Second City to Celebrate 50th Year With Special Weekend; Short, Martin and "SCTV" Pals to Reunite

News   Second City to Celebrate 50th Year With Special Weekend; Short, Martin and "SCTV" Pals to Reunite The Second City will celebrate its 50th year of improvisational-based comedy with a weekend festival Dec. 11-13 in the city for which the troupe was named — Chicago.
Andrea Martin
Andrea Martin

The "events and happenings…will bring together alumni, recreate renowned sketches and characters, and bring the history of the theatre to life," according to Second City.

During the weekend of Dec. 11- 13, the theatre's home on Wells Street in Chicago will house "a celebratory alumni reunion." Expect performances, panels and screenings.

A highlight of the weekend will be the "SCTV Reunion," a benefit for The Second City Alumni Fund, on Dec. 11. It will feature stars from the TV comedy series that aired in Canada, on NBC and in syndication: Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Tony Award winner Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis, Tony Award winner Martin Short and Dave Thomas, plus special guests (times and tickets TBA).

The alumni fund helps give resources and care to Second City veteran performers, technicians and others who may be in need.

Alumni panels and screenings will take place Dec. 12-13; alumni reunion performances in all spaces will play Dec. 12. Tickets and show times will be announced in the coming weeks. The Second City is also launching a 50th Anniversary microsite the week of Aug. 4. It features alumni photos, video and audio clips at www.secondcity.com/50.

Andrew Alexander, proprietor and executive producer of The Second City, stated, "Beginning this fall, we will honor The Second City — both those who make it a legend as well as those who will keep us legendary. At 50, we're toasting our success of staying original and gleefully defying convention all these years."

Beginning as a small cabaret theatre on Chicago's north side in 1959, The Second City "has grown to become a comedy empire — building a robust business based on its core improvisational methodologies," according to the company. "Resident theatres in Chicago and Toronto create topical sketch comedy revues that satirize politics, culture and news of the day. Beyond its stages, The Second City created the foremost school of improvisation-based arts in the world, with training facilities in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles that currently enroll over 3,000 students; a corporate division works with hundreds of Fortune 500 companies in areas of training, marketing, entertainment and brand services; and The Second City's forays into television and new media include the classic, Emmy Award-winning comedy series 'SCTV' as well as a number of new productions originating from The Second City Entertainment's offices in Los Angeles."

The Second City is best known as the incubator for North American comedy stars and actors Alan Arkin, Ed Asner, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Peter Boyle, John Candy, Steve Carell, Dan Castellaneta, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Bonnie Hunt, Robert Klein, Andrea Martin, Elaine May, Jack McBrayer, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Mike Nichols, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joan Rivers, Amy Sedaris, Martin Short, Nia Vardalos and Fred Willard.

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