Sunday, July 31, 2011

A list of Beatles and White album references in Southside of Heaven.

1) Side 2 of Abbey Road plays in its entirety during house mix.
2) Stage is stark white in contrast to its predecessors a la the White
Album cover.
3) Cast first appears together when TR, KR, TM, and EB are walking
together in Abby Road pose in Fait Accompli.
4) Clothes original imagined to mirror Whtie Album era promo pic of Fab
5) Revolutuion #9 sound collage is weaved into sound collage in New
6)I'm Menthol, Katie wears a Black Flag patch - in Billy's bio it falsely
gives him credit for directing the Lyric Opera's version of the White
Album performed by Black Flag.
7) Bill is Dead - Bio also alludes to Bills fake death a la the Paul is
Dead hoax/misunderstanding.
8) Daley - opens with a bit in which the mugging falsetto singing bass
player tries to take over the song.
9) Confidence, Radiohead, and More Blood- all mini songs to keep the
audience engaged but disoriented like the White Albums short songs.
10) Helter Skelter runs us into intermission.
11) Plane takes off at top of Raterman is an Allusion the plane in Back
in the USSR. Misplacement of crash an allusion to I Want You/Polythene
Pam edit.
12) Bloody hand in Curse equals Bloody glove on cover of Sgt. Pepper's.
13) Goodnight - final song on White Album brings in the final scene
which builds into the caucophony of "A Day in the Life".
14) Show closes with final Chord from Day In The Life.
15) Outro music - The End from Abbey Road - linking back to house music.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Rave Review for Sky's the Limit from the Chicago Reader

Tony Adler at the Chicago Reader published his review of the new Second City e.t.c. show Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) in this week's edition. It's a great review and filled with insights about the show.

Of the sketches in the show, he said, "Does that mean they're instant classics? Or that they're so exaggerated that they simply come across as cartoons? Well, yes. Both."

"At least one sketch in Sky's the Limit is an honest-to-god candidate for the greatest-hits collection."

Tony also commented o how both reviews right connect with our current culture, but in completely different ways, saying, "If you can stand that much hilarity, you might want to see both Sky's the Limit and the current main-stage show, South Side of Heaven. They make an interesting pair. Both are basically concerned with how fucked we are, on a micro as well as macro level. But South Side of Heaven is a lot more pessimistic—even, at times, savage—about it. Sky's the Limit, meanwhile, is like the girlfriend Joy plays: always ready to believe."

Read the full review at Chicago Reader.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Stellar Revues for "Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting)"

The Windy City Times published a great review of our new e.t.c. revue, Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting).

"...has practically everything you could wish for. It's funny through and through..." - Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

Read the full review

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Steve Carell Talks with NPR About His "First Big Break’ with The Second City

Carell talks with a caller about his first big break with The Second City as a performer during an interview with NPR. Click here to hear the whole interview.

David Axelrod Joins Chicago Live! this Thursday

Chicago Live! is back this week with another fantastic guest line-up including:

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Training Center Alum and Current Mainstage Cast Member, Edgar Blackmon, Gets Nod From WGN Radio

Edgar Blackmon is one of WGN's picks for 'Hot New Faces of Chicago Theater'. Edgar, calls himself 'A Second City Baby', since he only took classes with the SC Training Center. Check out this link for the whole article!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Eric Stonestreet talks about how improv has helped his acting career.

Eric Stonestreet, known for his role as Cameron Mitchell on Modern Family, discusses his career and the importance of improv in film acting. Read the article here.

Free Music Directors Workshop

Here's your chance to learn about music directing for The Second City! Improvisers with piano skills and pianists with a love for improv and sketch comedy are invited to participate in a free three-day workshop on July 29-31. Find out about the ins and outs of working for The Second City, including possible upcoming job opportunities, and drill the necessary skills by working with experienced SC music directors. If interested, email Head of the Music Program Jeffrey Bouthiette at The ability to read sheet music is NOT required.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

World Premiere of Walter, starring alum Paul Dooley at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival

Walter, written & directed by Second City Hollywood's Jonathan Browning, will have its world premiere at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival (LA Shorts Fest) on Sunday, July 24th at 3:15pm. Walter stars Paul Dooley, a proud Second City Alum (1959, Compass Players) who has appeared in a number of iconic films including; Slap Shot, Breaking Away, Popeye, Sixteen Candles, A Mighty Wind and 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 300 international film festivals and have been honored with over 35 International awards.

To get more information about the screening please go to LA Shorts Fest.

