Taking its name from the title of A. J. Liebling’s derisive profile of Chicago in “The New Yorker,” The Second City opened on December 16,1959. Success was instantaneous. The Second City has been touring the world with its trademark satire and wit for over thirty years. The Second City currently operates resident theatres in Chicago, Toronto and Detroit, as well as three touring troupes out of its Chicago theatre.
Though still far short of being venerable, The Second City has become a North American theatrical institution and has been the starting point for many of the comedic actors, writers and directors working today in American film, television and theatre. Training Centers have been established in both Chicago and Toronto. Its reputation has so far outgrown its humble beginnings that many first-time visitors are surprised at the theatre’s still modest and informal atmosphere. Second City’s alumni list reads like a Who’s Who of American comedy, as it includes: Alan Arkin, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Robert Klein, Gilda Radner, Joan Rivers, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Martin Short, George Wendt, Shelley Long, John Candy, Harold Ramis, and a host of others.
Featuring a blend of classic scenes, songs and improvisations performed by a six-member ensamble – augmented by a musical accompanist and sound and light director – an evening with The Second City’s National Touring Company combines the best material from Second City’s storied history with the brightest comic performers of the future. A typical two-act performance by The Second City features a wide variety of material on a wide variety of topics. The Second City’s National Touring Company is always original, intelligent, daring and hilarious.
The Second City has taken its act on the road performing at colleges, performing arts centers, clubs, theatres, fundraisers, festivals, conventions and more. Second City’s National Touring Company has appeared at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, The English Speaking Theatre in Vienna, Austria, The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Mayfest in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as countless Universities and Performing Arts Centers across the globe.
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