Video: Director Jen Ellison and cast members George C. Owens and Jackie Southee talk with DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore about The Second City’s latest visit to Denver. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.
The Second City’s latest Denver-bound comedy laughs at love and all of its side-splitting side effects
The Second City has been laughing at love and its infinite scroll of side effects for decades. In the world-famous comedy company’s latest laughter-inducing undertaking, It’s Not You, It’s Me – The Second City takes shots at heartbreak, missed connections and the mire of human relationships. Your friends, your parents, even your blind date will find something familiar to laugh at, thanks to comedy’s newest generation of writers and performers … who all fit squarely into the “it’s complicated” category.
Since opening its doors 1959, The Second City has grown to become the world’s premier comedy club, theater and school of improvisation, entertaining 1 million theatergoers a year around the globe. Alumni of The Second City’s resident stages, touring companies, and theatrical divisions across Chicago and Toronto include some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and more.
Previous Second City creations that have visited Denver include Red Scare and How I Lost My Denverginity. That ensemble included Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel, who went on to fame as writers and performers on Late Night With Seth Meyers (“Jokes Seth Can’t Tell.”)
Meet the cast for Denver
- Meghan Babbe is originally from Rapid City, South Dakota. She lives in Chicago where she regularly performs sketch and improv at CiC Theater and iO. She an alumni of the Comedy Studies program. Follow her on Twitter @ m_babbe
- Kiley Fitzgerald is originally from Boston where she was a member of the Improv Asylum’s Mainstage. She currently lives in Chicago, where she has appeared in The Second City as well as The Annoyance Theater’s Trigger Happy and IO’s Glass Basement.
- Evan Mills attended Columbia College, where he studied film. He has trained at the Second City and is a recipient and alumni of the 2017 Bob Curry Fellowship Program. He recently performed with the Second City in Generation Gap at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and is now currently part of their touring company. He is also part of a comedy music duo called Evan & Mary-Jane. Follow him on Instagram @awkvanmills
- George C. Owens was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and moved to Chicago to attend Loyola University. He performs all around the city of Chicago with Artemis at iO, Hitch*Cocktails at The Annoyance Theater, and with his independent sketch duo Henrik and George. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @george_c_owens
- Jackie Southee moved to Chicago in 2009 after graduating from James Madison University. She is an alumnus of The Second City’s Conservatory and Writing program. Outside of The Second City, Jackie performs regularly at iO, The Annoyance, and was the Managing Producer of Flat Iron Comedy where she performed on the house team, Follow Jackie on Twitter @JackieSouthee
- Jordan Stafford is from the dope city of Detroit, Michigan. He attended Saginaw Valley State University, where he studied theatre, and while there he was also introduced to improv. He’s a part of the Chicago sketch duo TEEN CUDi and the iO Harold team St. Gen’s. Follow hi on on Instagram @staffordianworks
- Jen Ellison (Director) has been performing, writing and directing in Chicago for nearly 20 years. As a resident director at the Second City, she has overseen three national touring companies, developed multiple shows for their Outreach and Diversity program, and directed Apes of Wrath for the ETC stage. Other directing credits include Collaboraction, Trap Door Theatre, the Nick & Gabe shows for the Up Comedy Club and most recently Tangles and Plaques for the The Neo-Futurists (where she is an artistic associate). Jen is a workshop designer for the Second Science Project, an instructor at DePaul University, and a member of the Comedy Writing and Performance faculty at Columbia College Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @jenjen1138 and @drunkjcrewuguys.
- Sara Stock (Stage Manager) who currently co-produces and performs at two storytelling shows in Chicago, We Have Questions and Appetite for Rock N’ Roll Storytelling.
- Jeff Strickland (Music Director) is a musician and composer originally from North Carolina. He studied Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville before moving to Chicago. He was music director at Public House Theater for 10 years where he starred in Bye, Bye Liver: The Chicago Drinking Play for eight years, wrote and directed West (and North) Side Story and other projects.
It’s Not You, It’s Me – The Second City: Ticket information
- Dates: Through August 25
- Where: Garner Galleria Theatre, Dever Performing Arts Complex
- Age recommendation: Adult content
- Tickets: Available by calling 303-893-4100, in person in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex at 14th and Curtis streets or, online by clicking here:
It’s Not You, It’s Me – The Second City: Photo gallery
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Online bonus: A look back at some of Second City’s funniest alumni
By Carolyn Michaels
Since 1959, The Second City has grown to become the world’s premier comedy club and school of improvisation. Before you meet the next generation of writers and performers in It’s Not You, It’s Me, take a look back at some of their funniest alumni.
Alan Alda and Ed Asner | Before starring on “M*A*S*H” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” respectively, Alda and Asner were among the first recruits of The Second City.
Harold Ramis | The comedy legend was the head writer on the Emmy-winning “SCTV” before writing Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day.
Joan Rivers | The groundbreaking comic famously flung an ashtray at the ground in fury during her audition.
Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy | The hilarious duo were among the early wave of Second City’s Toronto cast members before working together in countless TV and movie efforts, including the current hit “Schitt’s Creek.”
Bill Murray | Joining “Saturday Night Live” gave Murray a chance to showcase characters he developed at Second City, including Nick the lounge singer.
Gilda Radner | The uninhibited comedian starred in three revues alongside cast members Dan Aykroyd and John Candy.
Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles | After their time with Second City, both comedians were cast on the British TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and its American spinoff.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus | Before her Emmy- winning roles on “Seinfeld” and “Veep,” she trained and performed with The Second City and Chicago’s The Practical Theatre Company.
Chris Farley | The larger-than-life performer joined Second City after meeting his comedic idol John Belushi’s mentor, Del Close.
Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell | Before they both flexed their comedy chops as correspondents on “The Daily Show”, Colbert was Carell’s understudy at Second City.
Tina Fey | Fey worked at a YMCA to pay for Second City classes before becoming “Saturday Night Live’s” first female head writer.
Keegan-Michael Key | Key put his improv skills to good use after Second City on “MADtv” and his Emmy-nominated sketch show “Key & Peele.”