The ongoing pandemic has hit many of our city’s businesses harder than anticipated, especially Chicago’s renowned live entertainment scene. Some good news — many of the same theaters, comedy clubs, and live music venues that closed in March 2020 have started to open up. Earlier this month, Broadway in Chicago welcomed back their first show, Rent, in 18 months.
The 12th district is home to a variety of live entertainment spots that are welcoming audiences back.
Second City, located in Old Town, is a nationally recognized home for comedy, offering sketch, standup, and improv daily. The return of this notable comedy hub is all thanks to the steps they’ve taken to ensure the safety of both staff and guests, including requiring proof of vaccination. Some of today’s comedy greats have come from Second City, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Steve Carell. Now we can finally attend one of their many weekly performances and keep an eye out for the next big talent to come out of Chicago.
Our November Small Business Shout-out, The Annoyance Theatre is a comedy hub located in East Lakeview. For 33 years, the theatre has been putting on musicals, plays, and sketch comedy, all including aspects of improvisation. In an effort to prioritize the safety of the performers and attendees, a proof of vaccination is required for all shows. Be sure to check out some of their shows!
The Laugh Factory located in Lakeview is one of six located across the country. The comedy club showcases upcoming talent, accomplished comedians, and everything in between. Their reopening occurred in March 2021. The comedy club has been able to welcome back in-person audiences by following public health guidelines and protocols.
The Briar Street Theatre located on Halsted Street is home to the Blue Man Group. The building was previously used as stables for Marshall Field’s horses for seventy years until it was turned into a theatre. The theatre closed down in March 2020 and opened back up in August 2021 with safety modifications. The Blue Man Group has performed in Briar Street Theatre since the 1990s and recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. Dryhop Brewers, another district staple, is honoring the Blue Man Group’s 30th anniversary with the release of a Milkshake IPA that’s the same hue as the Blue Men themselves. The 12th district is lucky to house such a beloved historical building and entertainment group.
Chicago would not be complete without our live entertainment and comedy scene. I hope you all enjoy the reopening of these theatres that contribute so much to the 12th district and see some great shows!