Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Second City Weekend Guide – St. Patrick's Day Kickoff – 2/27/11

It's almost time for one of Chicago's favorite holidays – St. Patrick's Day! Start counting down with an afternoon event at Navy Pier and then specially-priced tickets to The Second City.

Sunday, February 27th

12:00-5:00pm – Chicago is famous for its ethnic neighborhoods – and Navy Pier is proud to honor these communities with this first-ever performance series. Today, celebrate Beverly and Mount Greenwood with a Kick-Off to St. Patrick's Day featuring performances by Trinity Irish Dancers, Joe Cullen, Irish Music School of Chicago and Anish. Festivities are held in Navy Pier's Crystal Gardens. For more information, click here.

5:00pm – Make your way towards Old Town and grab a quick bite at Corcoran's Grill & Pub located across the street from The Second City. Grab a pint of Guinness and enjoy a plate of Fish & Chips before the show. For more info, click here.

7:00pm – Join us for "Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies" in our Mainstage Theatre (1616 N. Wells St) and take advantage of our Countdown to St. Patrick’s Day ticket offer. Tickets are only $17 (good for 2/27; offer also available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through March 17, 2011) when you use the code "Countdown" in person, over the phone, or online.

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

Second City Nominated in INNY Improvisation Awards

Thank you to everyone who nominated Second City for the INNY awards as Best Training Center. Check out the full list of awards. You may recognize some familiar names, like Josh Funk for Best Improv Instructor, and FrankenMatt for Best Improv Duo.

INNY Award Nominees

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicago Live! Sold Out

Chicago Live! is sold out this week! Which means it's a great time to book your tickets for the show on March 3 featuring:

  • Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing and former White House social secretary
  • Rob Stone, blues musician
  • Kevin Coval and Louder Than A Bomb high school slam poetry competition finalists
  • Marc Smith, creator of the poetry slam
  • Comedy from The Second City

Chicago Live! is recorded in front of a live studio audience at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Chicago Theatre's Downstairs Stage. After each show, the audience is invited to a 30-minute reception with the cast, crew and guests.

Tickets for the show are $20.
- Purchase online through
- Purchase on the phone through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
- Purchase in person at the Chicago Theatre box office:

The Chicago Theatre (map)
175 N State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Wheelchair seats, companion seats, aisle seats and Assistive Listening Devices are available. For more information, call 312-462-6301.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Second City & Levity Entertainment Partner to Open New Stand-Up & Comedy Cabaret Theatre

Andrew Alexander, CEO/Executive Producer of the legendary Second City has partnered with Robert Hartmann, CEO of Levity Entertainment, to create Chicago's newest Stand-Up and Comedy Cabaret theatre located in Piper's Alley. The new theatre is scheduled to open October 1st, 2011.

The theatre will be located in the former Tony & Tina's Wedding space in Piper's Alley which also houses The Second City e.t.c. Theatre and The Second City Training Center campus. Designed by Ryan Nestor of Barker & Nestor, the new space will be a 280-seat classic cabaret-style theatre featuring a bar and restaurant component. President of Second City, Diana Martinez and Vice President Kelly Leonard are working on programming and operations which will include headline comedians, performances of Second City theatrical productions, alumni shows, and improv shows.

"With the addition of this theatre, we are truly turning Piper's Alley into an exciting Entertainment destination. This club will be a great home for stand-up, sketch artists and alternative comedy. With its retro nightclub feel, this space will evoke the memories of the days of Mr. Kelly's and the Gaslight Club," said Andrew Alexander, CEO/Executive Producer of The Second City.

Robert Hartmann, CEO of Levity Entertainment, adds, "We've been very successful in live stand-up throughout the country and now with Second City, the definitive brand in sketch comedy, we believe our new partnership can take live comedy to the next level by creating a new, broader experience for the consumer."

Levity Entertainment Group is best known for The Improv, licensed owner-operator comedy clubs, operating the largest retail comedy footprint in the country and producers of prime time comedy specials and DVDs. In 2009, Levity Entertainment Group signed a multiplatform output deal with Comedy Central. Levity will produce a dozen stand-up specials for Comedy Central, with six of them coming from comedians Christopher Titus, Gabriel Iglesias, Pablo Francisco, Jim Breuer, Mitch Fatel and Pete Correale.

The Second City is best known for its resident stages in Chicago and Toronto, as well as producing the award-winning television series SCTV and training generations of North America's most beloved comedic talent from Alan Arkin, Gilda Radner and John Belushi to Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. Additionally, The Second City runs the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the nation with over 15,000 students enrolled annually that teaches improvisation, acting, writing, and other skills in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy President's Day!

In honor of President’s Day on Monday, February 21, enjoy this classic song featuring Chris Farley, Bob Odenkirk, Tim O’Malley and Dave Pasquesi from Flag Smoking Permitted in the Lobby Only.

