Second City plans livestream improv show starring housebound duos

While its theaters are closed, the Old Town theater is showcasing actors in different cities for a free digital comedy set.

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The Second City

The Second City, Chicago’s 60-year-old warhorse of improv and sketch comedy, is dipping into live streaming theater this week while its theaters are closed.

The first performance of “Improv House Party” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, and viewers are invited to watch on Zoom for free by registering here.

The show will feature three duos improvising from their homes. Each pair happens to be sheltering under the same roof already: former Chicagoans Julie Marchiano and Charles Pettitt in Los Angeles and two duos in Toronto, where Second City operates its other big theater space. Host Sandy Jobin-Bevans and director Carly Heffernan also are Toronto-based.

No one will be performing from Chicago, although musical director Jesse Case, a veteran of multiple Second City revues here, will add melodic enhancement from his home studio in Downstate Illinois.

The two-way stream will allow for suggestions from the audience. Viewers are encouraged to make donations to The Second City Alumni Fund, which assists performers and other Second City people who are facing health and financial challenges.

The Old Town comedy institution has been teaching classes online through its training center for years and also is offering live, virtual education and entertainment sessions for business clients.

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