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|
|Do you own this business?|
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Comedy Dance Collective Halloween Show
The members of Comedy Dance Collective flex their wit through dance, movement and physical comedy. Self-described as "equally goofy, quirky, weird, gracefully-stupid and downright visually hilarious," CDC is sure to be unlike any other comedy you've seen...Physical Friday October 28 2016Read more
iO Open Mic
Taylor Wolfe hosts this stand-up open mic in iO's Chris Farley Cabaret. Performer signups start at 9:30pm.Open mic nights Monday October 31 2016 - Monday December 26 2016 FreeRead more
3peat consistently produces some of the most innovative, exciting improv comedy in Chicago. The all African-American group is filled with very talented comedians to watch out for. This longform improvised show is always prompted by an audience member's...Improv Monday October 31 2016 - Monday August 21 2017Read more
Gender Is A Drag
This popular monthly variety show explores the nuances and fluctuations in gender expression through improv, sketch and more. Grab a drink and watch these top-notch performers explore all the gray areas in gender and sexuality.Improv Monday November 21 2016 - Monday December 19 2016Read more
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
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- 4 star:3
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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.