Added Shows for President's Day Weekend!

Happy President's Day Weekend! Due to popular demand, we've added a 3:00pm matinee of The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life and a 10:00pm performance of Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies on Sunday, February 20. Tickets are going quickly, so make your reservations now!

Second Saturdays @ The Montrose Room

Beginning April 9, The Second City Touring Company will celebrate Second Saturdays at The Montrose Room. The Montrose Room is located at the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare in Rosemont and was named by Time Out Chicago as one of the suburbs Top 5 Bars! For more information on The Montrose Room and to book your tickets for Second Saturdays, click here.

FrankenMatt (Frank Caeti & Matthew Craig) to Perform at the Seattle Festival of Improv

A handful of Improv Troupes have been asked to perform at the prestigious Seattle Festival of Improv that runs February 16th – 20th. The Second City Hollywood's very own FrankenMatt will be one of these renowned groups. This two-man improv & sketch troupe, comprised of Frank Caeti and Mathew Craig, has received rave reviews for performances at festivals & theatres all over the United States.

In addition to their shows, Frank & Matthew have been asked to hold improv workshops as part of the festival.

The Seattle Festival of Improv is just one in a long line of festivals that have featured FrankenMatt. Other festivals include the Chicago Improv Festival, Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, Twin Cities Improv Festival, Seattle Festival of Improvisation, Piccolo Spoleto Festival and the Out of Bounds Festival.

To find out show times, get workshop information & to get tickets, check out Seatle Festival of Improvisation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Second City Network's "The Announcement" to Screen at South By Southwest

The SXSW® Film Conference and Festival is a uniquely creative environment featuring the dynamic convergence of talent, smart audiences and industry heavyweights. A hotbed of discovery and interactivity, the event offers invaluable networking opportunities and immersion into the art and business of the rapidly evolving world of independent film.

The Announcement stars Second City Alumni: Rebecca Sage Allen, Megan Grano, Molly Erdman, Bridget Kloss, Katie Nahnsen & Amanda Tate. (AKA, the ladies of Catnip.) It was directed by Joshua Funk, produced by Mark Kienlen and was crewed by Meghan O'Brien.

Monday, February 14, 2011

We’re back with Chicago Live! - This Thursday

Join us on Thurs, Feb 17 at 6:30p at The Chicago Theater Downstairs Stage for another great night of Chicago Live!

Guests this week include:

  • Michael Patrick Thornton, Artistic Director of The Gift Theatre, appears on ABC's Private Practice and in The Dilemma
  • Kevin Mize, Chairman of the 2011 Chicago Auto Show
  • Tammy McCann, jazz singer (performance and Howard Reich interview)
  • Karen Abbott, author of American Rose A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee (Rick Kogan interview)
  • Michelle L'amour, burlesque dancer
  • Comedy from The Second City

Tickets for the show are $20.

- Purchase online through
- Purchase on the phone through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
- Purchase in person at the Chicago Theatre box office:

The Chicago Theatre (map)
175 N State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Cash Cab Chicago Debuts Tonight!

Cash Cab Chicago debuts on the Discovery Channel tonight at 5:30pm Central featuring Beth Melewski. Beth Melewski is a Second City alum and will return to The Second City e.t.c.'s The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life on Thursday, February 17.

Tickets for The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life are available online or by phone at 312-337-3992.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Second City! Enjoy this archive scene featuring alums Ithamar Enriquez and Amber Ruffin from Between Barack and A Hard Place


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chicago Live! Begins Tonight!

We begin our second season with Chicago Live! tonight at 6:30pm at the Chicago Theatre Downstairs Stage. Here's the incredible line-up of guests for tonight’s show:

Chicago Live! is recorded in front of a live studio audience at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Chicago Theatre's Downstairs Stage. After each show, the audience is invited to a 30-minute reception with the cast, crew and guests.

Tickets for the show are $20.

- Purchase online through
- Purchase on the phone through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
- Purchase in person at the Chicago Theatre box office:

The Chicago Theatre (map)
175 N State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601

It's Closer – Valentine’s Day – Booked Your Tickets Yet?

Look, we're not trying to stress you out about Valentine's Day, but time and tickets are running out. Have you made your plans? Do you know where you’re celebrating? If it's Chicago, click here. For Toronto, click here. Also, we've extended all of our packages so you can celebrate anytime from February 11-15.

Hopefully, your Valentine's Day won't end up like this.

Special Offer For Second City Valentine's Day Performance at The Field Museum

The All Need Love Festival, a one-night only event dedicated to love and global awareness, will be held February 14 at The Field Museum and feature a fantastic performance by The Second City. With several rooms of activities and five stages, the All Need Love Festival is perfect for singles, couples or groups of friends seeking out a unique Valentine's Day event. The various halls and wings of The Field Museum will each offer a different themed experience, replete with specialty cocktails and light fare to represent each cultural exploration.

