Legendary comedy institution Second City to open new location in Williamsburg

October 16, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Rendering of The Second City New York
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The legendary comedy institution The Second City, where legends like Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and John Belushi got their start, is coming to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The new 12,000-square-foot entertainment complex at 64 North 9th St. comprises two live theaters, seven training center classrooms and a full-service restaurant and bar. Opening date is scheduled for Nov. 16, 2023.

The original Second City in Chicago, which is still thriving, was founded in 1959 as a small comedy theater. By the 1970s, it was a source of comedians for “Saturday Night Live.”

In 1973, The Second City opened up a second location in Toronto. A Los Angeles location known as Second City Hollywood was also opened, but it closed in 2022 and is no longer listed on the Second City website.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

In addition to its theaters, TV shows and training classes for improv comedians, the Second City has provided entertainment and cruise ships and has sponsored productions in regional theaters across the country.

Columbia College Chicago student instructor Jet Eveleth, kneeling, and students watch Allison Bosma, left, and Maximillian Lapine work on improv skills at The Second City Feb. 7, 2007, in Chicago. Photo: M. Spencer Green, AP

“There is no better way to kick off our 65th anniversary celebrations than by opening the doors to The Second City New York in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As the center of global culture and entertainment, New York represents a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our world-renowned brand of comedy-based entertainment with an incredible NYC-based cast, and to deliver our proprietary Yes, And… improv-based training,” said Second City CEO Ed Wells.

“Building upon our storied history and decades of success in Chicago and Toronto, we are thrilled to improvise a whole new adventure with the New York City community,” he added.

The Second City’s first-ever New York-Based cast includes E.J. Cameron, Ashley Leisten, Ben Rameaka, Yazmin Ramos, Drew Reilly, and Jacklyn Uweh. Jen Ellison directs The Second City Mainstage revue. Alan Kliffer will serve as artistic director, Jeff Bouthiette as musical director and Kayla Freeman as stage manager, with technical direction from Kurt Cruz. Matt Prigge will serve as producer.

For Christmas, the ensemble will present “Second City’s Jack Frost Roasting on an Open Fire.” Classic holiday family gatherings, office parties, movies and Mariah Carey’s Christmas songswill be severely lampooned in this fast-paced, interactive comedy revue stuffed with seasonal songs, sketches and improv comedy.

Tickets to upcoming shows are on sale now at https://www.secondcity.com/new-york-shows/, and enrollment is now open training center classes at https://www.secondcity.com/courses/new-york/adult/.

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