Second in City, First in Comedy

Second City brings their sketch “Happily Ever Laughter” to the Barns at Wolftrap this weekend.

By Robby Osborne

The Second City Cast.
The Second City Cast. Standing, left to right: Paul Jurewicz, Lisa Barber, Christine Tawfik, Nick Rees; Seated: Rachel LaForce, Adam Schreck. Photo by Kristen Miccoli.

Seasons change, or at least their supposed to, and snow or shine, Second City is returning for their highly-anticipated annual performance at Wolf Trap this weekend.

This year, the touring comedy group will perform “Happily Ever Laughter,” an ensemble of improv comedy ripped from today’s headlines.

“We keep enough of our show improvised so that we’re able to respond in the moment to what the audience is demanding to hear more of,” said producer Joe Ruffner in an email response, “these portions are entirely made up, they can both speak to very recent events and are unique to a particular performance.”

Second City has a tradition of selling out their performances, and this year is no exception, with their Saturday show already sold out, and a handful of seats left for Friday.

For those unfamiliar with Second City, the best way is to think of this improv troupe as a launch pad for some of today’s funniest stars. Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Bill Murray and many more comedy mainstays started at Second City. Audiences can expect Friday’s performance to be a highlight reel of successful sketches taken straight from the archive.Along with classic sketches, the show utilizes recent news items, not from The Onion, as inspiration for other sketches.  

“So the evening will be a revue, assembled from scripts from our storied past, perhaps with a fresh twist, as well as material hot from our resident stages, with a scattering of improv scenes & games, all with the aim of making you laugh,” said Ruffner.

If a night of laughter isn’t enough motivation to head out to the Barns, audiences will be able to say “I knew them before they were famous.”

Second City has theaters in Chicago and Toronto, as well as training centers in Hollywood. It boasts 11 full-time touring companies, and its own video network. Not bad for a company that started as a cabaret theater in 1959.

The Barns at Wolftrap is a 382-seat indoor stage allowed Wolftrap to have a year-round venue for music, comedy and any other performances.

The Barns at Wolftrap
1635 Trap Road, Vienna, 22182
(703) 255-1900, 
April 18, 8 p.m.; $25-$27