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Group FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions for Groups:

What is The Second City?

How Many People are Considered a Group?

What is Your Refund Policy?

Is there an age requirement?

How/Where/When do I pick up my tickets?

Can I reserve my seats?

Can you ask the cast say something about my group?

What is the format of a typical Second City show?

What's the difference between the Mainstage and the e.t.c. stage in Chicago?

When are your Chicago shows and how much are tickets?

Do you have any shows on Monday nights?

What is your dress code?

Is there a drink minimum?

How do I get to The Second City in Chicago?

Where can I park? Do you validate parking?

Do you serve food and drinks within the theater?

What style of seating is the theatre?

How long are your shows AND what’s up with the free shows?


What is The Second City?

The Second City, the world's premier comedy theatre and school of improvisation, specializes in sketch comedy and has been delighting audiences for over 50 years. The Second City has resident companies in Chicago and Toronto consisting of six actors/writers each and three National Touring Companies with five actors each. We have shows seven nights a week on our resident stages in Chicago and Toronto; the shows consist of short scenes, songs, and improvisations ranging anywhere from 10 seconds to 10 minutes long.

How Many People are Considered a Group?

At The Second City, groups are considered to be 16 people or more.

What is Your Refund Policy?

We have a great refund policy here at The Second City. Full payment is needed to confirm a reservation (we accept both credit cards and checks). We recommend booking as many tickets as you might potentially need, as we tend to sell out quickly. If your number goes down at all, we can offer a full refund for up to half of the tickets you initially purchase (if you buy 20 tickets, we can refund you for 10) as long as we are notified of these cancellations at least five business days prior to your performance date.

Is there an age requirement?

We allow anyone 10 or older into the theater. Our shows contain adult content and language; equivalent to an R-rated movie. Also, in Chicago, minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when coming to the 11pm shows due to curfew laws. For more specifics regarding content and age-appropriateness, please contact the Second City Box Office in Chicago at 312-337-3992.

How/Where/When do I pick up my tickets?

There will be one ticket for your entire group and it will be in the box office under your last name. You can pick up your ticket anytime! For Chicago Mainstage shows, pick up your tickets at the Mainstage box office at 1616 N. Wells in the lobby across from the theatre. For Chicago e.t.c. shows, pick up your tickets at 1608 N. Wells St., on the first floor of Piper's Alley.

Can I reserve my seats?

We will have a reserved section of seats set aside of your guests. We simply ask that you arrive by 7:30 to guarantee those. The actual seating location is not determined until the the night of the performance.

Can you ask the cast say something about my group?

Unfortunately Actor’s Equity Association contracts prohibit requests for the cast to change or modify their performance in any way. However, all of our shows feature improv where the actors will ask for suggestions from the audience. If you want the Birthday Boy/Bachelorette/Company mentioned, speak up and they just might be.

What is the format of a typical Second City show?

The Second City format is a two-act revue – primarily scripted – followed by a third act of improvisation. The show is written by the cast over an eight to ten week rehearsal period. Most of our material is generated in the improvisational sets – where audience members often contribute suggestions for the topics to be performed. If an improvised piece is particularly strong, that piece is further refined the next day in a rehearsal session with the director of the revue. Over the rehearsal process, new material is introduced into the scripted show. Themes develop and the actors and director craft the scenes into a fully realized production. Six to eight months later, we do it again…

What's the difference between the Mainstage and the e.t.c. stage in Chicago?

The Mainstage and the e.t.c. stage are the two primary stages where our resident Chicago shows are performed. Calling both stages “The Mainstage” would get confusing, so one is called “The e.t.c. Stage” (and no, e.t.c. doesn’t actually stand for anything). Both shows are political and social satire. If you have never been to The Second City, the Mainstage show provides for a more historical experience. The e.t.c. is our smaller more intimate venue. Both shows are equally funny! The Mainstage revue runs Tuesday through Sunday; the e.t.c. revue runs Thursday through Sunday, and some Tuesdays/Wednesdays during our peak season. There is no difference in quality between the two shows; on each stage you’ll see a professional Second City-style revue consisting of various scenes and songs addressing local, national and international issues through social and political satire.

When are your Chicago shows and how much are tickets?

In Chicago, The Mainstage revue runs Tuesday through Sunday. Showtimes are 8pm Tuesday -- Thursday, 8pm and 11pm Friday and Saturday, and 7pm on Sunday. The Chicago e.t.c. revue runs Thursday through Sunday. Showtimes are Thursday at 8pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and 11pm, and Sunday at 7pm. View our current Chicago Show Calendar. Tickets for both stages are $24 weekdays and Sunday, and $29 on Friday and Saturday nights. The Best of The Second City is $17 at 8pm Monday, and $23 at 4pm on Saturday on our Mainstage.

Do you have any shows on Monday nights?

Yes, in Chicago, one of our three Second City National Touring Companies performs The Best of Second City at 8:00pm for just $17. Each of the three Touring companies does a different show comprised of some of the best sketches from Mainstage and e.t.c. stages from the past 50 years as well as original material and improv. The shows last about one hour and forty-five minutes, and there's a free improv set after the show. The Chicago touring companies also perform a Saturday Matinee at 4PM for $23 a ticket; there is no improv set after the Saturday Matinee.

What is your dress code?

We have patrons who come dressed in formal, business, and casual. As long as you come to our theatre clothed, you’re all right.

Is there a drink minimum?

No, The Second City does not have a drink minimum. For groups of 75 people or more there is a Beverage Guarantee.

How do I get to The Second City in Chicago?

The Second City is a short cab ride from downtown and is two blocks east of the Brown Line Sedgwick stop on the El. There are always plenty of cabs available outside the theater when the shows let out. From 90/94, take the North Ave exit east a few miles to Wells St (200 Block) and make a left on Wells. From Lake Shore Drive, take the North Ave/LaSalle exit. Follow LaSalle around until you hit North Ave. Make a right on North, then make a right on Wells.

Where can I park? Do you validate parking?

Parking is available across Wells St in the Treasure Island parking lot or around the corner on North Ave in the Piper’s Alley Self Park garage. Treasure Island is a flat rate (currently $10) and they open their lot to Second City patrons at 5pm. Piper’s Alley charges an hourly rate, so the cost depends on when you parked; it typically runs $15-20. We do validate for $1.00 off the Piper’s Alley lot--bring your parking ticket to the box office to have it validated.

TREASURE ISLAND SELF PARK
1639 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60614-6001
(312) 642-8736
Opens for Second City customers at 5PM
Flat Rate $10
Closes at 8AM

PIPERS ALLEY SELF PARK
230 W North Ave (Between North Park Ave & Wells St)
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 280-4685

RATES:
1st hr $11
1hr-2hr $13
2hr-3hr $18
3hr-4hr $20
4hr-12hr $24
12hr-24hr $32

 

*The Second City Box Office will validate ticket for a $1.00 off.

Do you serve food and drinks within the theater?

We have full drink service throughout all performances and also offer an Appetizer Menu. Food prices range from $3.50 - $14. For group dining, we offer dinner packages in partnership with some of the best restaurants within walking distance of the theater. Our preferred restaurants have created customized menus with special pricing just for our groups. View the dinner package options.  

What style of seating is the theatre?

Second City seating is Cabaret Style seating so please be prepared share a table, make new friends, and have a lot of laughs!

How long are your shows AND what's up with the free shows?

Shows last just under 2 hours, including a 12-15 minute intermission. A free improvisation set follows the last performance every night but Friday.