The Second City's 103rd Mainstage Revue, Panic on Cloud 9, opened last Thursday and the reviews are in, not too shabby...
The Second City's 103rd Mainstage Revue, Panic on Cloud 9, opened last Thursday and the reviews are in, not too shabby...
Due to high demand for tickets, Goodman Theatre extends Twist Your Dickens, Or Scrooge You!, The Second City’s version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, with seven additional performances through January 3, including a special bar package on New Year’s Eve. Tickets start at $20 for the added performances (prices are subject to change) and can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org/Twist, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Twist Your Dickens is appropriate for adults and savvy teens age 16+. Please be advised that the show incorporates the use of strobe lights, smoke and haze.
Additional performances include:
Monday, December 29 at 4pm and 8pm
Wednesday, December 31 at 6pm and 10pm*
Friday, January 2 at 8pm
Saturday, January 3 at 4pm and 8pm
*Additional $40 New Year’s Eve package includes beverages pre-show through intermission, a champagne toast at midnight and party favors with promo code NEWYEARS.
The seven-member cast includes Francis Guinan as Scrooge (note: Brian Boland replaces Guinan for all performances starting December 26); Frank Caeti as the Ghost of Christmas Past; Peter Gwinn as Jacob Marley; Sayjal Joshi as Tiny Tim; Beth Melewski as the Ghost of Christmas Present; Robyn Scott as Mrs. Cratchit; and Tim Stoltenberg as Bob Cratchit. The creative team includes Tom Buderwitz (sets), Rachel Lambert (costumes) and Gina Patterson (lights). Mara Filler is the Production Stage Manager. Headshots and bio information, along with rehearsal and production photos can be found in the Press Room.
Additionally, the show includes a special Chicago-based celebrity guest in a cameo role at each show, though audiences won’t know who appears in this spot from night to night. Newly confirmed appearances include chef Rick Bayless; musician JC Brooks, author Aaron Freeman; comedian Shad Kunkle; Orange is the New Black’s Adrienne C. Moore; comedian Eddie Mujica; hip-hop artist Che Smith aka “Rhymefest”; comedy duo TJ and Dave; NPR’s Peter Sagal; Windy City Live’s Ji Suk Yi; co-owner of The Hideout Tim Tuten; and actor Jonathan Weir (a former Scrooge in A Christmas Carol). As previously announced, other expected appearances include comedian and Vocalo host Brian Babylon; WBEZ’s Niala Boodhoo; WXRT’s Lin Brehmer; Senator John Cullerton; actor Allen Gilmore (Scrooge alternate in A Christmas Carol); chef Stephanie Izard; Chicago Tribune’s Candace Jordan; Chicago Cubs’ Len Kasper; WBBM-TV’s Bill Kurtis; musician Jon Langford; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, B96’s Showbiz Shelly; and sommelier Alpana Singh.
Written by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort and directed by Artistic Director of The Second City Training Center Matt Hovde, Twist Your Dickens—a “riotous havoc” (Los Angeles Times) that blends legitimate theater, parody, sketch comedy and improvisation, including the integration of audience “misdeeds” that are written in the lobby preceding the show—finds Scrooge and Tiny Tim hopelessly mixed up with characters from the Peanuts holiday special, the Island of Misfit Toys and even Little Orphan Annie. While the set and costumes reflect The Second City’s minimalist aesthetic, audiences can expect to see backdrops of their favorite holiday television specials and the ensemble sporting “business casual Dickensian” wear inspired by ugly sweaters and other pop culture icons.
Old Town Merchants and Residents Association will be holding a Tree Lighting ceremony at the Burton Place park (1501 N. Wells) this year!
On Tuesday, December 2nd join your neighbors and friends at Burton Place Park for the annual tree lighting shortly after dusk (approximately 5:30pm).
Local shops are providing hot chocolate, candies and other sweets for the event.
New this year is the Old Town Storefront Stroll! Between 2pm-8pm many Old Town businesses up and down Wells, from Division to St. Paul, will hand out goodies and have GREAT DEALS!!!
Holiday decorations — as well as all 2014 street plantings and landscaping on Wells Street — are installed by Old Town Gardens, through a shared contract between SSA 48 Old Town and the Old Town Merchants & Residents Association.
A celebration of the life of Sheldon Patinkin will take place Monday, January 26, 2015, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, located at 9501 Skokie Blvd. in the suburb of Skokie north of Chicago. The free event starts at 7:30 PM, with guest speakers reflecting on Mr. Patinkin's enormous impact on Chicago theatre. A reception with cash bar will follow the presentation. RSVPs are encouraged. For reservations, please call 312-369-6333 to leave a message or respond via Eventbrite.
