Second City

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by VA_traveler on July 28, 2007

"The Second City" is a Chicago original, and has given a start to numerous comedic geniuses. Some names that stood out in the playbill's list of Alumni were Joan Rivers, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and John Candy. I believe most of the original cast of Saturday Night Live honed their craft on the improv stage here.

We arrived early - a good thing, since tickets are not for a particular seat. No, instead someone walks you onto the floor, and shoehorns you into a tiny seat at a tiny little table, right up next to your neighbor. Have you seen those guys that work as people pushers on the Japanese subways? They might learn something from Second City. Comparing notes afterwards, my husband and I agreed that no fire marshall had ever attended one of these shows.

But once the show started, I completely forgot about the elbow in my back and my nagging claustrophobia. The show playing that night was "Between Barak and a Hard Place", and we laughed so hard we cried. Some of the humor was political, some of it was topical, all of it was great. These guys (and gals) really know their stuff.

There are two shows on Saturdays, and we had tickets to the later one. If you're going, be sure to choose this show - take a nap during the day if you have to, but definitely make it to the later show. This one gives you an extra hour of hilarity after the main event. After the feature show is over, the cast comes back out and does an hour or so of improv sketches, with suggestions for topics shouted out from the audience.

I wouldn't suggest the Second City for those who don't enjoy adult humor or are easily offended by jabs at your favorite politician. Many of the jokes were somewhat graphic (especially the bonus improv). If you're going, keep an open mind.

Showtime is 8pm from Tuesday to Saturday, with a second show at 11pm on Friday and Saturday. Sundays only have one show at 7pm. You can get tickets online at The Second City's website. Tickets are more expensive Fridays and Saturdays.
The Second City
1616 North Wells Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(312) 337-3992

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