The 12th annual Chicago Improv Festival, which runs from Monday, April 13 through Sunday, April 19 in 10 venues across the area, is bringing a global perspective to the improv epicenter of Chicago this year. Entitled "One World, Many Laughs," the festival will host its most diverse lineup yet, including in its roster 90 ensembles from nine countries, including Canada, Japan, Israel, Germany and the Netherlands.
The jam-packed calendar is organized into four categories: CIF Main Stage shows, which take place at the Lakeshore Theater, Showcase performances, Late Night/Late Owl shows and Special Events. Much of the activity centers around the Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway Ave., 773-472-3492), where things get underway on Monday, April 13 at 7:30PM with a show featuring GayCo Productions, Dyke-Prov and GayMondo with special guest Honey West.
Events take place throughout the week at other theaters around town including The Second City Skybox, Playground, Chemically Imbalanced, Gorilla Tango, Laugh Out Loud in Schaumburg, the National Museum of Mexican Art, ComedySportz Chicago, iO Theater and the Annoyance. Highlights of the lineup include Facebook (featuring comedians Rob Heubel and Paul Scheer), Frangela (with Frances Callier and Angela Shelton), and 313 (starring Keegan-Michael Key of "MADtv," Larry Joe Campbell of "According to Jim" and Nyima Funk of MTV's "Wild 'n' Out." Homegrown talent appearing during the Chicago Improv Festival includes Barinholtz and Belushi, the Improvised Shakespeare Company and Messing with a Friend featuring special guest Mick Napier.
Tickets are $20 for Main Stage shows and $5-$15 for other performances.