Friday, June 29, 2012

The Washington Post Joins The Training Center For Our Improv Drop-in

The Washington Post’s M. Spencer joined Jessica Rogers and The Second City Training Center to find out what our Drop-in Improv Classes are all about. A few human knots, Samurais, and absurd dances later, Spencer is much closer to knowing what improvisation entails.

Read M. Spencer’s Washinton Post article.

New e.t.c. Show Scores Raves and Jeff Recommendation

The Second City e.t.c.'s new show opened to rave reviews from Chris Jones with Chicago Tribune (3 out of 4 Stars) and Hedy Weiss with Chicago Sun-Times (Highly Recommended). They also garnered a Jeff Recommendation on their opening night. "Jeff Recommended" indicates that at least one element of a show was deemed outstanding by opening night judges. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.

Performances are selling out fast. Click here to reserve your tickets .

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We're All in This Room Together Opens Tonight!

The Second City e.t.c. is proud to open their 36th revue We're All in This Room Together tonight! Directed by Ryan Bernier, We're All in This Room Together is written and performed by Aidy Bryant, Mike Kosinski, Michael Lehrer, Tawny Newsome, Andel Sudik and Chris Witaske. Kyle Anderson is the Lighting Designer and Stage Manager with Jesse Case as Musical Director.

Visit our Facebook page to check out pictures from the show. Click here to reserve tickets.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Last Chance for Chicago Live! Season Finale on Thursday

Chicago Live! wraps up their second season at Up Comedy Club with a compelling line-up of guests including:

Television personality and host of Travel Channel's "Man v. Food" Adam Richman (interview with Mark Caro)

Photographer Art Shay (interview with Rick Kogan)

Jazz pianist and singer Judy Roberts (performance and interview with Howard Reich)

Bluegrass band Henhouse Prowlers

Chicago Live! Almanac

Comedy from The Second City

Chicago Live! is recorded in front of a live studio audience at 7 p.m. Thursdays at UP Comedy Club. After each show, the audience is invited to a 30-minute reception with the cast, crew and guests.

Click here for tickets

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Improv Extravaganza gets 4 Stars

Chicago Stage Style gives The Second City's Improv Extravaganza 4 Stars!
Read the review here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chicago Live! This Thursday: Garry McCarthy, Greg Bostrom, Funkadesi and More

Join us again this Thursday in UP Comedy Club for Chicago Live! featuring a fantastic line-up of guests including:

  • Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy
  • Firefly Music Festival chief innovation officer and director Greg Bostrom
  • Actor, writer and director David Prete
  • Musical guests Funkadesi
  • Chicago Live! Almanac
  • Comedy from The Second City

Chicago Live! is recorded in front of a live studio audience at 7 p.m. Thursdays at UP Comedy Club. After each show, the audience is invited to a 30-minute reception with the cast, crew and guests. Click here for tickets.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Teacher, Jeff Poole, Featured in Huffington Post for His Twitter Writing

Chicago Training Center Teacher, Jeff Poole, was featured in the Huffington Post for his fake Twitter account @KingofIL where he pretends to be Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Check out the full article at the Huffington Post.

AV Club Learns A Few Things on Our Tour

AV Club writer Marah Eakin joined us for The Second City Neighborhood Tour and learned a couple of things - including that one of the faces on our famous facade looks like Nick Offerman. But its not - just in case you thought the same thing. Click here to read the full review.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jack McBrayer Talks Second City, Nude Bicyclists On "Conan"

Second City alum Jack McBrayer talks about his Second City days and shows off his accent work in this Conan interview:

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Show Set for Second City e.t.c.

The Second City e.t.c. is proud to announce the opening of their brand new 36th Revue, We're All in This Room Together. Reviewing press are invited to attend the show on Thursday, June 28, 2012, at 8:00pm at The Second City e.t.c. Theatre (1608 N. Wells St, 2nd Floor). A Grand Opening is scheduled for Sunday, July 1, 2012, at 7:00p.

The cast of The Second City e.t.c. invites you to turn off your cell phone, log off Facebook and stop tweeting to attend a unique 21st century event featuring a diverse group of live people in one room physically interacting with one another. For two extraordinary hours, we will resist the compulsion to check our text messages, status updates and twitter feeds knowing that this special group of people will never come back together as one audience again - physically, philosophically or politically. For this one night, We're All in This Room Together.

After directing for The Second City Touring Company as well as multiple productions for Second City Theatricals, Ryan Bernier makes his resident stage directing debut joined by veteran Jeff Award-winning cast members Aidy Bryant and Michael Lehrer (Best New Work - Musical or Revue). Making their Second City e.t.c. debut are new cast members Michael Kosinski, Tawny Newsome, Andel Sudik and Chris Witaske. The talented Jesse Case returns as Musical Director providing original incidental music and sound design and Kyle Anderson rounds out the crew as Lighting Designer and Stage Manager. The producing team for We're All in This Room Together includes Owner & Executive Producer for The Second City, Andrew Alexander; President, Diana Martinez; Executive Vice President, Kelly Leonard; Producer, Alison Riley and Associate Producer, Jeremy Smith.

