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Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Defy convention

Special performance:


Chicago's legendary comedy theatre

February 10 - 21, 2010

7PM Sunday, Feb. 21

Appropriate for ages 16 and up.
Running time: 1hr 50min (with one intermission)

OverviewWho's whoSchedule and PricesAdditional Info

About the Show

Chicago produced a president, a string of corrupt governors, and they’re vying for the Olympics in 2016; so who better to make fun of all of it than The Second City – celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In Barack Stars, Chicago’s favorite son is given his satiric due, with an economy on the ropes and maybe just a touch of swine flu for good measure. Perfecting the art of comedy revue with sketches, songs and a little improvisation, The Second City storms the Capital City to tackle partisanship, the politics of race, a terrifyingly tiny Rahm Emanuel, and a host of other headline-grabbing personalities.


"The famed comedy ensemble taps into the outrage that political satire calls for in every season."
The Washington Post

Click here for the NPR interview with the cast of Barack Stars.
Click here for the BBC World News America feature.

PACKS A LOT MORE WIT THAN ANY EPISODE OF THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. The topics fly by merrily in songs, skits and even Laugh-In-esque
blackout sketches.”
The Washington Post

AN EVENING OF BIPARTISAN HILARITY…a zany revue of zingers and blackout comedy”
The Washington Times

[The cast] is extremely talented and funny.”
DC Theatre Scene

Click here to buy tickets...


THE SECOND CITY hosts beginner improv workshops:

Saturday, Feb 13, 2–4pm
Saturday, Feb 20, 2–4pm

$100 per person

Explore the fundamentals of improvisation in this popular workshop for those with little or no improvisation experience. For over 50 years, The Second City has been providing audiences with laughter, insight, and entertainment and has been the training ground for many of this generation's finest comedic actors, writers, and directors. Join the comedic ranks by jumping into this two hour workshop which focuses on the basic tools of improv (teamwork, focus, being in the moment, spontaneity, strong communication skills) in a fun, safe and supportive atmosphere. The workshop is taught by members of the Barack Stars company and focuses on fundamental improvisation techniques and improv games. It's a great way to explore your creativity, become more comfortable speaking in front of others and think on your feet quicker - all while having fun. These workshops are one-day events that are:

  • Limited to an enrollment of 20 students
  • Two hours long.



Who's Who



Lilly Allison is a Chicago native and is thrilled to be part of the theatre she grew up admiring.  As a 14-year-old drama major at Lincoln Park High School, she first discovered improv and quickly began studying and performing at The Annoyance Theater.  She can currently be seen in Annoyance’s President Bush Is A Great Man, Grabass, and Crickets.  She also studied improv at iO with the Cougars.  Lilly has studied acting at DePaul’s Theatre School and The Neighborhood Playhouse in N.Y.C.  When not on stage, Lilly is cutting hair at Big Hair, the coolest salon in Chicago. She thanks her amazing parents, Mick, Jen, Patty Miller, and the rest of her family and friends for their constant love and support.

Brooke Bagnall is overjoyed to be performing with The Second City.  Originally from North Carolina, Brooke got a BA in Drama and Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, where she performed with the fabulous Mama's Pot Roast.  In Chicago, she has trained and performed at iO Chicago, Second City, and the Annoyance.  She has been fortunate to play with many amazing people in Chicago, including the groups Quincy, Blaire and the Republic, as well as in the Annoyance shows Arm Soup, The Invention Show, Grabass, Splatter Theatre, and Love is Dead.  She recently premiered her first solo show, idiot:  a love story in pieces.  She wants to send love and thanks to Mom, Dad, Chip, Josh and all her family and friends.  

Abby McEnany couldn't be happier that she is working with The Second City.  She currently performs with the critically acclaimed all-female improv troupe Sirens.  This summer she appeared in A&E, a two-person sketch show (with Erin McEvoy), as part of the Unhinged Series at The Second City.  She studied improvisation at The Second City Training Center, iO, and the Annoyance.  Last summer she performed in Maine at ImprovAcadia, Bar Harbor's improv venue.  She is fortunate to be surrounded by loving and supportive family and friends.

