No doubt about it, the house that improv legend Del Close and founding partner Charna Halpern built rules. Not only has iO churned out legendary folk like Mike Myers and Amy Poehler, but it consistently puts the art of improv first, most noticeably via the Harold, its signature long-form. The shows are generally cheap and the classes a must for budding improvisers. The new theater complex, completed in 2014, contains four performance spaces: the Del Close Theater, the Jason Chin Harold Cabaret, the Chris Farley Cabaret and the Mission Theater. The venue's expansive lobby bar is an inviting place to hang out even if you're not seeing a show.
|Venue name:||iO Theater||Contact:|
1501 N Kingsbury St
|Transport:||El stop: Red to North/Clybourn. Bus: 8, 72.|
|Price:||Average price: $5–$15|
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Historically Accurate Comedy
Get a history lesson and a laugh in at the same time at Historically Accurate Comedy, where some of Chicago's best improvisors become your new favorite history teacher. The show is produced by Meredith Stepien, and features comedians including Peter Kim...Improv Tuesday August 1 2017 - Tuesday September 5 2017
Combining Mortified–style dredging of the past with improvised scenes, this monthly show asks guests to read embarrassing passages from their childhood diaries, poetry, LiveJournals, fanfic and more; a team of improvisers then spins out scenes based on...Improv Saturday August 12 2017
Having It All
Women and girls are constantly being told to do—and not do—a billion different things at once. Having It All explores everyday conversations between women through a combination of improvisation and storytelling: One person tells a story, then the group...Improv Monday August 14 2017 - Monday October 9 2017
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Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
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No matter what night of the week you come to iO, you can see a great show starring super talented improvisers honing their craft. The Harold teams (house improv teams) are all great, though there's definitely a range of strength based on how long the improvisers have been working together. The bar is one of my favorite spots in Chicago, with a pretty wide range of craft beers on tap.
The bar is stocked with a ton a craft beer on tap and everything on the menu, especially the iO burger, is really delicious. If you're thinking about taking classes go watch some of the graduation shows to get an idea of what you'll be doing.
iO is an amazing place for comedians and comedy fans alike. Whether you're looking to hone your craft, take an introductory improv course or just get hammered while laughing your butt off, this place is a sure thing. Comedy giants (see Amy Poehler) have cut their teeth in this legendary theater, and any given show there could very well include a budding star.