Tickets for We're All in This Room Together are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at The show schedule and ticket prices are as follows:

Tuesday 8 pm $23.00 (from August 7 – 28, 2012)
Wednesday 8 pm $23.00 (from July 11– August 28, 2012)
Thursday 8 pm $23.00
Friday and Saturday 8 pm & 11 pm $28.00
Sunday 7 pm $23.00

In the photo (clockwise from left): Andel Sudik, Aidy Bryant, Michael Kosinski, Chris Witaske, Tawny Newsome and Michael Lehrer (photo by Dave Rentauskas).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Second City Training Center Spotlight with Kelly Bolton!

Nancy Fast interviews the wonderful Kelly Bolton about her comedy experiences in Chicago, her role with the awesome Chicago Women's Funny Festival and more!
Listen to the Podcast!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This Weekend: Old Town Art Fair

Coming to see a show this weekend? If so, be sure to schedule some time to experience the Old Town Art Fair (on Lincoln @ Wisconsin) and Wells St. Art Fest (on N. Wells between North and Division). Both events showcase the country's most talented fine artists as well as entertainment, food and drink.

Please note parking will be limited in the Old Town neighborhood weekend. If you're driving, allow yourself extra time to find parking. Taxicabs will be available throughout the neighborhood and CTA is easy to access from the El Sedgwick Brown Line or buses #151, #156, #22 or #36. Click here to plan your trip using CTA

Children's Memorial Hospital will also be moving this Saturday June 9th. Fullerton Ave will be closed from Lincoln Ave to Lake Shore Drive to accommodate this move. The Lake Shore Drive entrance and exit ramps at Fullerton will be closed as well. The move will begin at 6:00 AM and continue until patients have been moved. It is estimated that the move will take 10-18 hours.

Andrew Alexander Set to Receive RIGHT to LAUGH Award - June 12

The Alliance For Children's Rights, Los Angeles' preeminent nonprofit dedicated to protecting the rights of at-risk children, is announcing the 3rd annual RIGHT to LAUGH comedy event.

Andrew Alexander and The Second City will be honored at this year's event which includes an all-star comedy performance line up including Martin Short, Fred Willard, Patricia Heaton, Rachael Harris and Jeff Garlin. Funds raised will benefit The Alliance for Children's Rights in their quest to help impoverished and abused children in LA.

The RIGHT to LAUGH will take place at the Avalon Theatre, 1735 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 starting with a red carpet cocktail reception at 6 p.m. The Second City, the world's premier comedy theatre and school of improvisation, has launched some of the most prominent names in comedy from Alan Arkin, Gilda Radner, Steve Carell and Tina Fey to name a few. This year's RIGHT to LAUGH Award will go to The Second City's Owner & Executive Producer Andrew Alexander.

"What The Alliance is to kids in need, The Second City is to comedy in our industry. Laughter makes our world a better place and for that we are proud to salute them," says Peter Benedek, UTA, Co-Chair of the event.

The comedy salute line-up to-date include The Second City Alumni and comedic greats: Martin Short (Jiminy Glick, SNL), Neil Flynn (Scrubs, The Middle), Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Richard Kind (Spin City), Joel Murray (Mad Men, God Bless America), Suzy Nakamura (Go On, Help Me, Help You), Rose Abdoo (Gilmore Girls), David Steinberg (Inside Comedy), George Wendt (Cheers) and Fred Willard (Best in Show), along with other Special Guests Pamela Adlon (Californification), Ed Begley, Jr. (St. Elsewhere), Willie Garson (Sex & the City), Rachael Harris (Hangover), Patricia Heaton (The Middle), Phil LaMarr, Laraine Newman (SNL) and Amy Yasbeck (Wings), with special messages by Steve Carell and other illustrious Second City Alumni. To date, celebrity guests attending the event include Larry David, Selena Gomez and Diane Keaton.

Funds raised will benefit The Alliance for Children's Rights, which focuses on protecting the rights of impoverished and abused children and youth so that they have safe homes, health care and the education they need to thrive. "Laughter for a good cause is hard to resist and we are honored to be a part of something so worthwhile," Andrew Alexander, CEO of The Second City.

