(CBS) — It’s been 60 years since improv comedy left its birthplace on Chicago’s South Side to head north to Second City.
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports a new venue in Hyde Park hopes to bring imrpov comedy back south.
In 1955 in long-gone tavern on 55th street improv comedy was performed for the first time. On Wednesday, it’s making a comeback in Hyde Park.
“A group of artists, theatre artists, stepped forward and said, ‘everything you’re about to see is improvised,’” said Jonathan Pitts, executive director of Chicago Improv Productions.
That was July 5, 1955. The Compass born on 55th Street in Hyde Park.
“That was like the ground zero, atom bomb birthplace of all of this,” Pitts said.
But less than four years later, the famous Compass Players left their improv roots to start the Second City theater on Chicago’s North Side, now in Old Town, starting what John Stoops calls a comedic slant to the north.
“We felt like we could be one small ingredient towards balancing those scales,” Stoops said.
He hopes to do it in a new comedy club about 15 feet from where improve first hit the stage.
“All I can say is it’s about time,” Stoops said.
About time for a revival. Part of where its name comes from.
The Revival is paying homage to the history makers, the improv starters: the Compass Players.
“If we can amount to one-eighth of what they were able to accomplish, that would be great,” Stoops said.
The building is owned by the University of Chicago where the Compass Players practiced back in the 50s.
The first show at the Revival is Wednesday night.