Second City Touring Company
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Second City touring Company is now celebrating more than fifty years of improvisational comedy enterprise Second City, which originated in the neighborhood of Chicago’s Old Town. Second City Theatre opened in December 1959, expanding its presence to many other cities such as Los Angeles and Toronto. The enterprise has been producing TV programs in Canada as well as the United States including Next Comedy Legend, SCTV and Second City Presents, along which it has been densely involved in creating the satirical science fiction film of 1969 called The Monitors.
Since the very start, Second City has been consistently looked at as the starting platform for directors, comedians, actors and other professionals from show business. Today it is considered to be the leading brand of improv sketch comedy, with eleven full time touring ensembles as well as a theatricals division, thriving corporate communications and film and TV operations. The New York Times has rightly called it the Comedy Empire. Second City touring Company tickets are the raging topic of town talk among comedy fans.
Second City touring Company is known as the first ever on-going troupe of improvisational theatre in the U.S. It has slowly evolved into its current form from Compass Players, which was a fifties’ cabaret revue show begun by undergraduates from University of Chicago. This young troupe decided to give itself that self-mocking name taken from an A.J. Liebling article about Chicago that was printed in 1952 in The New Yorker. The first revue show by Second City premiered on 1842 North Wells Street, following which the company relocated a couple of blocks to the south, in 1976. Son of instructor Viola Spolin, Paul Sills, along with Bernard Sahlins and Howard Alk, formed the theater as a channel for creating stories and scenes in an improvisational style. Such a methodology made use of skills that grew from the innovative techniques developed and taught by Stolin that later came to be known as Theater Games.
The comedy style of Second City touring Company that was exceedingly similar to cabaret style, tended to reflect commentary on and satire of current social norms, events and political figures. The theater sent its cast to Broadway for a musical revue called From the Second City, which was later nominated for a Tony Award. The theater eventually expanded to have three touring companies as well as another resident company, fostering at present, a company dedicated to diversity and outreach. Though, its comedy style has slowly changed, its format has been the same. Its revues feature a combination of scripted and semi-improvised scenes with new pieces developed in the unscripted improv sessions following the second act, which in turn featured scenes are created depending on the audiences’ suggestions. Another innovation of the Second City is its inclusion of improvised live music in its performance.
In December 2009, Second City touring Company celebrated its much awaited fiftieth anniversary by throwing a joyful weekend of performances and panels, featuring several well recognized alumni along with an exclusive SCTC reunion show that starred Dave Thomas, Martin Short, Harold Ramis, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy and Joe Flaherty. It also featuring renowned alumni coming back to the show to participate, including George Wendt, Betty Thomas, David Rasche, Fred Willard, Robert Klein, Richard Kind, Ian Gomez, Amy Sedaris, Dan Castellaneta, James Belushi, Jack McBrayer,Jeff Garlin, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell as well as an original member of the cast Mina Kolb, founder Bernard Sahlins and Shelley Berman. The company is hosting many more exciting performances such as Celebrating Gilda, Letters to Santa: Second City That Never Sleeps, The Best of Second City, Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue, We’re All in The Room Together, and The Second City Hundredth Revue; Who Do We Think We’re, among many more. These exciting, seriously hilarious shows are not to be missed, so just grab some cheap Second City touring Company tickets and be there for the unstoppable giggles.
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