CHICAGO (CBS) — With cleanup and repairs from last week’s fire proving more difficult than first expected, The Second City has moved or cancelled all its shows through September 20.
A fire at the Piper’s Alley complex in Old Town on Aug. 26 destroyed The Second City’s offices. While the performance areas were largely undamaged, there was smoke and water damage to other public areas.READ MORE: Galewood Man Charged With Aggravated Battery In The Stabbing Of CTA Bus Driver
“After 10 days, it’s clear this process will take more time than originally anticipated,” CEO and executive producer Andrew Alexander said in an emailed statement. “While the theaters were left in very good condition, there are issues with common areas as well as smoke and water damage that must be addressed before we allow talent, staff and audiences in any of our spaces.”
With a few exceptions, all shows at The Second City Mainstage, e.t.c. theater, and UP Comedy Club have been cancelled through Sept. 20.
The Mainstage cast had just started rehearsals for their 104th Revue the day before the fire, and has scheduled a few improve shows at The Annoyance Theatre & Bar in Lakeview next week. Details of those shows will be posted on The Second City website.READ MORE: 2 Men Shot In River North
Comedienne Jen Kirkman, who had shows scheduled for Sept. 10-12 at Up Comedy Club, has moved those performances to the Upstairs Theatre at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, about a mile west of The Second City. Those shows will be at 8 p.m. each night on Sept. 10-12, and tickets are available for $20 through The Second City box office, at 312-337-3992.
The Second City also has moved its classes to other locations since the fire forced them out. Classes will be held at Tribeca Flashpoint College, Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and Columbia College until further notice. Updates will be posted on SecondCity.com, Facebook and Twitter.
The comedy troupe was holding out hope its stages could reopen sooner than Sept. 20.
“We have an incredible team working on this project – from clean-up to insurance – and all of the city agencies have been supportive and incredibly helpful through this process. But it is a process, and it takes time to clean 82,000 square feet after a three-alarm fire. If we have an opportunity to open earlier, we absolutely will, but we owe it to our customers to give them the option to cancel or book for a future performance as we continue to recover from this fire,” Alexander said.MORE NEWS: Teammates Of Boy Killed In Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy Honor Him With Baseball Memorial
The Second City also was planning a special show for Chicago firefighters, as a thanks for their work to spare the theaters from major damage. The performance will be held on the first night The Second City Mainstage Theater reopens, and all tickets will be donated for firefighters to attend. Donations were being directed to the Chicago Fire Department Gold Badge Society.