Improv Extravaganza Explosion

Improv Extravaganza Explosion – website

Photo by Clayton Hauck for Second City

Location: UP Comedy Club at Piper’s Alley, 230 W. North Ave, 3rd Floor, Chicago

Phone: 312-662-4562

Dates and times: Saturdays at 12:00 pm until March 30, 2013. Some Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:00 am or 11:00 until December 2012.

Admission: $11 each plus a $3 service fee (per order) for tickets purchased online. There is no service fee for tickets purchased in person.

Parking: There are multiple parking lots in the area. Piper’s Alley Self-Park is located at 230 W. North Avenue. For information about other parking facilities in the area visit the UP Comedy Club’s page for directions and parking information. Public transportation: Sedgwick Brown Line station is 2 blocks west of the theatre; North/Clybourn Red Line station is 6 blocks west of the theatre

Bathrooms: There are public bathrooms located near the entrance to the theatre. They do NOT have changing tables. (Dexter and I managed a standing diaper change during our visit.)

Nursing: There is no designated nursing area.

Handicapped/stroller accessibility: The theatre is handicapped accessible. I wouldn’t recommend bringing a stroller.

Other features: Birthday packages, field trips, and group sales can be arranged.

Food: Lunch is available during the show.

We paid: We received complimentary tickets to the show and lunch. Our tickets would have been $44 and our lunch would have been about $30. We paid $20 for parking (we parking before the show and then walked around in the neighborhood after the show; parking just during show time would have been about $13) and we paid a tip for our lunch.

Our experience:

Improv Extravaganza Explosion is an improv show designed for kids ages 5 and up. Cooper’s about to be 5 so I was pretty confident he’d like it, but Dexter’s not quite 3 yet. He does well at shows so we decided to bring him thinking he’d behave even if he wasn’t really into the show. The boys were pretty excited about going to see a show even though I don’t think either of them understood what improv meant.

We were seated at a counter toward the back, although the theatre is small so our seats were great. We looked over the menu and ordered our lunch before the show.

The cast rotates. The day we went the cast consisted of Alex DiGiacianto, Hans Holsen, Nate Sherman, Katie Thomas, and Katie Klein.

Photo by Clayton Hauck for Second City

The show was very good – high energy, funny, and definitely family-friendly. The performers asked for suggestions from the audience for the show, encouraged the audience to participate, and used several volunteers from the audience to participate on stage. The performers ran through the audience and even pretended to take food from audience members’ plates (something both boys found hysterical).

The show was an hour long and both boys laughed the entire time. Although we thought Dexter might be too young, he was thoroughly entertained.

Our food arrived about 15 minutes into the show and it was delicious. The boys really liked it, but we had to keep reminding them to eat it because they were so focused on the show.

John and I enjoyed the show a lot too, but I found myself watching the kids more than the show – watching them smile and laugh and their reactions to some of the things happening on stage was great!

Photo by Clayton Hauck for Second City

My family received complimentary tickets and lunch at the show. All opinions are my own. 


  1. My brother works at Second City and has told me to go to this, it was nice seeing a moms review 🙂

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