Press

Press about the 16th Annual Chicago Improv Festival, our performers and our staff:

Subtle mastery from Adsit, Lutz at CIF
via the Chicago Tribune, April 7, 2013
“More than most performers, they can seem to make amusing each other their primary focus, and if the audience happens to get something out of it, well that’s just fine, too. This isn’t a knock. Not every show needs to feel like a metaphorical embrace. Watching the two tinker around, their thought process laid bare, felt like eavesdropping, and it was thoroughly absorbing.”

CIF’s Super Secret Show for Improvisors
via Life’s a Funny Scene by Kiley Peters, April 7, 2013
“Not only was this year’s CIF bigger and better than every year before it, they also did a little something special for the performers. Many of Chicago’s improv stages were vacant last night as many of the improvisers in the city gathered for a “super secret” show at Stage 773. CIF was kind enough to arrange a private midnight soiree with Scott Adsit and John Lutz that was only open to performers in CIF this year.”

CIF Reviews and Recap: Part 1
via Life’s a Funny Scene by Kiley Peters, April 6, 2013
“This week has been filled with some of the greatest improv shows this city has seen so far this year. This festival has taken over 20 stages throughout Chicago over the last five days with over 150 shows and more than 90 teams from all over the world. Chicago Improv Festival (CIF) has been a true Godsend to Chicago improvisers providing the opportunity to not only perform but to have access to teams from all over the world.”

REVIEW: Adsit & Eveleth @ Chicago Improv Festival
via Life’s a Funny Scene by Kiley Peters, April 6, 2013
“Scott Adsit and Jet Eveleth are no strangers to improv. So when the two of them team up, you expect greatness and that’s what they brought to the stage Wednesday at Second City for the third day of the Chicago Improv Festival.”
REVIEW: Cook County Social Club @ Chicago Improv Festival
via Life’s a Funny Scene by Kiley Peters, April 6, 2013
“Cook County is one of my favorite teams to watch. So often you hear teachers remind you that if you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be improvising. If you don’t get that, watch these guys and you’ll see exactly why. They have the best time on stage and, as an audience member, it’s contagious.”
REVIEW: Holy F*ck Comedy Hour @ Chicago Improv Festival
via Life’s a Funny Scene by Kiley Peters, April 6, 2013
“Opening night of CIF was at The Annoyance Theatre. The first show of the evening was Holy Fuck Comedy Hour, which regularly performs at The Annoyance Fridays at midnight. Monday night’s opening performance went a little something like this…”
Chicago Improv Festival: Our picks for this year’s fest
via Time Out Chicago, April 4, 2013
“Watching improv is a bit of a gamble. In advance of this year’s Chicago Improv Festival happening through Sunday 7 at venues around town, we sat through a heap of shows to determine what kind of hand you’re dealing with at each show.”
Eight Can’t-Miss Shows at the Chicago Improv Festival
via Chicagoist, April 4, 2013
“As with any festival, comedy or otherwise, much of the hype leading up to the Chicago Improv Festival has been based around the most recognizable faces and names (like Scott Adsit, Kay Cannon, and John Lutz from 30 Rock and Lucas Neff from Raising Hope), leaving many of the smaller, more eclectic shows unrecognized. We’ve cobbled together a list of some of the hidden (often more affordable) gems going up, as well as some of the bigger names and shows at this year’s CIF.”
Four Acts To See at the Chicago Improv Festival
via Chicagomag.com, April 4, 2013
Chicago is arguably the improv capital of the world. And the Chicago Improv Festival, an annual weeklong celebration of modern improv, makes a strong case to prove it. This year’s fest (running through April 7) is stacked: 154 acts, 100 shows, 20 stages. The 765 performers hail from 9 countries, and their careers have already taken them to shows like 30 Rock and Community.”
Video: Scott Adsit Talks Chicago Improv Festival
via WCIU.com, April 4, 2013
“Chris DeRose speaks with comedian and actor Scott Adsit about the Chicago Improv Festival, which runs all week through Saturday.”
Video: Paul & Wink perform “Shaving Cream” with Noah Ginex Puppet Company
via WGNTV.com, April 4, 2013
“Check them out: Noah Ginex Puppet Company
Friday, April 5 & Saturday, April 6 @10:30 a.m.
Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park”
Reader’s Agenda Wed 4/3: The Magic Cabaret, Reading Under the Influence, and the Chicago Improv Fest
via Chicago Reader, April 3, 2013
“It’s day two of the Chicago Improv Fest. A new format this year organizes the funny into nine categories: long-form, short-form, genre, experimental, alternative, musical, emerging artists, puppetry, and improv onscreen.
“30 Rock’s” Scott Adsit in town this week
via Chicago Sun-Times, April 3, 2013
“Former Second City standout Scott Adsit — late of NBC’s “30 Rock” and currently a star of the stop-action animation shows “Moral Orel” and “Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole” on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim — is all over the place this week performing at and being interviewed during the 16th annual Chicago Improv Festival”

Interview: Scott Adsit for Chicago Improv Festival
via Chicago Tribune, April 3, 2013
“Adsit, a Northbrook native, returns to town this week to headline the 16th annual Chicago Improv Festival, where he’s appearing in several shows and teaching a sold-out workshop for improvisers. The festival culminates Sunday in a “30 Rock” reunion with John Lutz and Kay Cannon, both Chicago improv alumni.” 
Theatre Review: 2013 Chicago Improv Festival
via Chicago Tribune, April 3, 2013
“The 2013 Chicago Improv Festival kicked off earlier this week with Craig Cackowski — a veteran Second City and iO performer seen in recent years on NBC’s “Community” — asking the audience for a suggested location. The first reply shouted out was a filthy one, but Cackowski was game. “OK,” he sighed, “we’re going to put an intelligent spin on this.”
16th Annual Chicago Improv Fest Showcases Hundred of Acts
via MyFoxChicago.com, April 3, 2013
“A local improvisational comedy group has put a unique twist on their performance style. They’re a mariachi improv group called “Los Improviachis.” The 16th annual Chicago Improv Fest, is featuring Los Improviachis in the short form category this year. Performers also include puppeteers and hundreds of other acts.”
Mariachi Improv Group Finds Home in Bar-Prov Scene
via DNAinfo.com, April 2, 2013
“Take the joy of being serenaded by a mariachi band in a taco joint and throw in five people willing to say whatever comes off the top of their heads, and you have Los Improviachis, a mariachi improv group…Playing off a traditional mariachi band, the group — armed with sombreros and toy horns — goes into the audience and turns the spectators’ life choices into fodder for song.
This Week: The Chicago Improv Festival
via NextDateChicago.com, April 2, 2013
“Get ready to laugh so hard that maybe beer – instead of chocolate milk – squirts out your nose this week at Chicago Improv Fest. Shows run today through Sunday at comedy clubs throughout the city, and include headliners Lucas Neff of Raising Hope fame and Rob Belushi.”
Always Funny in Chicago
via Red Eye Chicago, April 1, 2013
“Belushi, Neff and Cannon dished to RedEye about the art of improv, what gets laughs, and how they’ve used their improv skills offstage.”Comedy – Chicago Improv Festival 
via Time Out Chicago, April 1, 2013
“More than 150 troupes from around the world cram the city’s stages for seven nights of never-before-seen (and never-to-be-seen-again) improvised comedy, including visiting guest stars like Scott Adsit, Rob Belushi, John Neff, Ike Barinholtz, Tim Robinson, Craig Cackowski, John Lutz, Kay Cannon and more.”
Suburban Venue, Talents Gear Up For Chicago Improv Festival
via Daily Herald, March 29, 2013
“The festival — running Monday through Sunday, April 1-7 — is a major event with more than 700 performers and 20 city and suburban venues. It also attracts big-name talent, including Scott Adsit, Kay Cannon and John Lutz of NBC’s “30 Rock” and Lucas Neff of Fox’s “Raising Hope,” as well as Rob Belushi of Spike TV’s “The Joe Schmo Show” and the son of Wheaton native Jim Belushi.”
In Chicago, comics do it by the seat of their pants
via Chicago Reader, March 28, 2013
“Hundreds of bozos, buffoons, mummers, and mimes hit town on April Fools’ Day for the 16th Chicago Improv Festival. A new format this year organizes the funny into nine categories: long-form, short-form, genre, experimental, alternative, musical, emerging artists, puppetry, and improv onscreen.”
A look at Viola Spolin — ‘High Priestess of Improv’
via Chicago Sun Times, March 28, 2013
“Viola Spolin: Improvisation and Intuition displays a collection of Spolin’s papers, given to Northwestern as a gift from her son Paul Sills’s family. Sills, the first director of Second City, used his mother’s improvisational techniques in the establishment of the iconic institution.”
IMP Troupe is Bound for Windy City
via Vineyard Gazette, March 28, 2013
This weekend the IMPers will take on their biggest challenge yet, traveling to Chicago to participate in the 16th Annual Chicago Improv Festival. There will be 153 improv troupes at the festival from around the country, with eight countries represented. Only three of these troupes are teen groups, two of which are Apprentice Teams, meaning they train with other groups but don’t get their own show. The IMPers, however, are ready for prime time on their own.”
Hot New Indie Docs and Improv Coms Heat Up Chicago Screens
via Examiner.com, March 25, 2013
“On Tuesday, April 2, improvised comedies from the Chicago Improv Festival and the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual comedic shorts screen at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema on 2828 N. Clark Street.”
World’s Largest Improv Fest Boasts Several Sitcom Stars
via Chicago Sun Times Blog, March 23, 2013
“From NBC’s recently ended “30 Rock”: Kay Cannon, Scott Adsit and John Lutz.
On Wednesday, April 3, Adsit will flex his long-form improv chops with improvisor/Second City Conservatory staffer Jet Eveleth and Cook County Social Club at Second City’s e.t.c. theater in Piper’s Alley.”
Two Phoenix-Based Torch Theatre Troupes Head to Chicago Improv Festival
via Phoenix New Times, March 21, 2013
“Gonzales writes that the troupes are excited — the Chicago Improv Festival is in its 16th year and is the largest, longest-running, and most prestigious improv festival in the world. The festival runs April 1 through 7 and will include performances by more than 150 teams in over 90 shows on 20 stages.”
TV’s Lucas Neff, Scott Adsit among Chicago Improv Festival headliners
via Red Eye Chicago, March 11, 2013
It’s like stuffing a car full of clowns … A carload of TV stars with Chicago ties are among the 765 artists set to make funny April 1-7 at the 16th annual Chicago Improv Festival.”I’m thrilled that Craig and I will finally get to make stuff up for good, broad-shouldered middle-Westerners,” Lucas Neff, of Fox’s “Raising Hope,” told RedEye via text Monday. “April 2! Second City!”
All Hail IMP Troupe
via  Vineyard Gazette, March 7, 2013
“IMP is headed to Chicago. The Island improv troupe has just been named an official selection of the 2013 Chicago Improv Festival. The festival is one the biggest in the country and IMP is the only teen troupe to receive this honor. They perform April 1 to 7, so get your Windy City tickets now.”
Improv Festival 2013 Chicago Lineup Includes LGBTs 
via Windy City Times, March 5, 2013
“This year, Chicago Improv Festival shattered last year’s record number of entries with 267 submissions. I can’t stress enough that this will be our biggest festival ever, with the most groups, locations, shows and events—it’s going to be a crazy, ridiculously fun week,” says Chicago Improv Festival Artistic Director Kevin Mullaney, formerly the Artistic Director at Upright Citizens Brigade/Del Close Marathon in New York who has also taught at iO Chicago.”
Jim Belushi remembers his brother’s magic
via The Chicago Sun Times, March 4, 2013
“A lot has been written about John, a lot has been said about John. He was the hardest worker I knew when it came to perfecting his craft. He spent three days with a samurai sword in his hand talking gibberish before he perfected it. Regrettably, I only got to work with him once on stage. However, we did work together at home, and at my dad’s restaurant, a lot.”
Chicago Improv Productions Presents the 16th Annual Chicago Improv Festival, 4/1
via broadwayworld.com, January, 25, 2013
“The funniest week in Chicago, the Chicago Improv Festival will kick off on April Fool’s Day, Monday, April 1, 2013, and continue until Sunday, April 7, 2013, Chicago Improv Productions announced today. Read more about Chicago Improv Productions Presents the 16th Annual Chicago Improv Festival…”
Life Lessons from Chicago Improv: Throw Out the Script
via choosechicago.com, January 22, 2013
“Improvising keeps you vital, as you never get too old to play unless you tell yourself you are. One of the essences and privileges of being alive is the right to play and be playful. Improvising will also help you access your intuition, communicate well, learn how to listen better, and gain some good friends along the way.”

Did you see the Chicago Improv Festival mentioned in the media? Send us a link at kmullaney.cif@gmail.com and we’ll add it to our list. Thanks!