The Second City comes to Glendale's Alex Theatre

A staggering amount of modern American comedy has passed across the stages of The Second City, the acclaimed improv group headquartered in Chicago. Its alumni stretches from Oscar-winner Alan Arkin to Stephen Colbert and generations of “Saturday Night Live” cast members — John Belushi, Mike Myers and Tina Fey among them. When a Second City touring ensemble of young performers arrives Tuesday at Glendale's Alex Theatre, it will bring with it a half century of comedy history.

“The Second City: Laughing Matters” will recreate some of the best sketches from that legacy, performing pieces originally written and performed by the likes of Colbert, Fey and others. A scene of improv about two couples playing Pictionary was first performed by Steve Carell, now the star of such films as “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” and the just-released “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.”

“We get the great opportunity to leaf through the archive — over 50 years of shows to choose from,” says show director Jennifer Mitolo. “These pieces come from all different eras of Second City comedy, but because they all have improvisation, it's a whole different show every night.”

The show includes five actors performing two 45-minute sets that tap into current events and pop culture. “It's really about looking at the country and deciding what are people talking about — what are the political issues that we're dealing with today,” says Mitolo, “and then bringing that across the country.”

What: “The Second City: Laughing Matters.”

When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.

Where: 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale

More info: (818) 243-2539,

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