Sure, Second City is where comedy legends like Tina Fey got their start, but the Lyric Opera’s history isn’t too shabby either. Did you know that the Lyric’s stage is where Maria Callas made her American debut, and where Judy Garland once sang? So, imagine taking all that star power and history and fueling it into one show. Then, add cocktails. Welcome to The Second City Guide to Opera, playing at the Lyric Opera of Chicago through June 30.
During the show, the theater’s stage transforms into a dimly lit supper club with cushy couches (that’s where you’ll sit!), bustling servers, and low cocktail tables. The two-hour show stars Second City’s improv pros and a couple of Lyric Opera singers who — surprise — have some mighty comic chops.
Skits are never exactly the same, but the performance we caught offered hilarious quips about job interviews, therapy sessions, and OkCupid first dates. The show also included an improvised opera customized to specific audience members. So, try to show some extra enthusiasm if you want your name belted out with gusto.
If you’ve got friends or family in town, this is the perfect way to show off two of Chicago’s cultural institutions. And heck, if you’ve never laughed uproariously at the opera house and want to know what it’s like, now’s your chance.
The Second City Guide to Opera will play at Lyric Opera of Chicago through June 30. Tickets, $35 to $75, available online or by calling 312-332-2244.
Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Opera House, 20 North Wacker Drive (at West Madison Street); 312-332-2244.
Photo: Courtesy of Todd Rosenberg