6abc Loves the Arts: The Second City

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The Kimmel Center is bringing The Windy City's most famous comedy troupe to Philadelphia. (WPVI)

The Kimmel Center is bringing The Windy City's most famous comedy troupe to Philadelphia.

Chicago's The Second City is a renowned comedy theater group that has been dubbed "The Harvard of Comedy."

The troupe is on tour, set to make a stop in Philadelphia for two nights full of in-your-face entertainment.

"It's a great way to sort of get warmed up with a lot of laughter during the winter," said Kimmel Center Director of Programming Frances Egler.

The Second City was founded in Chicago in 1959 and has since expanded to two other locations in Hollywood and Toronto, with live shows nightly.

"What they focus on is not stand-up but more improvisational comedy," said Egler. "So it's writing skits, writing songs, but also just creating a show basically right in front of the audience."

The company has been made famous by a long list of comedians who got their start there, including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Steven Colbert and Steve Carrell.

"They started out primarily as performers," said Egler, "but they're performers who were also writing their own material."

February 3rd and 4th the group will perform a show entitled "We're All In This Room Together."

"It's basically an evening of fast-paced sketch comedy that you'll be able to sort of participate in, because they do ask for suggestions from the audience," said Egler.

Egler says the organization also houses three touring companies to take their improv around the country, "and also give performers who might not be ready for the main stage a chance to perform and basically develop their improv skills."

"So you might see the next John Belushi. You might see the next Jason Sadakis," Egler continues. "So it's a lot of fun to see some of the big upcoming stars."

The troupe will perform new and existing material while staying true to themes relevant to Philadelphia, like "parking in the middle of Broad Street, why can't the 76ers win more," Egler explains.
And, she says, you'll never see the same show twice

"You're seeing people creating in front of you and getting that amazing live performance that you really can't get anywhere else," she says.

The Second City is at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater on February 3rd and 4th.

Click here for tickets and show times.
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