Chicago City Limits

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chicago City Limits
TypeImprovisational Comedy Theatre Company

Chicago City Limits (CCL), is the longest running improvisational theatre company in New York City, New York.[1][2]


Chicago City Limits is New York City's seminal improvisational theatre company, founded in 1977. George Todisco started the group in Chicago with actors participating in the workshop program at The Second City, studying under Del Close. Among the players were founding members Todisco, Linda Gelman, Bill McLaughlin, Carol Schindler, Paul Zuckerman, Rick Crom and Christopher Oyen. Oyen served as The Second City's stage manager, and Todisco, McLaughlin, Schindler and Sandy Smith (an early member of the troupe), all appeared in "The Del Close Farewell Salute to Chicago" in 1978. In 1979, Chicago City Limits relocated to New York, performing regularly at Catch a Rising Star, the Improv, the Duplex, Folk City and other notable NYC clubs. It established its own theater (now the José Quintero Theatre) in the summer of 1980 on W 42nd Street, thus creating NYC's most successful improvisational theatre to date, and the last improvisational theatre in NYC to offer the New York company salaried positions.[3]) After setting up the theater on 42nd Street (1 year), the troupe relocated to the Jan Hus Playhouse at 351 E 74th St. (14 years) and, later, at their own theatre, once again, at 1105 1st Avenue (9 years), at The Broadway Comedy Club on E 53rd St. (9 years) and returned to the Jan Hus Playhouse (2 years), before suspending its run in 2016. The group no longer has a performance space, but tours sporadically and occasionally offers workshop opportunities.

CCL was a three-time recipient of The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award. The Chicago City Limits National Touring Company received the first MAC Award given for Best Comedy/Improv Group in 1987 and again in 1988. The New York Company won again in 2008. In 2011, Top 10 New York City by Eleanor Berman rated it one of New York City's top 10 comedy clubs.

Resident Company alumni (NYC) (listed chronologically)[edit]

  • George Todisco (Founding Member) ø
  • Linda Gelman (Founding Member) †ø
  • Bill McLaughlin (Founding Member)
  • Carol Schindler (Founding Member)
  • Paul Zuckerman (Founding Member) ø
  • Rick Crom (Founding Member/Musical Director))
  • Christopher Oyen (Founding Member) ø
  • David Regal
  • Eddie Ellner (musical director)
  • Judy Nazemetz
  • Terry Sommer
  • John Cameron Telfer
  • Rick Simpson
  • Judith Searcy
  • Harry Prichett
  • Wayne Barker (musical director)
  • Wendy Chatman
  • Carole Buggé
  • Carl Kissin †
  • Gary Adler (musical director)
  • John Webber
  • Leslie Upson
  • Andy Daly
  • Frank Spitznagel (musical director)
  • Denny Siegel
  • Sean Conroy
  • John O'Donnell
  • Joe DeGise II ƒ
  • Victor Varnado
  • Joe O'Brien
  • Annie Schiffmann
  • Rob Schiffmann π
  • Tara Copeland
  • Mike Leffingwell
  • Eugene Cordero
  • Morgan Phillips
  • Kimmy Gatewood
  • Travis Ploeger (musical director)
  • Canedy Knowles
  • Kobi Libii
  • Stefan Schick
  • Rick Hip-Flores (musical director)
  • Malachi Nimmons, Jr.
  • Julia Young
  • Assaf Gleizners (musical director)
ƒ- Co-Director
ø- Co-Producer
†- Director of The Chicago City Limits National Touring Company
π- Musical Director (Touring Company)
œ- Accompanist

National Touring Company alumni (listed alphabetically)[edit]

  • Pete Aguero
  • Jessica Allen
  • Larry Bell
  • Tony Carnevale
  • David Chernicoff
  • Jeff Clinkenbeard
  • Claudia Cogan
  • Mike Colasuonno
  • Jamie Denbo
  • Colton Dunn
  • Brian Finkelstein
  • Jason Fletcher
  • Sharon Fogerty
  • Adrianne Frost
  • Danny Glover
  • Alison Grambs
  • Wendy Herlich
  • Suzanne Hevner
  • Sharon Jensen
  • Lisa Jolley
  • Anthony King
  • Rachel Korowitz
  • Meg Sweeney Lawless
  • Emmy Laybourne
  • Annie Lebeau œ
  • Beth Littleford
  • Megan Loughran
  • Simone Lutz
  • Jono Manelli œ
  • Michael Martin
  • Andy McCann
  • Robert McCaskill †
  • John McMahon π
  • Caitlin Miller
  • David Miner ø
  • Jim Mironchik œ
  • Julie Mullen
  • Jen Nails
  • Doug Nervik π
  • Susan Peahl
  • Eddie Pepitone
  • Joe Perce
  • Molly Prather
  • Ian Prior
  • Mary Purdy
  • Steve Purnick
  • Deb Rabbai
  • Amy Rhodes
  • Charlie Sanders
  • Michael Sansonia π
  • Celia Schaefer
  • Ben Schecter œ
  • Paul Scheer
  • Jeff Scherer
  • Danielle Schnieder
  • Rory Scholl
  • Joe Schwartz
  • Ann Scobie
  • Ges Selmont ø
  • Eliza Skinner
  • Rich Sommer
  • Chris Tallman
  • John E. Ten Eyck
  • Peter Tolan ¥
  • Greg Triggs
  • Nelson Walters
  • Amy Wilson
ƒ- Co-Director
ø- Co-Producer
†- Director of The Chicago City Limits National Touring Company
π- Musical Director (Touring Company)
œ- Accompanist
¥- Hired, no performances

Some past revues[edit]

  • Dented
  • He She It
  • Chicago City Limits: Population 5
  • Blizzard of ‘81
  • Chicago City Limits in Sensible Shoes
  • Chicago City Limits: Greatest Hits
  • Chicago City Limits in 3D
  • Chicago City Limits with Clam Sauce
  • Chicago City Limits Behind Bars
  • Nancy Get Your Gun
  • Choice Cuts
  • X: The Roman Numeral
  • Current Jam
  • Taking Liberties
  • Taking More Liberties
  • 10 of Inequity
  • The Best of Chicago City Limits
  • Everything Kills
  • Scandals of '89
  • Saddam You're Rockin' the Boat
  • Power of Suggestion
  • The Official Comedy Team of the Olympics
  • Unconventional Wisdom
  • Generation Ecch
  • Let Loose the Dogs of Improv
  • Two Johns Kissin Leslie
  • That's What You Said
  • Right to Laugh Party
  • chicagocitylimits.comedy
  • Subpoenas Envy
  • Lame Duck Soup
  • Chicago City Limits Turns 20: Now And Forever...And We Mean It.
  • Y2K You're OK
  • Chicago City Limits Gets amBUSHed!
  • Unconventional Humor
  • Chicago City Limits on Ice
  • Hus on First


  1. ^ Vincent Frontero (1991). What's free and cheap in New York. ISBN 9780140129847. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  2. ^ Andrew Rosenberg, Martin Dunford (2011). The Rough Guide to New York. Penguin. ISBN 9781848365902. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  3. ^ "Upright Citizens Brigade and the Case for Paying Improvisors".


External links[edit]