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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Second City's Salute to Pride to Bring the Party to UP Comedy Club this June
2019-05-24

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( CHICAGO, IL - April 3, 2019 ) The Second City is proud to announce the return of The Second City's Salute to Pride, a variety show written and performed entirely by an all-LGBTQ identifying cast. Sashaying its way to UP Comedy Club on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this June, this colorful cornucopia will feature original sketch, improv, music, and drag.

This year's Pride show will feature Chicago drag sensation Lucy Stoole, along with cast members George Elrod, Lanny Fox, Evan Mills, Riley Mondragon, Laurel Zoft Pelton, and Jordan Stafford. Under the direction of Mick Napier and the musical direction of Amanda Murphy, The Second City's Salute to Pridepromises to bring a bonafide rainbow of entertainment flavors that outrageously celebrates all things Pride.

"Pride month has always been very important to me," said director Mick Napier. "It's very exciting to create an original show with a fresh, queer cast."

The Second City's Salute to Pride will again team up with Chicago's Center on Halsted, the largest LGBTQ community service in the Midwest. The Second City will donate a portion of merchandise and drink sales to the organization, which is dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well being of the LGBTQ people of Chicagoland.

"Center on Halsted is excited to partner with The Second City in celebrating PRIDE month 2019," said Mariah Emerson, Center on Halsted's Manager of External Affairs and Communication. "With a common goal of fostering and advancing community, we are honored to be the beneficiary of this year's Second City Pride Show."

The Second City's Salute to Pride plays Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June in The Second City's UP Comedy Club ( 230 West North Avenue ). Tickets start at $26 and are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at www.secondcity.com .

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

GEORGE ELROD ( Ensemble ) is a Chicago comedian and actor. He is an NBC Universal/Second City Bob Curry Fellowship alum and is happy to be returning to The Second City's LGBTQ pride sketch revue. George can be seen at the iODistribution Lists ( 1 ) Theater performing with the Harold team "Comet" and the all LGBTQ+ house team, Dreamboat. He co-hosts an all-queer comedy showcase, The Event, with Caleb Hearon at the Juicebox. He is also the co-host of the guilty pleasure podcast, Almost Heinous with Steve Han. Follow him on Twitter @XOGossipGeorge and Instagram @gel_rod

LANNY FOX ( Ensemble ) is a writer, actor, comedian, and drag queen working in Chicago, Illinois. He has written and performed with The Second City, The Annoyance, and the iO Comedy Network, to name a few. He most recently co-wrote and starred in a full-length comedy musical, Y2Gay, at The Annoyance, was one of the minds that helped update and starred in the reboot of Steamworks: The Musical, and you can find him performing and hosting events in drag all around the city on any given night. Lanny graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Comparative Cultures and Politics and would like to thank his three sisters for their endless support and Bina Martin for his whole life.

MICK NAPIER ( Director ) is the founder and Artistic Director of The Annoyance. He came to Chicago in 1987 after studying at Indiana University and, with a group of friends, created The Annoyance's first show, Splatter Theater. Following the success of Splatter, Mick directed Coed Prison Sluts, ( still Chicago's longest running musical ) and The Annoyance was on its way. Mick is a renowned teacher of improvisation and has taught classes and workshops all over the world. He has also appeared as an actor in numerous television and film projects, including The Ice Harvest, Let's Go to Prison, Second City's Next Comedy Legend, Exit 57 and Talent ( directed by former ensemble member Eric Hoffman ). Mick has also directed many shows outside of the Annoyance, including David Sedaris' Obie Award-winning One Woman Shoe, more than fifteen Second City revues, Martin Short & Friends, and Jeff Garlin's one-man show, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With.

RILEY MONDRAGON ( Ensemble ) recently appeared in Time Is On Our Side and I Am My Own Wife ( u/s ) ( About Face ), Urban Twist ( Second City D&I ) and Perfect Arrangement ( Pride Films & Plays ). Riley is an alumna of Shattered Globe's Protégé Program, The New Colony's Associate Company, a current Tutterow Fellow with Chicago Dramatists, and had her work featured in the NBC Universal Break Out Comedy Festival. She is a member of The Second City Touring Company.

