Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele and Jack McBrayer join the line-up on YouTube's "The Big Live Comedy Show" on Sunday, May 19 at 7 pm Central. Click here for more info.5/17/2013 Comments (0)
May 17 2013
- May 17 2013
May 17 2013
Second City and SCTV alum Martin Short is set to star in Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. Click here to read the full story from Splitsider.5/17/2013 Comments (0)
May 14 2013
Congratulations to Second City alumni Andrea Martin on her Outer Critics Circle Award win for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical in "Pippin'." Awards winners will be recognized at the 63rd Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards on May 23 at Sardi's Restaurant in New York. Click here for a complete list of winners.5/14/2013 Comments (0)
May 14 2013
Talk show host and author, Shannon Skinner, shares her experience and four life lessons she learned taking a class at the Second City Training Center. Read it on The Huffington Post.5/14/2013 Comments (0)
May 14 2013
Edgar Blackmon and Holly Laurent from our new Mainstage show "Let Them Eat Chaos" stopped by WBEZ's Afternoon Shift to talk Chicago news and oversharing.5/14/2013 Comments (0)
May 8 2013
Haven't found the perfect Mother's Day gift yet? We're pretty sure she'd appreciate a good laugh. Treat her to something she'll enjoy - spending time with her wonderful child (that's you) and laughing harder than she has for years. Tickets are selling fast but still available for performances this Sunday. Click here to make her proud and plan ahead!5/8/2013 Comments (0)
May 7 2013
When Brianna Baker first moved to Chicago, she had three different bosses recommend The Second City to her within a week. "The first time someone said it, I just smiled and nodded. The second time, I asked what The Second City was and pretended that I had known the entire time. By the third, I went to The Second City's website and signed up for a class," she said. Since then, she has done a handful of student and Outreach & Diversity shows, sailed on the NCL Pearl and now performs at UP Comedy Club in "What The Tour Guide Didn't Tell You." We talked with Brianna about some of her other projects, her grandma and what she does for fun.
Tell us about The TOMKAT Project.
The TOMKAT Project is the brainchild of my good friend, Brandon Ogborn. The play is about those two relatively well-known actors and The Church of Scientology, but it's also about so much more than that. It deconstructs our fascination with celebrities, why we want to know about them, what we think we know about them, why we think we are so well informed, and more importantly, it presents the audience with some pretty big questions about all of the above.
What are some of your favorite characters to play?
My Grandmother, Phyllis - She is in my solo show Bede. She is a pistol. I just say her catchphrases, or ones that I imagine she would say.
My Grandmother, Emmie - She is in my solo show as well, but such a contrast to Phyllis. She died when I was in 8th grade, so it feels good to embody her and keep her with me, even if on stage.
Yera, A Hermaphrodite Orca Whisperer - This one is new, and I think the title explains why I like to play it.
Fionica - I originally thought of her when I was on a ship for Second City, and I would play her when I was interviewing contestants for games. She was then a meter maid in my Conservatory show, and I've since used her in many different sketches.
How was your solo show Bede?
My solo show Bede has been the most personally fulfilling project I've done thus far. It centers around my child self, Bede, and my gender-nonconforming childhood. It was a show that I've known I should write for years. I'll be performing it at Stage 773 for the Chicago Women's Funny Festival on June 8th at 9pm.
What else are you working on right now?
I am going to be performing at the Awkward Phase Summer Series at the Annoyance. The show is sponsored by Tumblr. My Improv team, 3 Peat, has a run at the Playground Theater on Fridays at 10pm. I'm working on a project that involves my grandmother, Phyllis. I'm really excited about it.
What comedians inspire you?
I grew up idolizing Jerry Lewis and Jim Carrey. I can thank these two men for having each and every on-camera teacher tell me to stop playing everything so big. Amy Sedaris, David Sedaris, Molly Shannon, Steve Carrell, Cheri Oteri, Maya Rudolph, Steve Martin, Toni Collete. These are some of the people that strike a chord in me comedically. Jet Eveleth started as my idol, then my mentor, and now my friend. I still can’t get over her art. Of all of the people I’ve listed above, no one has had an impact on my comedy like she does. She is one of a kind.
