Tickets go on sale today!
Come for the show, stay for the party.
For years, iO has been a top destination for New Year’s Eve fun in Chicago. This year, we’re thrilled to take it to the next level at our brand new, fully renovated location at 1501 Kingsbury St.
The Ticket – $100
The Shows – your choice of:
• TJ & Dave (Mission Theater)
• The Improvised Shakespeare Co. (Del Close Theater)
• The Deltones present The Improvised Musical (The Harold Cabaret)
The Party – Includes all the following:
• Open Bar (draft beer, house wine & mixed drinks)
• Savory Small Bites Buffett from iO’s new full service kitchen (until midnight)
• Late Nite Tacos & Mini Donuts (after midnight)
• Music & Dancing in iO’s all new Event Warehouse
• Midnight champagne toast to ring in 2015
This is THE must-do New Year’s show for the spirited partygoer. Seating is limited, and some shows may sell out before others. Pick your favorite and get your tickets before it’s too late!
Limited engagement with two of the best in the biz
We’re thrilled to announce a limited four-night only run of “Rush Howell & Steve Waltien”, as dynamic a longform improvisation duo as you are likely to see.
Rush is a founding member of legendary iO house team People of Earth and its reincarnation, 3033. Steve is a founding member of both Whirled News Tonight and the Improvised Shakespeare Co., and recently ended a long stint on the Second City mainstage.
These are two undeniable talents working together alone on stage for the first time, and it promises to be spectacular. Don’t miss this.
Tuesday November 11, 8:00
Tuesday November 18, 8:00
Tuesday December 2, 8:00
Tuesday December 9, 8:00
Tickets are $12
Call for applicants posted online
iO West is proud to present Cake Batter’s Funny Women Festival! For three days on December 4th-6th, the iO West stages will be filled with female-only performances, various competitions, celebrity headliners and judges, and a variety of female focused workshops. Funny Women Festival – Los Angeles (#FWFLA) will be a celebration of creative women in all types of comedy, sure to create an even stronger community by attracting comedians from across the country.
There’s plenty of opportunity to get involved! In addition to the featured shows, there will be a variety of competition categories for performers: Sketch Cage Match, Stand Up, Improv Cage Match and You for the Money (Solo performances). FWFLA also offers numerous workshops for both improvisation and sketch, open to the public (You too, Boys.) These workshops will be led by current iO West instructors as well as special guests who are currently working in the industry; credits include SNL, Conan, Key and Peele, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Emmys, Shameless, Cougar Town, MADtv and more.
Participants can enter multiple categories, (each one requires an application fee) and compete for prizes awarded to the winners of each category. Prizes include stage time at iO West and the iconic Comedy Central Stage, meetings with casting directors, and networking opportunities with celebrity judges.
There’s more! We are pleased to support The Downtown Women’s Center as the festival’s official beneficiary. A percentage of all revenue will be donated to The Downtown Women’s Center, a nationally recognized pioneer of permanent supportive housing and the only resource in LA that is exclusively dedicated to serving the unique needs of homeless and very low-income women in downtown Los Angeles’s Skid Row community.
Darel Jevens previews iO's production of the musical from Waiting For Guffman
Saturdays at 10:30, starting November 15th, iO is pleased to present Aphasia Productions’ “Red, White & Blaine”, a full-scale performance of the community musical at the center of the 1997 Christopher Guest classic, “Waiting For Guffman.” Featuring all the songs you know from the film, songs that were deleted from the final cut, and original songs from musical director Matt Herzau and director Jeff Griggs, “Red, White & Blaine” is a celebration of the sesquicentennial (that’s the 150th) of the fictional Missouri town. The Sun Times’ Darel Jevens wrote up an enthusiastic preview of the show which you can read here. This show promises to be a ton of fun, even if you aren’t familiar with the movie. Be sure to get your tickets for Red, White & Blaine now!
Get Amy's new book at iO!
Darel Jevens posted a nice piece about iO Alum Amy Poehler’s new book, “Yes Please”, including some nice mentions of her formative years at iO:
" She would watch and learn from ImprovOlympic’s main team that included Adam McKay (“Anchorman”) and Neil Flynn (“The Middle”). She would be trained by iO’s Charna Halpern (“the Stevie Nicks of improvisation”) and Del Close (“the man everybody was trying to please”).
Halpern took a liking to her and suggested she meet another student who was similar to Poehler “but with brown hair.” That was Tina Fey, and the two developed an affinity still evident at Golden Globes ceremonies today.
Fey and Poehler got on an iO team called Inside Vladimir with six dudes “who were great and supportive and totally fine with Tina and me taking over.” One night she pulled an audience volunteer to the stage and interviewed him about his day, and that was a young Seth Meyers, later her Weekend Update co-anchor. She has no memory of this, but Meyers writes in a guest chapter that he came away thinking, “I would like her to be my friend.”"
Read the whole piece here, and we will be selling Amy’s book at the iO box office one it’s released! Conrgats, Amy!
Reviving an old tradition for a short time
As you know, we’re celebrating our 33rd-and-one-sixth anniversary this month. The traditional gift for this anniversary is two more free shows on Wednesday nights than usual, so that’s what we’re asking for! Drop off your free shows at the box office, attention: Charna Halpern.
We’re also a reciprocal folk, so we’re going to offer all of YOU the same beautiful gift. For the rest of 2014, all regular Wednesday night shows in our Del Close Theater are FREE**. This includes the amazing Virgin Daiquiri & The Late 90’s at 8:00, and the powerhouse duo Search Engine (Ryan Archibald and Craig Uhlir) at 10:00. And as always, you can catch Carl & The Passions for free in our Harold Cabaret at 8:30.
Three free shows. It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting us all these thirty three and one sixth years.
- - does not include any New Years Eve shows
Full service kitchen and top shelf drink options abound!
We’re thrilled to team with Andy Kalish to present our full kitchen menu. Andy’s put together a terrific spread that goes well beyond what you’d expect from traditional theater fare. From Banh Mi Red Pork Pizza Flats to Panko Rolled Mac & Cheese Croquettes to a late night weekend taco bar, there’s something for everyone to love.
We’ve also expanded our beer and cocktail offerings, maintaining our commitment to providing a wide selection of excellent craft beers and cocktails for the discerning boozehound. Bar Managers Kyle McCabe and Steven Plock have curated a spectacular beer list and some delicious new cocktail options like the Death’s Door gin Deconstruction and the Bulleit iO Old Fashioned.
Check out both menus here. The kitchen is closed Mondays. Late Night Taco Bar on Fridays and Saturdays. Come early. Come thirsty. Come hungry!
1501 Kingsbury facility is open for students
Even as we’re finishing up work on our new theaters, the iO Training Center is open for business! Classes are in session now, and enrollment for next session, beginning the week of August 24th, is open! You can find more information here.
Registration for improvisation level one, the writing program, and our electives is open and ongoing. Contact our Training Center director at 773-880-0199 to register today. All classes will meet at our new facility on 1501 Kingsbury St in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.