Tag Archives: Second City

CHICAGO’S THEATRE SCENE – better than Broadway?

Chicago Shakespeare Theater – high arts in the bearpit.

Two young performers are on stage in Chicago’s comedy mecca The Second City. She’s white. He’s African American.

HE: I thought we were soul-mates, but now I find out you watch Fox News! (Laugh from audience)
SHE: There’s an election coming. We ought to be informed.
HE: I don’t have to be informed, I’m black. (Big laugh) I mean, I’m black, Obama’s black. The choice is obvious.
SHE: Oh? So why not vote Republican? Mitt Romney loves Jesus, black people love Jesus…
HE: That’s a totally different Jesus! (Huge laugh)

It’s edgy stuff, and to visitors like us it reveals the city’s zeitgeist. The performers are excellent, and we’re thinking, ‘I wonder if they’ll make it in film or TV some day?’ They may be thinking the same thing.

It can’t be easy being an artist in Chicago. No sooner do you get a start here than you’re tempted to move east or west. Continue reading


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THE SECOND CITY – American comedy’s Harvard in Chicago

Second City is not particularly funny from the outside, but when you pass under those arches…

To really find out about a nation’s zeitgeist, watch its comedy. I don’t mean the carefully scripted, censored-so-as-not-to-lose-the-ratings comedy of films and television. The raw comedy of the clubs is where all is revealed.

For fifty years, in Chicago’s The Second City, funny young people have been climbing onto the stage and winging it, thinking on their feet, improvising in front of a tough crowd. It’s a terrifying learning ground, but some have survived it and graduated to fame and fortune. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, USA