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To cut costs, The Second City loses two high-profile staffers

The Second City. | Sun-Times file photo

In the wake of two money-losing shows, two high-profile staffers have left The Second City this week, according to the legendary comedy theater’s owner.

Erica Daniels, president of Second City Theatricals, and Michael Gart, the theater’s chief financial officer, both left Thursday, said Andrew Alexander.

“What we decided was amicable,” Alexander said of Daniels’ and Gart’s departures. “I’m taking a more active role in the theater department. I’ve been kind of hands-off for a number of years. So I’m getting re-involved.”

Alexander said a couple of recent Second City shows had “underperformed really significantly. So we had to tighten up that department.”

The two shows — which were both on tour in 2016 — lost about “a few hundred thousand” dollars, Alexander said.

A Chicago Tribune story posted online Friday noted that the staffers’ departures came on the heels of the recent exits of several performers in Second City’s e.t.c. 40th Revue “A Red Line Runs Through It.”

The Tribune identified those performers as Lisa Beasley, Aasia Lashay Bullock, Scott Morehead and Peter Kim.

Those resignations followed discord backstage between actors in the show and crude comments from audience members, according to the Tribune.

“They’re not connected,” Alexander said of the actors’ departures and those of the administrative staff.

In a review in May, the Sun-Times’ Darel Jevens described “A Red Line Runs Through It” as an edgy show that included barbs at Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“The e.t.c. company in ‘A Red Line Runs Through It’ is a seemingly upbeat bunch, genial and eager to please,” Jevens wrote. “But as the actors’ expressions reassure, their opinions unsettle. The wrong is condemned. F-words and n-words erupt. The smiles remain.”