SPECIAL OFFER: Go to and enter the code "secondcityneedlove" for a discounted price of $75 for General Admission, and $140 for VIP Admission Tickets (regular prices are $96 and $260) Doors will open at 8 p.m. for all ticket holders and include access to all main stage events and open bar until 1 a.m. VIP ticket holders will have access to an exclusive VIP area with hors d'oeuvres and a private bar as well as private performance opportunities.

In the spirit of giving love, a portion of the evening's proceeds will benefit the Success For Kids Foundation. The SFK supports the education of at risk children by delivering innovative research-based programs to enhance their emotional intelligence, problem solving and self-sufficiency skills.

Thank You, Joyce Sloane

To remember and celebrate Joyce Sloane, we created the following tribute video and we hope you enjoy it. Thank you to all of our alumni, friends and family who were able to join us and for those who have included us in their thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Second City!

Enjoy this special Valentine's Day video from The Second City!

Where are you celebrating this year?


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Updates for Joyce Sloane Memorial

To our friends coming to the Memorial at Second City: Please note we are expecting a large turnout. If you have not RSVPed for the mainstage, please proceed to the e.t.c. Theater and 3rd Floor Training Center. We will simulcast the memorial in these rooms and also have food available.

Besides street parking, parking will also be available at the following locations for $12:

North & North Park Ave

Beside Boston Market (just south of the North & Wells corner)

Behind Walgreens (just east of North & Wells)

Schiller & Wells

Sassy Gay Friend Nominated for Logo’s NewNowNext Awards

LOGO, the gay & lesbian cable network has just announced the nominees for its annual NewNowNextAwards and there is one sassy nominee from The Second City Hollywood! Brian Galliavan's "Sassy Gay Friend" is part of this years diverse group of nominees from TV, film, Music, print & new media!

The awards ceremony will air on Monday, April 11th at 10pm.

To vote for Brian's "Sassy Gay Friend" go to the NewNowNext Awards and follow the directions.

Read more about the awards

Watch "Sassy Gay Friend" on The Second City Network

Shulie Cowen Appears in TNT’s "Southland"

Shulie Cowen, a current teacher and regular performer at The Second City Hollywood, recently appeared on TNT's hit show "Southland". In the episode titled, "The Winds" she plays a woman who's dog is almost consumed by a snake. Read a review of the episode here.

You might have also caught Shulie starring with Erik Estrada in the National Commercial for Toyota.

Shulie has performed in several TV shows and films including "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien", "Samantha Who?", "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" and "How I Met Your Mother".

Comedy Desk: Super Predictions

Click to enlarge the laest Second City Comedy Desk in the Chicago Tribune

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chicago Live! Returns on Thursday

Chicago Live! returns on Thursday, February 10 at 6:30p with a great line-up of guests including:

  • Steve "Mongo" McMichael, member of the 1985 Bears and coach of the Chicago Slaughter (Rick Kogan and Dan Pompei interview)
  • Michael Orlove, Artistic Programs Director for the Chicago Tourism Fund (Rick Kogan and Howard Reich interview)
  • Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones interviews members of the Belarus Free Theatre
  • Psalm One, hip-hop artist (Greg Kot interview)
  • Victoria Martin, astrologer and psychic entertainer
  • Comedy from The Second City

Chicago Live! is recorded in front of a live studio audience at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Chicago Theatre's Downstairs Stage. After each show, the audience is invited to a 30-minute reception with the cast, crew and guests.

Tickets for the show are $20.

- Purchase online through
- Purchase on the phone through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
- Purchase in person at the Chicago Theatre box office

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 Tuesdays and Thursdays during Term 4 2011, running from June 28 through August 18. The Full IFA course costs $520 through April 1, 2011. Students must be approved to enroll in IFA, so any interested students should send their theater resume to Audrey Flegel at To register, call the Chicago Training Center at 312-664-3959.

Read more about Improv for Actors

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Joyce Sloane Memorial in Los Angeles

Dear Alumni and friends in Los Angeles,

To accommodate our Second City family in LA, we are planning a memorial service in memory of Joyce Sloane in Los Angeles, on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, at the El Portal theatre at 7:00 pm.

The theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Boulevard, San Fernando Valley, CA 91601.

We will be flying in Cheryl for the service and hope you will be able to join us in memory of Joyce Sloane.

Andrew Alexander

Friday, February 4, 2011

Joyce Sloane – 1930-2011

It is with great sadness that we learned of Joyce Sloane's passing last night. Joyce Sloane has been associated with The Second City for 50 of its 51 years. She served as Associate Producer, Executive Producer and most currently, Producer Emeritus. Along with founder Bernard Sahlins, she produced Second City shows in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York and abroad. In addition, Ms. Sloane founded The Second City Touring Companies and The Second City e.t.c. and co-founded The Second City in Toronto.

