November 17, 2021
Pittsburgh Public Theater and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust have come together to present a hilarious, happy holiday revue this season – It’s a Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life from The Second City. The improvisational comedy enterprise and theater troupe based in Chicago has presented training programs and live theater for more than 60 years. Consistently a starting point for comedians, award-winning actors, and directors, today The Second City boasts three locations in Chicago, Toronto, and Hollywood. In addition to its stages, Second City Touring Companies bring the famed improv and sketch comedy theater across North America and Abroad.
This year’s holiday production comes to Pittsburgh for six performances only and is directed by Jen Ellison with stage management by Katie Hildreth and musical direction by Ryan Miera. Cast includes Andy Bolduc, Julia Morales, Rich Alfonso, Jenelle Cheyne, and Tim Metzler.
Lou Castelli, Managing Director of Pittsburgh Public Theater, says, “We are so excited to welcome The Second City back to celebrate the holidays with us. After all, who doesn’t need some fun and laughs to get into the spirit of the season? Pittsburgh is in for a hilarious treat this December when The Second City shares their trademark blend of classic sketches and fast-paced improv at the O’Reilly.”
Second City Touring Companies’ creative collaborations have produced thrilling and critically acclaimed work in partnership with organizations like the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Cruise Line, the New York Comedy Festival, and the Chicago Bulls.
Tickets for It’s a Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life are on sale now at CulturalDistrict.org/SECONDCITY or by calling 412-316-1600. Performances are Wednesday December 8 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday December 9 at 7:30 p.m., Friday December 10 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday December 11 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday December 12 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices start at $37.25.
CAST AND CREATIVE
JEN ELLISON (Director) has been performing, writing and directing in Chicago for nearly 20 years. As a resident director at the Second City, Jen has overseen three national touring companies, developed multiple shows for their Outreach and Diversity program, and directed Apes of Wrath for the ETC stage. Other directing credits include Collaboraction, Trap Door Theatre, the Nick & Gabe shows for the Up Comedy Club and most recently Tangles and Plaques for the The Neo-Futurists (where she is an artistic associate). Jen is a workshop designer for the Second Science Project, an instructor at DePaul University, and a member of the Comedy Writing and Performance faculty at Columbia College Chicago. Follow on Instagram and Twitter: @jenjen1138 and @drunkjcrewuguys.
KATIE HILDRETH (Stage Manager) is a Chicago native and has been stage managing improv/sketch comedy for the last 10 years. Her professional career started at the Second City as an intern for the Touring Company. From there, she began stage managing for the Second City's Studio Theatres and becoming the Production Coordinator for the Second City Training Center. Along with the Second City, she has stage managed at various comedy venues throughout Chicago, Boston, and London. Comedy has always been a passion of hers and she is excited to be back on tour! Please send any local doughnut suggestions to her instagram @kahil511.
RYAN MIERA (Music Director) has been music directing for almost a decade. He's played at and for iO, The Annoyance, MCL, Baby Wants Candy, and is the head music director at ComedySportz. His (mostly) one person band Yellow Pills is available to stream on Spotify or to purchase on iTunes or Amazon via Mint 400 Records.
ANDREW BOLDUC is an actor and writer hailing from Bangor, Maine. He makes funny videos and records a weekly comedy podcast with his sketch group, all of which you can check out at cigarettesandwich.com or on Instagram at @cigsandwich. You can also follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @andy_bolduc.
JULIA MORALES is a performer, writer, and teacher, originally from Houston, Texas. She is an AMDA alum and a 2018 Bob Curry Fellow. Julia has performed with The Second City on Norwegian Cruise Line and is also part of the Second City GreenCo Touring Company. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Stepping Stone Theater. She is also represented by Paonessa Talent. When she’s not trying to heal the world, she practices a lot of self care, plays The Sims, and binges the same shows and movies. If you have a movie recommendation, hit her up at www.callmejules.com
RICH ALFONSO is stoked to be a part of the Touring Company along with these amazing people! He was a recipient of the 2016 NBC/Universal Bob Curry Fellowship and has trained in improvisation all over Chicago. Rich has worked with the Second City as a cast member of Urban Twist, The Second City's Black History Month Show, touring aboard Norwegian Cruise Line and as an understudy for the ETC Resident Stage. Other credits include being a featured performer in the the 2019 NBC Break Out Comedy Festival, his two man team Spic & Tan and his solo show I.C.E. Box which was featured on WBEZ Radio and NPR. He is represented by Big Mouth Talent. Follow Rich on Twitter/Instagram/TikTok @rich_alfonso
JENELLE CHEYNE originally hails from Vancouver, Canada and is delighted to be a part of The Second City Touring Company. She is an actor, writer, comedian and frequent water aerobics participant. You can also see her perform at The Annoyance. Check her out online too! @jamealchameal
TIM METZLER comes from Wisconsin and has spent the past decade as a comedian in Chicago. He’s represented by the amazing Paonessa Talent Agency. Most recently he shot an Amazon commercial and will appear in the next Kindle campaign. He’s understudied multiple Mainstage shows at Second City and is part of the National Touring Company. His voice work is on Spotify with the AM 1066 Radio Parody Podcast (@am1066) and The Garden Boys (@gardenboyshaha). He’s a member of Baby Wants Candy: The Improvised Musical, he’s a humorist for Greener Pastures Magazine (@greenerpastsat) and he’s a Featured Fantasy Sports Writer for FantasyPros. His free time is spent cooking and laughing with his wife Beth. For Tim’s work on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, please see @timmy_the_metz
Pittsburgh Public Theater is dedicated to serving as a true public theater to the Pittsburgh region, producing more than 120 performances each season. The theater is renowned for its exceptional mix of programming, featuring international classics, fresh new works, and favorite musicals. Its commitment to education and engagement initiatives is a hallmark, and includes the signature Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest and innovative community partnerships. The organization, under the leadership of Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski and Managing Director Lou Castelli, began its 47th season in September 2021.