Chicago Live! Returns Tonight with Billy Corgan, Gerould Kern, and More

Chicago Live! returns for our 6-week Summer Season Thursday, July 21 through August 25. Grab a seat behind the headlines of Chicago's biggest stories at Chicago Live!, a weekly stage and radio show produced by the Chicago Tribune, in partnership with The Second City.

Tonight's show is sold out! You can listen to a recording of tonight’s and every week’s show on WGN Radio 720-AM Saturday night at 11:00p.

This week's guests include:

Tickets are available for the remainder of the run. Click here for upcoming guest information and to book your tickets today.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Danny Pudi Visits Training Center for Q&A

Danny Pudi, star of NBC's hit-sitcom Community, visited The Second City Training Center, his alma mater, this past Saturday to share his experiences from performing in Donny's Skybox to working in Hollywood.

Photo by Sally Blood

Danny showed some of his favorite clips from Community, talked with students regarding their career paths, and performed one of his favorite scenes from his Skybox run with his "Writing Guru", Ranjit Souri, presently an Improvisation and Writing instructor with the Training Center.

Photo by Sally Blood

Danny said of his time at The Second City, "The training you get here is invaluable. Having that foundation of training here is very helpful because you can get a little lost in Los Angeles. Here, the community is awesome." He went on to say that "A lot of my transition from Chicago to LA started here," thanks to Dionna Griffin-Irons, the Head of Second City’s Outreach and Diversity Program. Dionna had put Danny into contact with a Hollywood producer that led to his finding an agent rather quickly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Looks Like a Hit – "Sky's the Limit" Opens to Rave Reviews

Our new e.t.c. show, Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) opened to rave reviews on Sunday. Here's what the critics have to say:

"the laughs are thick and frequent, the concept is provocative, and the material both varied and stellar." - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"...moves as fast and furiously as the breakneck meteorological shifts Chicago is known to experience." - Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

"laughter is good for what ails you and Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) will cure you for sure!" - Alan Bresloff with Around the Town Chicago

Additionally, Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) has been Jeff Recommended. The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least one element of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.

Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) is directed by Jeff Award-winning Director, Matt Hovde and is written and performed by Tim Baltz, Aidy Bryant, Brendan Jennings, Jessica Joy, Michael Lehrer and Mary Sohn. Musical Direction & Sound Design provided by Jesse Case with Stage Manager & Lighting Designer, Kyle Anderson.

Tickets are now on sale – click here to reserve your tickets.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Alum Jimmy Doyle Headlines 15th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival

Second City alum Jimmy Doyle headlines the 15th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival with Must Be Nice. Loveable TV commercial dad and South Side Irish, Jimmy Doyle has been called "cranky, cracked, queer (and Catholic)" by the Chicago Reader. Exiled to Hollywood, Jimmy finds himself battling a climate hostile to fair skin and intellectualism, all the while threatening to cash in his dual citizenship and live on a farm in Ireland. Married? Working? Must be nice.

Performances of Must Be Nice begin Saturday, July 23 at Lifeline Theater. Click here for a complete schedule and line-up.

Noah Gregoropoulos and Rachael Mason tag-team for Second City’s Adult Long Form Immersion August 1st-August 5th. Spots Still Available!

Masters of Long-form comedy, Noah Gregoropoulos and Rachael Mason will whip advanced improv students into shape with this weeklong Long-form offering. Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm, students will learn improv’s most popular forms as well as how to create their own unique forms and build great characters and scenarios. For more information on how you can take advantage of this one-of-a-kind opportunity, call the Training Center today! 312.664.3959

Click here for more info.

TC Grad and TourCo. Actor, Lyndsey Hailey, Talks About Her Training.

Second City Training Center grad, Lyndsey Hailey, talks about her upcoming TourCo. show in Arlington and the training that has prepared her. Click here to read the full article.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Second City e.t.c. Presents Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting)

The Second City e.t.c. is proud to announce the opening of its 35th revue Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting).

While we're bombarded with tornadoes, both politically and weather-related, the day to day news of our lives stays the same – saving our marriages, raising our kids and whether the American Dream is something we'll ever be able to afford. As all Chicagoans know, our daily trials range from a summer with no sun to dodging car doors while using the bicycle lane to the latest zombie uprising, we remain cautiously optimistic that the sky's the limit – unless, of course, there's a blizzard, tsunami, or hail storm.