The event is presented jointly by the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and The Second City -- three organizations with which Mr. Patinkin had close professional and personal ties for decades.
Sheldon Patinkin was Chair of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department from 1980 to 2009, when he assumed the title of Chair Emeritus, continuing to teach and direct at the College until his death. He was an Artistic Consultant at Steppenwolf Theatre and co-founder of The School at Steppenwolf, and taught at The School for 17 years. And he was an original member of Second City from the company's beginnings -- when it was founded in 1959 by Bernard Sahlins, Paul Sills, and Howard Alk. He served as Sills' assistant director and then succeeded Sills as artistic director of the groundbreaking comedy theatre, eventually becoming an Artistic Consultant there.
Born in Chicago on August 27, 1935, Mr. Patinkin died September 21, 2014, following a heart attack. He was an integral figure in the development of a professional, grassroots Chicago theatre scene starting in the 1950s, when he was part of the talented young group of artists who created the Playwrights Theatre Club, Compass Players, and The Second City. He directed some of Chicago theatre's most memorable productions, including the commercial Chicago premieres of several Off-Broadway hits as well as productions at Steppenwolf, The Second City, Gift Theatre, City Lit Theater, National Jewish Theatre, and other Chicago-area companies. During his tenure as Chair, the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department educated hundreds of students who have gone on to distinguished careers in theatre, film, and television; he also mentored alumni who went on to start their own theatre companies. His books include Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater (Sourcebooks, 2000) and "No Legs, No Jokes, No Chance": A History of the American Musical Theater (Northwestern University Press, 2008). In that book, he wrote:
"We live in a time when, more and more, the response to trouble is violence; when too many individual communities have become too insular for the good of the larger community; when too much beyond one's immediate world seems to exist either to be feared to taken advantage of; when too many people try not to feel deeply or try to disguise their feelings with catch phrases, crudeness, inarticulateness, and sentimentality. It is one of the most important functions of both art and entertainment to help us transcend such times, sometimes by helping us to think things through, sometimes by helping us not to think at all."
"Sheldon was an artist, a scholar and a dear friend. He was a mentor to multiple generations and a productive and prolific leader of the Chicago theatre community until his final days. We look forward to celebrating his extraordinary life and career," said Andrew Alexander, CEO and Executive Producer of The Second City, Inc.
“Sheldon has been a part of the Steppenwolf family from the earliest days of our existence," said Martha Lavey, Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. "He was an artist, a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. The School at Steppenwolf will always be a part of Sheldon’s legacy. His influence lives on in the work of several generations of theatre artists.”
"At Columbia College we encourage our students to 'live what you love,' and Sheldon personified that ideal every day -- in every aspect of his teaching, directing, and mentorship," said John Green, Mr. Patinkin's successor as Chair of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department. "Like George in Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George, he awoke students to the many possibilities of their lives as theatre artists, and the extension of those lives out into the community he loved and served so well."
Equal parts naughty and nice, Chicago’s famed The Second City brings our version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to the Goodman’s Owen Theatre, beginning December 5.
Titled Twist Your Dickens, Or Scrooge You!, this send-up of Dickens’ classic includes a special Chicago-based celebrity guest in a cameo role at each show; while audiences won’t know who appears in this spot from night to night, expected appearances include:
“Peter and Bobby have written a play that not only upends a classic holiday staple of the stage and screen, but lampoons a variety of other holiday farrago that has become an ingrained part of the yuletide season,” said Kelly Leonard, Executive Vice President of The Second City and President of Second City Theatricals. Added Goodman Theatre Executive Director Roche Schulfer: “The Goodman has always wanted to pair A Christmas Carol with a holiday production in the Owen. The Second City's Twist Your Dickens, Or Scrooge You! is a perfect fit and we look forward to expanding our audience now and in the future"
"We have lost a giant. Mike Nichols was an architect of modern improvisational theater. As a member of The Playwrights Theatre Club and The Compass Players, Mike helped create the foundation for not only The Second City, but for a host of storefront theaters that eventually became the thriving theatrical community that you see today in Chicago. His work always played to the top of its intelligence, bathed in wit and infused with honesty. We mourn the loss of our esteemed forbears and offer our condolences to his family."
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Second City veteran and current SNL cast member, Cecily Strong, has been asked to be the featured entertainer and host of next spring's White House Correspondent's dinner. More details here.11/19/2014 Comments (0)
The Second City is proud to announce the opening of The Second City’s 103rd Revue, Panic on Cloud 9.
