Be prepared for a night of laughter and fun as the Wittenberg Series brings in the The Second City. The sketch and improv comedy show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the John Legend Theater at The Dome, located at 700 S. Limestone St. in Springfield. Please note that the show is for mature audiences.
Known for its unconventional and experimental approach, Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theatre has entertained audiences for 60 years and launched the careers of many of comedy’s greatest stars. “The Best of The Second City” features the best sketches and songs from the troupe’s history – made famous by superstars such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, and more – as well as their trademark improvisation.
Founded in 1959 by Paul Sills, Howard Alk, and Bernie Sahlins, The Second City began as a small cabaret theatre. Since then, it has grown into a world-class entertaining company that reaches more than a million audience members every year on its stages in Chicago, Hollywood, and Toronto, as well as at dozens of performances around the United States and Canada.
The Second City has a well-earned reputation of producing premier talent in comedy. In 2019 alone, two dozen Second City alumni, former company members, and training center faculty and graduates received Emmy nominations. Often described as one of the greatest sketch comedy series in history, SCTV, launched in 1976 as an offshoot of the company’s Toronto troupe, earned 15 Emmy nominations and two Emmys. The cast included Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty, and Rick Moranis.
The Second City enterprise is much more than its performance stages in Chicago, Hollywood, and Toronto. Training centers for aspiring comics are located in each of those cities, and the Harold Ramis Film School, opened in 2016 and named for the Second City alumnus and comedian, is the only film school in the world focused entirely on comedy. For businesses and organizations, Second City Works offers professional development programs, content, and events that drive personal growth and organizational improvement.
Now in its 37th year, the Wittenberg Series brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the Wittenberg campus and Springfield community. To make special arrangements, request a Series poster, or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Lisa Watson at WatsonL4@wittenberg.edu. All Wittenberg Series events are free and open to the public. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of each lecture or performance. Below are further details related to this year’s Series.
2020 Wittenberg Series Events:
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020: Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Charles M. Blow, journalist, commentator, and New York Times op-ed columnist. Q & A, 4:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium.
Monday, March 30, 2020: William A. Kinnison Endowed Lecture in History, 7:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium, featuring Eric H. Cline, author, historian, and professor of classics, history, and anthropology at George Washington University.
For more information on the Wittenberg Series, click here.