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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Whirled News Tonight
Now in its 15th year, Whirled News Tonight has become an institution at the iO Theatre, hence its prime time slot. Improvised scenes are based on news articles from that week, which audience members post to the back wall of the stage. The show boasts...Improv Saturday September 22 2018 - Saturday September 29 2018
The Armando Diaz Experience
It's a simple concept: one performer takes a suggestion from the audience and from that, delivers a monologue based on something they've experienced. Then, the rest of the improv ensemble engages in a series of scenes inspired by their story. The Armando...Improv Monday September 24 2018 - Monday April 29 2019
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.