Join the incredibly talented and funny cast of The Second City Mainstage for Panic on Cloud 9, a hilarious and smart collection of original scenes and songs that invite you to relax, take a breath and laugh as they brave everything from Ebola to modern parenting to the lies of advertising and the advertising of our own lies.
Joseph Jeff Award-Winning director Ryan Bernier makes his Mainstage debut with Panic on Cloud 9. Returning cast members include Chelsea Devantez, John Hartman (Jeff Award-Winner - Best Actor in a Revue) and Emily Walker with new cast members Paul Jurewicz, Daniel Strauss and Christine Tawfik. Jacob Shuda joins the Mainstage ensemble as Musical Director, Composer and Sound Designer and Craig Taylor returns to the booth as Stage Manager. The producing team for Panic on Cloud 9 includes Andrew Alexander (CEO & Executive Producer), Kelly Leonard (Executive Vice President), Alison Riley (Producer) and Jeremy Smith (Associate Producer).
Tickets for Panic on Cloud 9 start at $23.00 and are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at www.SecondCity.com. The show schedule is as follows:
Tuesday - Thursday: 8:00 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Sunday: 7:00 p.m.
Rachael Mason wants you to rock at your next improv audition. As the head of The Second City Training Center’s Chicago Advanced Improv program, a Second City TourCo Alum and current cast member of ‘The Boys’ at 9pm in Donny’s Skybox - you should take her advice. If you have questions, comments or want to add a tip of your own, email us at Chicagotrainingcenter@secodcity.com
1. WARM UP BEFORE YOU ARRIVE! Some folks need to meditate for 20 minutes and some folks need to do 20 jumping jacks. Do what centers YOU. The warm up when you arrive is mostly to suss out the group you will be playing with if you even get to warm up at all.
2. SHOW UP ON TIME. There is a saying that 15 minutes early is on time. On time is late. 15 minutes late? Don't bother. Leave early. Set two alarms. Everyone has a good reason for being late but it simply smacks of disrespect to those who are there and ready to work.
3. BE KIND TO THE PERSON CHECKING YOU IN. Really you should just be kind in general. If you are a jerk to the person checking you in then why would we want to hire you for a high stakes ensemble job? That person has been inundated with requests. Yours will be prioritized. Relax about that. And watch with the crap talk about other theaters in the lobby too. We all work everywhere. Why would we hire you if you are pooping on another theater?
4. LOOK IN A MIRROR BEFORE YOU GO IN. You might have crazy hair, lipstick on your teeth, pizza sauce on your lapel, or heaven forbid your barn door might be open. Zip it up zippy. I personally can't stand when someone has a ball cap on or sunglasses on their head or collar. You should be dressed nice so you feel good. Take one final look at your suit (that musty thing should have been laundered) or one final peek at your dress (that you can move in with bike shorts or leggings underneath). Look good = Feel good.
5. LISTEN TO THE AUDITOR'S INSTRUCTIONS. They are TELLING you what they want to see and describing the shape of the audition. If you are planning out your funny line or listening to your inner monologue you are going to miss valuable information. Calm down and listen.
6. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SCENE PARTNER. Throwing elbows for funny lines is not what gets you hired. Yes anding and heightening what is there does. Your repartee and game play with your partner are what we want. Listen and respond as opposed to panicked reaction. Be people in a relationship, who feel a way about each other and the world they live in. Then play some games together. Comedy is a natural byproduct of that. Not your inorganic stabs at funny that crap on your partner. Don't crap on your partner... not even an object work crap.
7. DON'T MAKE AN ASS OUT OF YOURSELF AT THE ALE HOUSE (or similar bar). Your audition is over. Whether it went well or not so well our temptation is to head across the street and toast those feelings away. Word of your drunken mess gets back to us too. Have a drink. Go home. Sleep. Wait patiently for the response. If you get in GREAT! Now it only gets harder. If you didn't GREAT! Now you can write in for you notes and take a class and get better.
Ready? Go kill it killer. - Rachael
Rachael Mason began her career in improvisation at Skidmore College, home of the National College Comedy Festival, with the Ad-Liberal Artists. After graduating with a degree in English Literature, concentrating on Shakespearean Studies, she moved to Chicago to study improv comedy with Del Close. She trained at The Second City, The Annoyance, and iO. Currently she performs with The Second City Improv Allstars, and The Boys. She is most happy when she is teaching improv.11/12/2014 Comments (0)