EVAN MILLS ( Ensemble ) attended Columbia College, where he studied film. He has trained at The Second City and is a recipient and alumni of the 2017 Bob Curry Fellowship Program. He recently performed with the The Second City in Generation Gap at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and is now currently an understudy for The Second City Touring Company. Evan is part of a comedy music duo called "Evan & Mary-Jane." They have been featured in the Break Out Comedy Festival, LA Laughter Comedy Fest, and the 2018 Comedy Central Showcase. He is also the creator and writer of Queer Eye: The Musical Parody. Instagram @awkvanmills

AMANDA MURPHY ( Musical Director ) has been working at The Second City Training Center for almost ten years as a Music Director, faculty member, voice teacher, composer, and sound designer, roles she also holds as a part of the Comedy Studies Program with Columbia College. She also teaches comedic songwriting for The Second City Training Center's online classes. Amanda has composed and music directed several musicals: two for the SCTC musical house ensembles and was an MD for Improv Extravaganza Explosion in UP Comedy Club. She has also worked with Second City Works. Amanda has played for ComedySportz, iO, and for innumerable independent projects. She is an improviser, most notably with The Improvised Sondheim Project, and a classical singer, recently performing a recital of songs for soprano and harp. She has completed a course with The Voice Lab in Chicago in guiding transgender voices in speech technique.

LAUREL ZOFF PELTON ( Ensemble ) is a Chicago-based performance artist, writer, musician, and improviser who is so dang excited to be performing in Pride! A Minnesota native, Laurel is a graduate of Northwestern University, The Second City Training Center's Conservatory program, iO Chicago Training Center and its Musical Improvisation program. Having worked for Second City Theatricals aboard NCL's Norwegian Dawn, Laurel's solo show, Queer Little Hamster, debuted in 2018, completing its third mounting this spring and is set to release an accompanying album this coming fall. You can find Laurel performing in The Annoyance's queer variety show, Babywine, iO's queer house team "Dreamboat," "Comet," an iO Harold team, and performing songs and stories all around the city. Big hugs and thanks to her family, friends, and cat. YAY PRIDE!

JORDAN STAFFORD ( Ensemble ) comes to you live from the dope city of Detroit, Michigan. He attended Saginaw Valley State University where he studied theatre, and while there, he was also introduced to improv. After graduating in 2015, he moved to Chicago and loves it. Jordan a part of the sketch duo "TEEN CUDi" and the iO Harold team "St. Gen's." He is represented by Paonessa Talent. Aside from acting, Jordan also illustrates. Check out his work on Instagram @staffordianworks.

LUCY STOOLE ( Featured Performer ) is Chicago's ( and soon to be, the World's ) Black, Bearded Beauty! She's a multi-talented drag performer with a heart of gold—and the ass to match. She wants your love and undivided attention and will stop at NOTHING to get it.

About The Second City

Since opening its doors 1959, The Second City has grown to become the world's premier comedy club, theater and school of improvisation, entertaining 1 million theatergoers a year around the globe. Alumni of The Second City's resident stages, touring companies, and theatrical divisions include some of the biggest names in entertainment, and in addition to the sold-out shows playing nightly on resident stages in Chicago and Toronto, the comedy empire has staged productions with a wide range of illustrious creative partners and theatre companies, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Goodman Theatre, Center Theater Group Los Angeles, Portland Center Stage, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, La Jolla Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and even the Chicago Bulls.

About Center on Halsted

Center on Halsted is the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the LGBTQ people of Chicagoland. More than 1400 community members visit Center on Halsted every day. Center on Halsted offers several programs such as the Anti-violence Project, Behavioral Health, Cyber Center, HIV/AIDS & STD Department, Senior Services, Women's Action Council, Youth Program and Silver Fork.

—From a press release


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