Matt Hovde, Jeff Award-winning Director & Second City Training Center Artistic Director, blends an exciting mix of e.t.c. veterans and new talent in Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting). Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) is written and performed by e.t.c. veterans Tim Baltz, Brendan Jennings, and Mary Sohn with new cast members Aidy Bryant, Jessica Joy and Michael Lehrer. Jesse Case on keyboard, guitar and drums, is Musical Director and brings his driving orchestrations to exciting new heights in this original revue. Kyle Anderson is Stage Manager and Lighting Designer. Stylist is Christina Dunne Anderson. The producing team for Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) includes Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer for The Second City, Andrew Alexander; President, Diana Martinez; Executive Vice President, Kelly Leonard; Producer, Alison Riley and Associate Producer, Monica Wilson.

Tickets for Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at The show schedule and ticket prices are as follows:

Tuesdays (August 2 – 30) @ 8pm - $22.00
Wednesdays (July 6 – Aug 31) @ 8pm - $22.00
Thursdays @ 8pm - $22.00
Fridays and Saturdays @ 11pm - $27.00
Sundays @ 7pm - $22.00

What All The Kids Are Screaming About

The Summer Intern has spoken! Amanda Brooke Perrin, winner of The Comedy Network's "Best Summer Job Ever" contest, visited The Second City last week to catch a matinee of our summer family show, The Absolutely Positively Made-Up Show, along with 200 enthusiastic boys and girls:

"Audience participation is a huge part of the show... Every kid wanted to be a part of it; a nice change from the too shy or too cool attitude you sometimes get..."

Here's her full report on The Comedy Network

The Absolutely Positively Completely Made-Up Show

On stage every Thurs, Fri, & Sat at 1 pm (through Sept 3rd)

Recommended for ages 13 & under.

Ticket $12, or Family 4-Packs for $40

Congratulations Emmy Nominees!

Congratulations to all of this year's Emmy nominees including Scott Adsit, Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Kay Cannon, Steve Carell, Dan Castellaneta, Stephen Colbert, Matt Craig, Tina Fey, Tom Flanigan, Shelly Gossman, John Lutz, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, David Miner, Michael Patrick O'Brien, Amy Poehler, Brian Stack, and Jason Sudeikis! This year's broadcast will be hosted by Jane Lynch on Sun, Sept. 18.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ozzie Guillen Visits Mainstage Cast

Last night, Ozzie Guillen, Manager of the Chicago White Sox, came to the Mainstage Theater to check out South Side of Heaven. He was a very good sport and went backstage after the show to visit with the cast.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Sex & The Second City: A Romantic Dot Comedy" Set to Open at Metropolis

Tickets are on sale now for Sex & The Second City: A Romantic Dot Comedy at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights. Sex & The Second City: A Romantic Dot Comedy will run from August 4 – September 17.

The dating scene used to be all about candlelit dinners and romantic walks through the park. Now, it's more like texting, tweeting and online friending. Sex & the Second City: A Romantic Dot Comedy takes on the technologies that are supposed to make our lives easier, but really make us pull out our hair. Follow the hysterical dating experiences of these couples as they try to navigate their way through the newest dating site, iLove. And don't miss the special video appearance by Second City alum Fred Willard.

For more information and to reserve tickets, the Metropolis Performing Arts Center.

‘Community’s’ Danny Pudi Joins The Second City Training Center This Weekend!

Aaron Sjoholm and Ranjit Souri host a Q&A with Danny Pudi this weekend for Second City students. Tickets for the event sold out quickly, but you can catch Danny in the building later that night.

Also, feel free to check out this AV Club Article.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Camps Just Added!

More Camps Just Added!

The Second City Toronto just added more sections to Summer Camp!

Kids, ages 10-18, can explore improv, sketch writing and different comedy styles.

All experience levels are welcome. Registration on now! Click here for full camp descriptions.

Second City Opens in Rochester Tonight!

We're back at the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester to present The Second City Summer Spectacular featuring The Second City Touring Company July 6 – 31. Featuring Michael Kosinski, Rachel Miller, Eileen Montelione, Tawny Newsome and Tim Ryder, The Second City Summer Spectacular features a fresh new mix of summer classics and Chicago-style improv. Tickets are on sale now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Training Center Alum Uses His SC Training In Directorial Role

Read how Training Center alum John Wright applies his experience training with us in his directorial efforts at Armstrong Atlantic State University!


Friday, July 1, 2011

5 Facts About Stephen Colbert

Second City Alum Stephen Colbert has been making more headlines than usual this week on the heels of his FEC case to begin his own Super PAC. In the wake of his victory, The Hollywood Reporter put out an article with five facts about the real Stephen Colbert, the man behind the character. One of the facts is even about his time at Second City.

Read Stephen Colbert: 5 Things to Know