FAQs

Which show should I see?

We’re proud to offer a multitude of shows to suit all kinds of audiences. What are you in the mood for?

Do You Believe in Madness?: Our current Mainstage show is a can’t-miss for those who enjoy hot-button issues & political humor.

Grinning from Fear to Fear: The e.t.c.’s current revue is a great show for anyone who likes their laughter to get personal and cut deep.

She the People: UP Comedy Club’s all-female, all-fierce show is all-inclusive when it comes to comedy and pokes fun at the norms and expectations society had better re-think...real quick.

Deck the Hallmark: Love binge-watching those so-bad-they’re-good holiday rom-coms? Binge IRL (and don’t miss the festive lobby photo opp) with this scripted roast of the genre.

Best of The Second City: features some of the best sketch comedy and songs from our comedy vaults updated for the modern era, as well as some of our newest classics and our trademark improvisation.

Is there an age restriction?

The Second City does not admit children under the age of 10. Children 10-17 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
There is no drink minimum at The Second City

How can I purchase tickets for a Second City show?

You can purchase tickets online at www.SecondCity.com, over the phone at (312) 337-3992, or in person at our box office located at 1616 North Wells Street. Tickets can be purchased with all major credit cards and with cash in person.

Is there a service fee for buying tickets?

Tickets purchased online and over the phone incur a $5.25 per ticket fee. Tickets purchased in person incur a $0.25 per ticket fee.

Where will my seat be? What is "cabaret seating"?

Tickets are purchased for a specific seating section, not specific seats. In our theaters, tickets can be purchased for General Admission which includes the floor (closest to the stage) and Platform (elevated towards the rear of the theater), or the Premium Rail section (where our VIPs sit).

When you arrive at the theater, our House Manager will assign you a seat based on your time of arrival and how many parties are expected for that performance. All seating is based on the discretion of the House Manager.

Our tables are closer together because it's a nightclub. You'll always be seated with the people you came with, but expect to make some new friends, too.

Why is the theater so cold?

When a couple hundred people enter a small room at once, the temperature increases anywhere from 8 to 12 degrees...quickly. Even the finest HVAC systems in the world can’t handle that kind of rapid transition well.

It’s also important to consider that the temperature *on stage* is dramatically different for the actors than it is for you, our audience. Not only are they under hot lights, but they’re constantly moving around...and no one bought tickets to watch a bunch of overheated actors pouring sweat.

So bring a jacket!

I can’t make the show anymore! What can I do?

The Second City does not allow for any refunds. All sales are final. In rare cases, and based on availability, we may be able to move your ticket to a future show.

All of your shows are sold out! Are there any other options?

The Second City offers a wait list to our patrons when all of our shows are sold out. You may put your name on the wait list beginning at 5pm for evening shows or 2pm for matinees, IN PERSON ONLY, at one of our box offices. Approximately five minutes before the show, our staff will let you know if we’re able to get you into the performance.

I have or a member of my party has physical access needs. Whom can I contact regarding seating?

The Second City respects the individual needs of every single guest who joins us for an experience, including guests requiring accessibility accommodations. For guests with mobility, hearing or sight disabilities, The Second City offers services, which can be found on our accessibility page, and requested in advance by contacting the Box Office or our Customer Service Team 7 days a week.

In Person: 230 W. North Ave., 1st Floor
By Phone: (312) 337-3992
By Email: You can also send a request via email to access@secondcity.com

When requesting access or purchasing tickets to an accessible show, please indicate which service(s) you are in need of for us to best accommodate you. We look forward to welcoming you!

Is the whole show just made up on the spot?

First, let’s define a few terms so we’re all on the same page:

Sketch comedy: Scripted, well-rehearsed scenes that we never, ever call “skits.” (And most of us are mighty touchy about that one.)
Improv: The unscripted, spontaneous, collaborative art form Second City is famous for.
Stand-Up: The classic one-comic-on-stage-with-a-mic-telling-jokes routine. Think Jerry Seinfeld against a brick wall. Typically, any stand-up performances at Second City happen in the UP Comedy Club.

A classic Second City revue is made up of original sketches and songs sprinkled with a healthy dose of our world-famous improv. Second City productions are fully written and rehearsed, but no two shows are ever the same.

What is the difference between resident stages and studio theaters?

Our resident stages (Mainstage, e.t.c., and UP Comedy Club) feature Second City’s headline performances and professional Second City talent. Revues showcase a collection of comedic scenes, characters, songs and more that have been honed and developed by our world-class ensemble. Revues at Second City are hilarious, thoughtful, smart and polished, and they often feature moments of unscripted improvisation, creating a one-of-a-kind night of live theater. These theaters are not available to rent for outside performers.

Our studio theaters (Blackout Cabaret, Judy’s Beat Lounge, Donny’s Skybox, de Maat Studio Theater) may feature:
- Guest Performances: These non-Second City productions are original works created and produced by guest performers and ensembles. With limited runs in The Second City’s Studio Theaters, these performances allow for complete creative freedom and may feature artists of any experience level.
- Training Center Student Performances: These performances feature Second City Training Center students currently enrolled in classes and showcase the skills developed through our various creative programs, including improv, acting, stand-up, music and more.
- Training Center Productions: These are ongoing weekly performance opportunities meant to give Second City Training Center students and graduates more experience on stage.

These theaters are available to outside performers to rent. If you would like more information on renting a studio theater, please contact Stephanie Case at scase@secondcity.com.

Are there multiple locations of Second City in Chicago?

Nope, just one! The Second City is located at the northwest corner of North Ave. and Wells St. in Old Town. We do have many stages and entrances, though, so double-check your tickets to find the correct theater name and show title you’re attending.

Chicago Mainstage: 1616 N. Wells St. (inside the stone arches)
e.t.c. Theater: 230 W. North Ave, 2nd Floor
UP Comedy Club: 230 W. North Ave, 3rd Floor
Donny's Skybox Theatre: 230 W North Ave, 4th Floor
de Maat Studio Theater: 230 W North Ave, 3rd Floor
Judy's Beat Lounge: 230 W North Ave, 2nd Floor (inside the Training Center)
The Blackout Cabaret: 230 W North Ave, 2nd Floor (inside the Training Center)

Note: Our accessible entrance for all stages is located at 230 W. North Ave. Find out more about The Second City’s commitment to accessibility here.

Where do I park?

There is limited metered street parking in the area, as well as an indoor garage attached to Piper’s Alley.

PIPER’S 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

*Prices subject to change without notice

Does Second City enforce a food or drink minimum?

No way! Although we do not require any food or drink minimums, we do offer a full food and drink menu inside all three of our professional stages. You are more than welcome to place an order once you've been seated.

If you’re looking to sit down before or after the show, there are three full-service bar/restaurants inside the building: 1959 Kitchen & Bar, Roots Handmade Pizza, and Utopian Tailgate.

Is there a dress code?

We are a casual establishment. You are welcome to get swanky or get comfy in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Whichever way you’re comfortable.

I have a question not listed here! Who can I ask?

Call a Customer Service Representative at (312) 337-3992 during regular business hours. You can also send us a chat from 9am-10pm CST Monday through Thursday and 9am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. These are real humans happy to help answer all of your questions. Just click the red chat icon located on the lower right corner of our website.