"Joyce Sloane's impact on the Chicago theatre community cannot be measured. She nurtured thousands of young performers – she encouraged them, fed them, even housed them when needed. She was the mother of The Second City and she cannot be replaced. The loss is monumental but Joyce Sloane's legacy carries on forever in the work of the artists of whom she was so proud," states Andrew Alexander, Executive Producer of The Second City

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, February 8th at 11:00am at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 North Broadway. At 12:00pm, Second City will host a luncheon and open house followed by a memorial service at 1:30pm.

The family has requested that contributions in Joyce's memory be sent to:

Chicago Academy for the Arts
1010 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 606420-5414


Victory Gardens Theater

Instrumental in Chicago's now legendary off-loop theatre movement, Ms. Sloane was a founding member of the Victory Gardens Theater and continued to serve on their board. She also served on many theatre boards and nurtured countless other theatre groups including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre and Northlight. She was selected by Gaylord Donnelly to award arts grants for the Donnelly foundation – a role she served for over 20 years, giving most of the small theatres the first grant they received and thereby establishing their credibility in the community.

She was an original member of the Joseph Jefferson Committee and one of the founders of The League of Chicago Theatres. In addition to her work at Second City, she produced 2 seasons of Summer Stock in Toronto and Winnipeg, several summer tours and was Associate Producer of the 1971 Tony-award winning Broadway play "Borstal Boy". She is a founding member of the AIDS foundation of Chicago and is on the executive committee of Friends Against AIDS which is affiliated with the University of Chicago Children's Hospital. She is also a founder of the Chicago Academy for the Arts.

Ms. Sloane received numerous awards including a Special Joseph Jefferson Award in 1979, which states "For laboring in the vineyard with authority; for dedicated service as a counselor to all; for commitment as a working board member of several theatre companies; for professionalism as Associate Producer of The Second City; as Earth Mother to a host of Chicago actors." In addition, she received the Chicago Film Critics commitment to Chicago Award, The League of Chicago Theatre's Connie Callahan Award for commitment to Chicago theatre, a Special Award from Women in Film, The Mercedes-Benz Mentoring Award, The Chicago Drama League Crystal Award, The Illinois Arts Alliance Sydney R. Yates Lifetime Achievement Award for Advocacy in the Arts, The Spirit of Love Award from Little City, The Sinai Health Service Award, The Sinai Torch of Life Award, The Schwab Rehabilitation Center Special Award for Producing Theatre for People with Disabilities, The YWCA Leadership in the Arts Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kilkenny Comedy Festival in Ireland.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Second City Weekend Guide - Super No Bowl Sunday

If you’re not into it, you don't have to pretend to be excited about the Superbowl. Here's what we think you should do instead.

Sunday, February 6th

3:30pm – Yep, you deserve it. Start your afternoon with a manicure & pedicure at Salon 1800 (157 W. North Ave).

5:00pm – Stroll over to The 33 Club (1419 N. Wells) for an "Old Town" Fashioned cocktail and early dinner. You can go as light as soup and salad or as indulgent as steak & fries.

7:00pm – Join us for "Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies" in our Mainstage Theatre (1616 N. Wells St). Tickets are only $22 and we're offering drink and food specials including Chocolate Martini's (the perfect dessert), White Wine Sangria and Eli's Cheesecake.

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

Chicago offices & Training Center open!

Whew, that was quite a storm! Our administrative offices are open for business today, as is our Training Center.

Even better, ALL of tonight's scheduled performances are ON!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicago Closures

UPDATE (10:40am, 2/2/11) - The Chicago administrative offices and Training Center are both closed today. Additionally ALL Chicago performances have been CANCELLED.

Tickets can be purchased for future performances here at We look forward to seeing you after the storm!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicago Performances Tonight CANCELLED

We regret to post that the conditions in Chicago have proven too hazardous to put on a show tonight, Tuesday, February 1st.

This evening's performance of Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies has been CANCELLED.

We will be contacting ticket holders by phone tomorrow regarding exchanges. At this time, we expect to be open for business at 10am.

Toronto, Snowed In? Snow Problem!

The Second City is proud to present a solution to your snowy problems. On February 1st and 2nd only, The Second City is offering $5 tickets to those stuck in the city due to Snowpocalypse 2011.

This promotion is available to anyone who uses the promo code: SNOWDAY or comes in and mentions this promotion to the box office.

So come in and get warmed up with some of Toronto’s best comedy!

Valentine's Day Packages Now Available

Where are you celebrating Valentine's Day this year? Chicago and Toronto are both offering great Valentine's Day Packages this year. Click here for details.