Chicago’s second city iconic comedy theater on the market for the second time in 60 years
In a statement on Tuesday, co-owner Andrew Alexander said a sale offers Second City the opportunity to be successful in the future.
“What we are looking for is a critical reinvestment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right way and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of truth in power and providing a vital human connection in a increasingly complex world, ”Alexander said in a statement issued by Los Angeles investment bank Houlihan Lokey, which is advising Second City owners on the sale.
Private throughout its 61-year history, Second City suspended all of its shows and classes in early March until further notice due to the COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic. Second City also faced controversy in June when Alexander resigned from the training and performance squad over allegations of racism within the company.
Second City is co-owned by Alexander and D’Arcy Stuart, although its chairman, Steve Johnston, also has a small stake. When he resigned, Alexander said he was going to sell his half of the theater. The two have decided that rather than trying to sell about half of the institution, it makes more sense to market the entire operation. The theater has already been sold once in the years since the launch of the Comedy Theater by Bernie Sahlins, Howard Alk and Paul Sills in 1959.
The theater has several arms beyond its main theaters in Chicago and Toronto, including a long-standing comedy training school, film school, and corporate division that has maintained a large portion of its revenue by providing online training and education to its clients.
Second City was a first training ground for “Saturday Night Live“Players including Jean Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and Chris Redd, among other comedy stars. The company produced the “SCTV” television series in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.