What with the Capitol Steps satirical gang ribbing President Clinton with the title of their latest musical-sketch show, Unzippin' My Doo `Dah, it was only a matter of time before New York's Chicago City Limits sketch/improv troupe chimed in with their own presidential punditry.
CCL's latest installment is titled Subpoenas Envy, a dig at the current legal troubles surrounding the Clinton White House, Monica Lewinsky, Ken Starr and a cocktail dress. "Envy" is CCL's first new show since they opened @ChicagoCityLimits.comedy back in April 1997. The new evening is now in previews, with an opening date (TBA) in early September, according to production spokesperson Jason Scott.
Scott noted that the show is about half improv, half sketches, and includes such political material as a bit about how "the Secret Service is not so secretive."
CCL's line-up for the gig is the same as its recent cast for @ChicagoCityLimits.comedy: Joe DeGise II, John O'Donnell, Carl Kissin and Denny Siegel, with pianist Frank Spitznagle all combining on sketches and improvisations. Executive producer Paul Zuckerman directs.
The troupe was formed in Chicago in 1977 by George Todisco and other performers in workshop at Chicago's legendary Second City. Todisco, who died in 1981, served as artistic director and producer for the troupe during its early years. After moving to Manhattan a year later, the group began appearing in nightspots and comedy clubs, eventually moving Off Broadway (1980) to the Jan Hus Playhouse and, currently, their own theatre (on First Ave. and 61st St. in New York). For 15 years and counting the troupe has also been offering workshops in improvisational theatre for both beginners and seasoned performers. Previous Chicago City Limits titles have included: CCL With Clam Sauce; He She And It; X The Roman Numeral; Scandals Of `89; Saddam You're Rockin' The Boat; The Official Comedy Team Of The 1992 Olympics; Lame Duck Soup and Let Loose The Dogs Of Improv.
For tickets and information on @ChicagoCityLimits.comedy call (212) 888-LAFF.
--By David Lefkowitz