The Second City Hollywood: Laughter on the Boulevard
November 1, 2016
Located on Hollywood Boulevard for a decade, The Second City Hollywood offers comedy seven days a week.
According to marketing and communications manager Carrie Ann Pishnak, the venue runs a variety of premium shows, with current offerings including Friday night programs such as “Afros & Ass Whoopins,” an original musical comedy whose storyline is about a son at odds with his father’s old-world views; and “Undateable,” described by the theater as “A scientific experiment about the online search for love” that’s based on actual OkCupid conversations. On Saturday, a noontime offering, “The Really Awesome Improv Show,” is a family-friendly production featuring improv games that rely on audience suggestions and participation. It’s been running for 6 years. Saturday evening brings the politically potent “In Trump We Trust.”
“The demographic changes drastically from show to show. ‘Afros & Ass Whooping’ has a heavy African-American crowd, ‘Undateable’ is millennials, ‘Really Awesome’ is family friendly so we get a ton of parents and kids, and ‘In Trump We Trust’ runs the gamut,” Pishnak reports.
Second City’s classes are equally varied, with offerings seven days a week for kids and adults.
“We tend to have a fairly diverse student body with a lean towards 20-30 year olds, as well as business professionals coming in to take improv to improve their ability to communicate and work with others,” she explains. “We have our base improv program, three levels of classes that lay the foundation of improvisation. Our professional Conservatory program is the core of what we do at Second City, it’s approximately a year-long program where we teach you how to create content through improvisation.”
Pishnak relates that the end result of attending the Conservatory is the creation of an ensemble one-hour original sketch show, created along with a director and musical director who help the writer create an original song. The production plays on Second City’s stage for six weeks.
In addition, Second City offers a full musical improv program, a writing program – including online classes, a wide range of workshops, a kids and teen improv program, and summer camps. The theater also hosts Second City’s annual LA Diversity in Comedy Festival.
Like other comedy theaters in the LA area, Second City originated in Chicago. Pishnak says “What makes The Second City different in our art form is the same thing that makes us different in our culture. Our Chicago roots are still very much at the heart of who we are in LA. We have long been known for edgy, satirical yet relationship-based comedy featuring top notch talent,” she notes. “We cultivate relationships both on stage and off with our students and performers. The building itself is a sort of home away from home and a surrogate family for our community.”
Second City’s studio theater offers 60 seats, and both their training center and theater are located on the second floor, with a street level box office. Pishnak emphasizes her enthusiasm for the location, with bars and restaurants just steps away, plus easy accessibility via the Hollywood/Highland and Hollywood/Vine subway stops, and numerous parking lots all near by.
Second City Hollywood
6560 Hollywood Blvd.
Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own www.diversionsLA.com.