A beloved Chicago institution could soon change hands, as the famed Second City comedy theater has been put up for sale amid the coronavirus and other challenges facing the venerable company.
Second City has been home to some of the legends of comedy, including Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch and Bill Murray, to name a few, but the theater’s future is in the air after ownership announced they intend to try to sell it.
“There’s concern on part of the comedy community that there’s going to be responsible leadership in place, and now there’s even more concerned,” comedian Eric Oren said.
The announcement came on Tuesday, as owner and former CEO Andrew Alexander announced in a press release that the company could change hands for just the second time in its 60-plus year history.
“Watching the talent development process has given me more joy than one person should be allowed, but it is time for a new generation with fresh ideas to take the company to the next level,” Alexander said in a statement.
“It’s been a formative place for a lot of people,” Oren added. “So I worry if it will continue.”
While the pandemic has closed down regular business at all live theater venues across the city, there were also highly-publicized concerns about racism within the institution before its closure earlier this year.
“When we say concern from top to bottom, it’s will there be responsible leadership in terms of how many people of color are entering the building,” Oren said.
For now, the institution will look for creative ways to continue its colorful and influential existence, and its members will continue to push for reforms as they also push to stay on the cutting edge of comedy.