Second City brings 55th anniversary tour to R.I.

Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014, 12:25 pm
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By Jonathan Turner,
If it's the start of another school year, that means Augustana College will again host the leading brand in improvisation-based sketch comedy, The Second City.

The Second City's 55th anniversary tour will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. in Centennial Hall, 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island.

Known as "A Comedy Empire" by The New York Times, The Second City gives audiences a peek behind the curtain as the superstars of tomorrow present the legendary theater's best skits created by some of the biggest names in the business, according to its news release.

Based in Chicago, The Second City continues to produce the leading voices in adult comedy while touring the globe. It is celebrated for delivering comic talent in the industry, and its long list of famed alumni include Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Joan Rivers, Tina Fey and many others.

Second City opened its doors on a snowy Chicago night in December of 1959 -- experimental and unconventional in its approach to both theater and comedy, according to the company history at "At a time when mother-in-law jokes were more the fashion, The Second City railed against the conformist culture with scenes that spoke to a younger generation," it says.

Alumni of The Second City began to cement the theater's reputation for developing the finest comedic voices of each generation, according to the company. With the debut of NBC's "Saturday Night Live," with Second City alums John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner, the theater became internationally known.

Second City's sister theater in Toronto, Canada developed its own sketch comedy series, "SCTV," hailed as one of the greatest comedy series of all time and featuring an all-star cast that included Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty and Rick Moranis.

Today, The Second City continues to produce the premier comic talent in the industry and has grown beyond a single stage to become a diversified entertainment company. Training centers in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles teach thousands of students every week, and four touring companies perform Second City revues all over North America and abroad.

Tickets to the Augustana show are $10, available at 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island, during regular business hours, or they can be charged by phone at 309-794-7306. Tickets also can be purchased online at Admission for Augustana faculty, staff and students is free by showing an I.D. at the door.

The show includes adult humor and is not appropriate for children.


Local events heading

  Today is Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.

(More History)