Sam Richardson is thrilled and honored to be performing with The Second City.  He joins the cast from the Second City Detroit where he was an understudy, performing in the Mainstage reviews Bobble Heads of State, Michigan Impossible, and Night of the Living Debt, and alternative productions such as After the Beanstalk and The Best of Second City.  In Detroit, Sam can be found improvising with the Planet Ant Home Team and his two person troupe Boy Meets Girl.  Other theatre credits include Pedro Orsini's Parade of Peniless Players (Planet Ant Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Abreact Theatre), and Cancer! The Musical (New York Fringe Festival).

Tim Sniffen is happy to join this cast with The Second City.  Before this, Tim worked at the Boom Chicago Theater in Amsterdam for two and a half years.  He also wrote and performed in Competing Elderly British Detectives, a two-man show with Second City alum Brendan Dowling; and he performs with Baby Wants Candy, Chicago’s improvised musical troupe.  Hello to his family and their flower shop.

Seth Weitberg has performed all over the world with The Second City, in numerous solo shows and on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. You can read his daily news satire at

Jesse Case (Music Director) is a musician.  He sailed on Norwegian Dawn and Jade through the majority of 2008, and now he’s on land and making music in Chicago – when he’s not gallivanting across the country in by far the best steady job he’s ever had.  His mom would be so proud, and is. He has composed the music and designed sound for many plays, films, and dances, some of them in association with his Alma Mater, the University of Colorado at Boulder.  In addition, he is a solo artist and producer.  You can hear some of his stuff online at

Marc Warzecha (Director) lives in Los Angeles and has appeared on MAD TV and Reno 911!  Marc has worked with The Second City as both an actor and director, most recently directing Pratfall of Civilization at The Second City ETC, for which he has received a Joseph Jefferson nomination for Best Director.  Other directing credits include War! Now in it's 4th Smash Year! (Joseph Jefferson nominee - Best Director, Best Revue, Best Ensemble) on The Second City Chicago Mainstage, The Not Ready for $3.99 Prime Rib Players at The Second City Las Vegas, and The Second City Touring Company.  Acting credits include six resident stage reviews at The Second City Detroit and Romeo and Juliet the Musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.  Marc is the host for No Waiting with Marc Warzecha, which is a blog ( and live talk show that satirizes news and politics, most recently performed at the Comedy Central Stage in Hollywood.

The Second City was established on December 16, 1959 and is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.  The Second City has always been known as a launching pad for North America’s best and brightest comedic talent. Second City Theatricals works both with the prestigious alumni of the theatre as well as the next crop of comedy stars in the making to develop truly hilarious and original shows. Second City Theatricals is the entertainment division of the legendary comedy theatre that created a variety of musicals, revues, and performance pieces for audiences all over the world.  Past productions include: Hamlet! The Musical, Romeo and Juliet the Musical, and Rod Blagojevich Superstar!  with Chicago Shakespeare Theater; the national tour of Sex and The Second City; The Pajama Men at Steppenwolf Garage and Edinburgh Fringe Festival; and full time revues on seven Norwegian Cruise Line vessels.  Second City Theatricals is currently creating an original production with Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival.


Schedule & Prices

Wed 2/10 at 8pm (Pay-What-You-Can)
Thurs 2/11 at 8pm
Fri 2/12 at 8pm, 11pm
Sat 2/13 at 6pm & 9pm
Sun 2/14 at 2pm & 7pm

Tues 2/16 at 8pm
Wed 2/17 at 8pm
Thurs 2/18 at 8pm
Fri 2/19 at 8pm & 11pm
Sat 2/20 at 6pm & 9pm
Sun 2/21 at 2pm & 7pm






Additional Info


Click Here for photos of Senator Scott Brown visiting Woolly to see Second City.

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Photos of Second City by Colin Hovde


Woolly Mammoth would like to thank the following patrons for their generous support of BarackStars:

Shannon & Michael Alford
Wade Carey & Ted Coltman
Charlie & Jane Fink
Annie & Paul Mahon
Barbara L. Strack
Sallie Tyler
Adrienne & David Umansky


Show Art Concept & Design:
Carolyn Sewell Design