When you're not acting, improvising or writing, what are you doing?
Any of the following: Folding laundry, hanging out with my radical parents, visiting my radical grandma, camping, hanging out with my radical friends around Chicago, visiting my parents radical dogs, taking pictures, staring at pictures, inline skating, watching Annie Hall, riding a bike, or trying to figure out the combination to a lock I bought.
By Pamela Birchard5/7/2013 Comments (0)
Apr 26 2013
The Second City has been giving walking tours of Chicago's historic Old Town neighborhood for five years. When Margaret Hicks returned to Chicago from New York in 2001, she told herself "I will never take Chicago for granted again." She started as a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation and now uses her improv skills to give tours with her company Chicago Elevated. We talked to Margaret about comedy in Chicago, her tour and her connection with The Second City.
Tell us about the process of writing your book Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious History.
That was a process. It's funny, when we think of comedy in Chicago, for a lot of us improvisers, it usually starts with Second City. So my want was to go all the way back, to the beginning. When I give Second City tours I always ask myself and the tourees, "Why Chicago?" What is it about this city that was a perfect womb for The Second City? So I started there. I started with what entertainment and comedy looked like in 1837. Then through Vaudeville and radio and TV and that Chicago naturalness, it's always there, even in the beginning.
Tell us about some of the highlights of your Second City Neighborhood Tour.
So the highlights of the walking tour are varied, which is why it's such a neat tour. Old Town is one of our most historic neighborhoods. There are these houses that are from right after the fire. So there's this really historic feeling with St. Michael's church and the balloon-frame houses, but then there's Old Town Ale House and the gentrification of Wells Street. And everyone at Second City has been so great, so I have some really great gossip I let fly.
Are you doing any writing/acting/improvising right now?
I am writing a show with my friend Sabrina Harper! She's the Second City box office manager and my best friend! We're writing Sweetie Maude - it's an all-lesbian version of Sweeney Todd. It will go up in September. I'm really excited about that! And I'm constantly writing new tours and learning new information about the city and trying to figure out new ways to connect the information.
What plans do you have for the summer in Chicago?
My plans are to work. It's a busy season which I think is excellent. My winters tend to be sort of quiet and introspective, so it's fun to get out and work in the summer.
What are some of your other hobbies?
I go to the movies a lot. I like the movies. I read. I ride my bike and run a little. Hang out. Dinner. I'm really big on dinner.
Who are some of your biggest comedic influences?
My comedic influences were definitely all of Whose Line. That's when I thought "I can do that." Honestly? My high school friends. Stand-ups like Dennis Miller. Oh man, back in the day he was so good! Almost more the people around me, my family and friends were so funny, they sharpened my brain as I grew up.
What you’re not acting, writing or walking, what are you doing?
I'm probably at home with my pup and my husband. Probably eating dinner.
By Pamela Birchard4/26/2013 Comments (0)
Apr 24 2013
The Second City is proud to announce the return of "The Second City's Neighborhood Tour." This humorous and historic walking tour of Chicago's beautiful Old Town neighborhood will begin on Sunday, May 26th, 2013 at 10:30am and will continue every Sunday and Wednesday through Wednesday, October 30th, 2013.
Written by Margaret Hicks, an experienced Chicago tour guide and author of Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious History, "The Second City's Neighborhood Tour" both entertains and informs while highlighting the architecture, history and development of Old Town as well as various Second City alumni haunts and the stories that go with them.
The walking tour begins outside The Second City theatre on North Wells Street and winds its way through the historic Old Town neighborhood. The tour ends inside The Second City theatre and gives guests a chance to view the lobby photo display documenting over 53 years of comedy at The Second City.
Tickets for "The Second City's Neighborhood Tour" are $15.00 per person. They may be purchased directly from The Second City Box Office by phone at 312-337-3992 or online here. Tours can have up to fifteen guests and advanced reservations are recommended. The tours are every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 4:00pm and last from one hour and 30 minutes to two hours. The walking pace is suitable for all ages.
Additional days/times are available for groups -- call Group Sales at 312-664-4032 for more information or to request a special reservation for larger groups.4/24/2013 Comments (0)