 Peachtree Street at the Alliance Theatre. The final performance is on Sunday, December 12. The show has been described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as "a triumph of ridiculousness... miracle leaves no stone unturned" and "uniformly hilarious" by

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit Alliance Theatre.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Get Out of the Travel Rut and Take a Trip to The Second City

Galavanting wrote a wonderful piece last week about taking a Second City Training Center Immersion trip. They recommend Second City immersions as a way to avoid the typical vacation and break the mold. Even if you're in the city, taking a few days off work to try something new is a great way to beat the winter blues. Read the full article on Galavanting.

Second City Training Center Offers New Improv For Actors Course In Term 1, 2011

The Second City Training Center Chicago is offering a condensed Improv For Actors course in Term 1, 2011! This program teaches trained actors the fundamentals of improvisation. Skills acquired in this class can be applied to scripted and non-scripted work. Complete Improv for Actors Levels 1 & 2 in just one term! This class meets twice a week to complete the full IFA program in one term.

$630/$570 early registration per level, 8 weeks, 6 hours

To register or for more information about the classes, click here

Friday, December 3, 2010

Letters to Santa Benefit Returns for Another 24 Hours

For the ninth year in a row The Second City has enlisted Chicago’s best improvisors and their musical counterparts in offering twenty-four consecutive hours of the best improvised live art you will see in the city. The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa 24 HOURS OF IMPROV AND MUSIC will begin on Tuesday, December 14th at 7:00p and conclude on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 in The Second City e.t.c. Theater (1608 N. Wells). This unique event raises money and gives hope to disenfranchised Chicago families on Christmas day.

Improvisational games, scenes and songs inspired by sleep deprivation will accompany performances by musical acts such as Jeff Tweedy, The Danielson Famile, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Robbie Fulks, Bill Callahan, and The Blisters.

    Raffle prizes will be available along with some of the most incredible auction items ever donated. Think-
  • Iggy Pop’s original lyric book

  • Two tickets to see SNL with a personal tour from Fred Armisen

  • A lifetime pass for two to live events at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall

  • A day in the studio with Steve Albini

  • A private concert by Jeff Tweedy in your home with 29 of your closest friends. Last year this auction item generated $23,000.

More performers will be added and set times will be available soon.

This event is open to all ages. Tickets will be available at the door only from 6pm on Tuesday December 14 throughout the event. Tickets are $15 (cash only) and are good for the entire 24 hour event as long as seats are available.


Letters will be provided by Jane Addams Hull House Association

Second City Featured in Washington Post – Opens New Show on Dec. 8!

We are excited to head back to the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC, with a new show, “A Girls’ Guide to Washington Politics” opening on December 8! This weekend, we’re featured in the Washington Post. To check out the interview, click here

For more information on the show and to purchase tickets, visit Woolly Mammoth Theatre’s site at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Youth Program Offers Winter Intensives

The Second City Training Center is happy to offer a winter intensive again this December for students ages 8-18. Come spend part of your holiday break at The Second City! Participating students can choose to learn new skills in Improv, Stand-Up, Clowning or Singprov and meet new friends while they’re at it. 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!

Two sessions are this holiday season: December 20-22 and December 27-29!

All classes at The Second City Training Center, Piper’s Alley 4th floor, 1608 N. Wells Street in Chicago. For more information check out:

Buy A Burrito Get One Free With Your Second City Ticket Stub Chipotle

Thanks to our friends at the Chipotle downstairs, now when you go into the Piper's Alley Chipotle with a Second City ticket stub and buy a burrito, you get one free until December 31!

We’ll Miss You, Perk

Alumni Lawrence Perkins has passed away at the age of 61. Lawrence Perkins, or “Perk” as he was known to many of us, was a Stage Manager for The Second City Mainstage in the late 70’s through the early ‘80s. We were lucky enough to spend time with him last December when he attended our 50th anniversary celebration in Chicago. He will definitely be missed. For details on his life, you can view his obituary here.

SC Alum Bob Odenkirk Performs To Sold Out Crowd In New Sketch Show At Second City - Hollywood

Bob Odenkirk (SC Alum, creator and star of HBO's Mr. Show) directed and starred in a new sketch comedy show, "Gentleman's Club," at the Second City - Hollywood Sunday night Nov 21. The sold-out audience included MAD TV star Ike Barinholtz, and Mr. Show and Arrested Development star David Cross.