Oct 092011
Authors: Courtney Riley

One of the most prestigious comedy theaters in the world, The Second City in Chicago, has produced some of the most famous comedic identities known today, including Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey.

Tonight, The Second City is making a stop at CSU to perform their college-themed show, “The FAFSA and the Furious.” The show is sponsored by the Association for Student Activity Programming, and will take place at 7 p.m. in Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center.

“We try to get different kinds of comedic acts to come to CSU … and improv comedy might facilitate more of the student body,” said Ellen Roth, a comedy coordinator for ASAP. “A lot of it is audience participation. And it’s a great chance to see a lot of up-and-coming talent. A lot of performers of Second City are picked by Saturday Night Live and SCTV to perform or write for them.”

Tickets cost $5 for the CSU community and $7 for the general public and can be purchased at the IBox in the LSC.

The show will contain material the theater’s performers have written themselves, as well as archive material. And of course, they will be improvising throughout the show, portraying college life on and off campus, including roommate issues and academic probation.

“There’s stuff about different classes and things college students can relate to,” said Cecily Strong, a member of The Second City. “This show is more referential (than some of our other shows). College students will usually get references that our older audiences sometimes won’t.”

“A lot of the stuff we’re doing is so strong and so funny,” she added. “Improv is a lot of fun with a college audience. It’s something different. It’s not something you experience all the time.”

But performing in front of a college audience isn’t the only thing Strong is looking forward to about coming to Colorado.

The last time she was here with The Second City, they went to Colorado’s famous Mexican restaurant attraction: Casa Bonita.

“We had a lot of fun. And Warren, (another Second City performer) kept getting into (playful) fights with little kids, it was so funny,” she said. “I was sold on it. I’ll probably try to go back.”

Strong is originally from Chicago, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from the California Institute of the Arts. But she moved back to Chicago because of its thriving improvisation culture, which is partly because of The Second City.

“It’s the best being a part of this institution,” she said. “It’s always been a dream. It’s quite an honor to be a part of this and perform this material. I’ve gotten to see parts of the country I wouldn’t normally get to see.”

Aside from being on stage and learning how to “fail in front of an audience,” the performers also train and learn how to write shows. There are new opportunities that open up every day, Strong said, and she’s always meeting talented, funny people.

Strong was hired at The Second City last year and has been a part of one of the institution’s three touring companies since the end of this past April.

“There are four big training centers in Chicago, and Second City is the one you want to work at,” she said. “All of us are used to doing shows for five people, begging friends to come to your shows. It’s great to work for Second City where you get audiences finally.”

While watching a friend’s comedy show recently, Strong said she thought to herself, “I can’t believe this is my life and it’s my job.”

“It’s such a nice thing to get to do,” she added. I get to laugh and make other people laugh. It’s very nice to be able to laugh so much during the day, and that’s my job.”

Entertainment Editor Courtney Riley can be reached at verve@collegian.com

What: “The FAFSA and the Furious”
When: Tonight from 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: The Main Ballroom in the Lory Student Center

Cost: $5 for the CSU community and $7 for the general public. They can be purchased through the IBox in the LSC.

More information: asap.colostate.edu.

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