Legendary comedy troupe, The Second City , was the incubator for Belushi, Colbert, Carell, Murray, Radner, Myers, Fey, Farley and many other celebrated comedians. Now, five decades of this famed company's insidious satire, improvistion and dead on mockery are surveyed in the touring company's show, "50 Years of The Second City," arriving at Long Wharf Theatre June 15-19.The Second City opened its doors in 1959 as a small cabaret theater founded by Paul Sills, Howard Alk and Bernie Sahlins in Chicago. Sills's mother, Viola Spolin, had written the definitive book, "Improvisation for the Theater." It became their training manual to teach students an experimental and unconventional new style of comedy.
And over the years, it seems nearly everyone who honed their comedic skills at The Second City went on to a high profile career. Other illustrious alumni include Alan Arkin, Barbara Harris, Robert Klein, David Steinberg and Fred Willard. When NBC's "Saturday Night Live" debuted in 1975, its creator, Lorne Michaels, recruited heavily from The Second City roster, signing on John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner as cast members. The TV show's exploding popularity focused a spotlight on The Second City, garnering it public attention -- and some much deserved reverence as the Harvard of comedy graduate programs. Still one of the finest performing training grounds, The Second City has expanded to three locations, in Toronto and Los Angeles as well as Chicago.
Catch "50 Years of The Second City" at Long Wharf to see this hallowed comedy troupe's clever skewerings and hilarious sketches. Tickets are $40. For more information, visit Long Wharf's website .
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