The RIGHT to LAUGH sponsors include: CBS, UTA, DreamWorks Animation, Guess?, Symantec, Robin, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, City National Bank, Zoo Productions, Warner Bros., Kymberly Marciano-Strauss & Even Strauss, Kaplan Stahler Agency, Mintz Levin, Janet & Bob Daily, Bill Maher, Tom Bezucha, Larry David, Nathalie Marciano, Gene Stein & Geert De Turck, Michael J. Fox & Tracy Pollan, Sarah & Bill Odenkirk, 495 Productions and Comedy Central.

Sponsorship opportunities and tickets for this event are still available. Visit for details.

Read More

Faculty Member Dean Evans Talks Shop With WGN About The Art of Clowning

Dean Evans is the creator and core instructor of The Second City Training Center's Clown and Physical Comedy Program. WGN's Brian Noonan gets to the bottom of clowning and all of its wonderful forms on-air with Dean. Check out the audio interview here.

Check out more info on Dean's Classes here.

About Dean Evans
Dean Evans is a professional Actor, Mime Artist, and Clown. He has studied Mime and Physical Theater at The School for Mime Theater, The Ohio State University, and with masters Marcel Marceau, Stephen Niedzialkowsky, and Avner Eisenberg. He is an ensemble member of the Neo-Futurists and has performed with Kapoot Clown Theater, Redmoon, Chicago Children's Theater, Second City and as a solo artist. He performs a one man Clown and Mime show called The Magical Exploding Boy.

About The Second City
For fifty years The Second City has created a wealth of comedic material from a legendary group of performers. The Training Center follows the traditions developed by these groundbreaking and innovative men and women while encouraging the continued growth and development of the art forms of comedy and improvisation. Today, The Second City Training Center is the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world, offerings courses for all ages and experience levels. Click here for more information.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jeff Garlin in e.t.c., Phylicia Rashad Headlines Chicago Live!

One Night Only: Jeff Garlin in e.t.c. - Thurs, June 14th
Jeff Garlin celebrates his 30th Anniversary of being in the comedy business on the stage where he got his start. Join Jeff and his Special Surprise Guests for One Night Only on Thursday, June 14th at 10:30p.

Tickets are $25.00 and all proceeds benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Phylicia Rashad Headlines This Week's Chicago Live!
Chicago Tribune presents Chicago's movers and shakers in this week's installment of Chicago Live!.

The former Mrs. Huxtable, award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad joins this week's line-up of guests to talk about her latest project as director of Goodman Theatre's Immediate Family in an interview with Chief Theater Critic Chris Jones.

The full line-up of guests this Thursday, June 7 include:
- Television producer, video archivist and founder of Tom Weinberg (interview with Rick Kogan)
- Visual artist Jessica Stockholder (interview with Mark Caro)
- Electronic musicians Krewella
- Chicago Live! Almanac
- Comedy from The Second City

Chicago Live! is recorded in front of a live studio audience at 7 p.m. Thursdays at UP Comedy Club. After each show, the audience is invited to a 30-minute reception with the cast, crew and guests.

Friday, June 1, 2012

WTHITV Interviews Mainstage Alumnus and Training Center Screenwriting Instructor, Jim Fisher

Jim Fisher told Terre Haute's Channel 10 (WTHITV) all about his experience working with John Belushi, writing in Hollywood and his love of piloting in a recent interview. See the video below or read the post here.

Jim is teaching a workshop entitled "Is My Idea A Movie" on June 9th at The Second City Training Center in Chicago.

About The Workshop:
Participants will explore and heighten the key elements of their story idea in order to amplify its depth and power to the level required of a motion picture. Under the guidance of Jim Fisher, students begin with the process of crafting a "Quick Pitch" to unmask any flaws or missing key elements in their story which inevitably leads to the discovery of exciting and new creative options. Each of four CORE STUDENTS receives significant individual attention regarding the plot, story and characters of their script idea; OBSERVERS will participate in discussion and brainstorming.

$125 for Core Students/$35 for Observers, 6 hours

Prerequisites: Core Students - Writing 3; Observers - Open to all students

About the instructor:
Jim Fisher is a Chicago Mainstage Second City alumnus who appeared in the cast with Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, John Belushi and Brian Doyle-Murray. Leaving Second City's stage for Hollywood, Jim and fellow alumni Jim Staahl and Tino Insana formed a comedy trio (“The Graduates”) that made numerous appearances on television, campuses as well as in clubs and corporate presentations across the country. Following that, Fisher and Staahl continued as a writing team whose career included feature films, Movies of the Week, television, as well as animation. They have created projects for and worked with Steve Allen, Steve Martin and Steven Spielberg among others. During this time Jim also taught sketch writing for the Second City when the theater first opened in Santa Monica, CA. Later, when the theater opened its Training Center in Los Angeles, Jim was appointed Director of the Second City Writing Conservatory where he developed the Sitcom writing track as a part of the writing program.

Local pilot formerly Second City actor: