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Chicago Improv Festival Returns Bigger and Better in 2014

Horatio Sanz
Horatio SanzCourtesty of CIF

Spring has returned, maybe, better news - the amazing CIF has definitely returned. So it’s not that warm, but it’s more than warm enough to turn out to see the best in improv from literally around the world. 200 improv acts from everywhere from New Zealand to LA will perform at 21 venues throughout the city. This is one of those occasions where it’s a privilege to live in Chicago, to see the art form the city is best known for. Trust me, take advantage of this opportunity.

The Chicago Improv Festival
The Chicago Improv FestivalCourtesty of the CIF

CIF is currently mid-run but there are still shows to see and still very reasonably priced seats available for the next FIVE nights. A few highlights are Horatio Sanz (NBC’s Saturday Night Live) & The All-Stars of Comedy; Jet Eveleth & Paul Brittain (NBC’s Saturday Night Live); and Horatio Sanz (NBC’s Saturday Night Live) & The All-Stars of Comedy. Check out the entire line up of shows and venues at the CIF site here.

Last year’s festival was capped off with a sold out show featuring writers and actors of “30 Rock.” Scott Adsit, Kay Cannon and John Lutz delivered a great, if relaxed, improv class for the audience. It was a great 45 minute set full of wonderful call backs, yes….and tons of laughs. It was clear it was a trio of friends having a great time at an old stomping ground.

The real revelation of that night, and the reason you should check out any number of experimental or unknown acts, was the opening act, an improv done in Shakespearian style. Anyone with a basic understanding of Chicago theatre, and that’s a lot of you, knows the challenge this poses. The talent of this group, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, winner of best act in the 2012 festival, is nothing short of brilliant. All due respect, they blew “30 Rock” out of the water, and that is really saying something.

Finding treasures like TISC, especially ones you can see all year in our fair city, should be more than enough incentive to put on a light jacket and pick one of the 21 venues, grab a drink and see some of the finest improv the world can offer. Not an understatement.

If you need incentive, pick a well-known act like those above, then do yourself a favor and pick the show before or after – what you’ll see will be well worth the price of admission and who knows, you’ll see next year’s starts in the making.

The CIF runs through April 6, check out ticket availability and more info at the site - chicagoimprovfestival.org