Your Guide to the Chicago Improv Scene

It’s an exciting time to catch an Improv show in Chicago! Check out our guide to the different shows in Chicago – some only available for a limited time. Of an especially limited nature is the Chicago Improv Festival – running this week through 4/26!

Note: Some descriptions taken from respective websites.

The Second City

The Second City
Source: Wikipedia

Shows: The Boys – Every Friday Night, $10
Improv Legends and teachers, Rachael Mason, Norm Holly, Susan Messing, Craig Uhlir, Ryan Archibald and Rush Howell follow the formula of taking a suggestion and “making it worse”. The create the rules and break them during each show with not only clever shock value but intelligent ballbacks and fun relationships.

The Tim and Michah Project: Self Titled – Saturdays @9pm running from april 4th-may 16th. No shows on 4/25, $13
Improv Legends and teachers, Rachael Mason, Norm Holly, Susan Messing, Craig Uhlir, Ryan Archibald and Rush Howell follow the formula of taking a suggestion and “making it worse”. The create the rules and break them during each show with not only clever shock value but intelligent ballbacks and fun relationships.

Conservatory
Shows: Rubbing Out Otis – April 17th-May26th, $15
A film noir farce and screwball comedy in the tradition of Clue, the Pink Panther and Noises Off. Femme fatales and hardboiled deterctives meet mistaken identities and madcap anticisin in this fast paced caper.

Drink! The Sketch Comedy Drinking Game – Saturdays at 11pm, March 14th-April 25th., $15
A celebration of what makes Chicago, “sweet home Chicago”, with a follow along drinking game throughout the sketches.

The Improvised Olympic

iO Theater
Source: ChicagoNow

Shows: DeepSchwa – Every Sunday night at 8:30pm, $12
Arguably one of IO’s strongest harold teams, Deep Schwa boasts a formidable lineup of improvisors and local improv teachers. Due to the nature of the harold’s form being so intrecate to discuss, anyone looking for a good laugh and to see all the improv rules created and bent will just have to see the show.

Revolver – Every Friday at 10:30pm, $14
Debuting in 2006, this improv team has received the Del award for best harold team. Revolver has performed I the chicago improv festival, the LA Improv Festival at IO West and the IO south Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina. They also perform and teach workshops in Kansas City in conjunction with City3.

The MCL

MCL
Source: MCL’s Twitter

Shows: MINT – Every Wednesday at 7:30pm, $5
A night of musical improv teams performing is quite different than any kind of improv showcase happening in this city. A fun way to spend a weeknight with friends or family.

Vamp – Every Friday and Saturday at 10:30pm, $15
A twice weekly showcase of Chicago’s strongest musical comedy talents. A fun and wil musical comedy drinking show.

Under the Gun Theater

Under the Gun Theater
Source: Under the Gun Theater

Shows: Comedy Against Humanity – Every Friday and Saturday at 10:30pm, $15
A live unauthorized show for horrible people. Interactive improv show that pulls suggestions from the audience playing the infamous card game.

A Swarm of Spiders – Fridays at 7:30pm, $15
A parody recap game of The Game of Thrones, condensing the first 4 seasons into 1 hour of theatre.

The Shithole

The Shit Hole
Source: The Shit Hole

Filled with mismatched thrifted chairs, every inch of this theatre fills up with improv nerds, students, friends and coworkers looking for fun, to try out new performance material, or just to get a few laughs. This underground theatre is the catalyst of the rumblings of Chicago. This. Is. The. Shithole. Insiders will tell you that if you’d like to attend a show, email shitholeinfo@gmail.com and ‘ask for details.’

CIC

CIC
Source: CIC’s Facebook

Shows: Man Bites Dog – Thursdays at 10pm
Law Dog and Man Baby, two of Chicago’s most tolerated independent improv teams, have joined forces to put on a comedy showcase to be enjoyed by men, dogs, babies, lawyers and any combination thereof.

The Dark Room – Tuesdays at 8pm.
Improvisers use the dark room to develop talents rareley see in their usual repertoire. Improv, sketch, music, storytelling, standup and more!

The Annoyance

The Annoyance
Source; The Annoyance’s Facebook

Shows: Holy Fuck Comedy Hour – Fridays at 12am, FREE
See a collage of character studies, scenes, songs and maybe even some audience interaction, all written in a week by some of Chicago’s most accomplished comedians.

TNT – Tuesdays at 9:30pm, $10
An explosion of improv talent, featuring some of the best of the best improvisers in the city. Treat yourself to some excellent improv.

Nico Pressley

Nico Pressley is a bartender by night, writer, actress, model and part time batman nemesis by day.When she isn't improvising she's writing sketches and going through therapy by telling strangers vulnerable stories for their entertainment.

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