Dance Like There Are Black People Watching Comes to Second City in February
CHICAGO – Legendary Chicago comedy institution The Second City is thrilled to announce a new show coming to the UP Comedy Club stage this February. Featuring an ensemble of rising comedy stars, Dance Like There Are Black People Watching: A Black Excellence Revue is bursting with brand-new sketches, songs, and Second City’s world-famous brand of improvisation. Here to warm your soul and make you laugh out loud, this dose of brilliant Black Joy will take the frosty sting off another icy Chicago winter.
Directed by Rob Wilson, Dance Like There Are Black People Watching: A Black Excellence Revue begins performances February 3 with an all-Black ensemble of writers and performers that includes Kennedy Baldwin, Karl Bradley, Arlieta Hall, Spencer Hodges, Adonis Holmes, and Jason Tolliver. Bryon Henderson is Production Manager, with Devonte E. Washington joining Second City as Stage Manager and Tony Belsito returning as Musical Director. Sabrina Odigie is Assistant Director.
Beginning February 3, 2023, Dance Like There Are Black People Watching: A Black Excellence Revue runs Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm through April 1. The Second City is located at 230 W. North Ave. Tickets start at $29.00 and are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at secondcity.com. Please visit secondcity.com for additional information or schedule updates.
About the Artists
Kennedy Baldwin (Ensemble) is an improviser, writer and actress born and raised in Chicago. She attended Western Illinois University, where she studied music business. She started taking improv classes at The Second City at the beginning of 2016 and has been in love with it ever since! In 2019, Kennedy completed the Severn Darden Graduate Program, and in 2020, she was a recipient of the Bob Curry Fellowship at Second City. She now produces the smallprov show at Logan Square Improv.
Tony Belsito (Music Director) is a Chicago-based musician and performer originally from Duluth, MN. Previous credits include music directing for Second City’s staff show, HouseCo, The Second City Touring Company, and 2022’s The SuperAfroWavyDrippyExtraBrilliantDopeShow. If you’d like to know more, just ask.
Most merely adopt the laughter.
Karl Bradley (Ensemble) was born in it, molded by it. Karl didn’t hear the laugh track until already an adult, and by then, found it nothing but deafening. Karl is unrepresented, emotionally.
Arlieta Hall (Ensemble) is a host, actress, improviser, stand-up comedian, writer and a first-time filmmaker from Chicago. She is one of The Second City NBC Bob Curry Fellowship recipients and recently co-starred as “Sadie” on Showtime’s The Chi, as well as served as co-producer for the comedy variety show, “My Best Friend is Black.” Arlieta is a certified dementia communication specialist and was a caregiver for her father, who died from Alzheimer’s disease. She took the power of “yes, and” to communicate with him and used their story to make her first documentary feature, Finding Your Laughter, which was one of ten documentaries selected to participate in The New York Gotham Documentary Feature Lab.
Bryon Henderson (Production Manager) (he/him) is a Chicago native who received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Miami, FL, with an emphasis on music business/entertainment and performance in voice and viola. He has worked with many award-winning recording artists to produce live events at iHeartRadio as Promotions & Marketing Director. Bryon previously worked as Project Manager at Second City Works, Production Manager for The SuperAfroWavyDrippyExtraBrillantDope Show, and is currently the Production Manager for the Second City Touring Company. He is also currently co-starring in the life-long dramedy of marriage, three kids and a dog.
Spencer Hodges (Ensemble) is an actress, writer and improviser from North Carolina. This marks her second production with The Second City. You can catch her all around town performing with her indie teams Mortal Enemies and The Mermaids. She is repped by Stewart Talent.
Adonis Holmes (Ensemble) is a writer, performer and comedian out of Chicago. Adonis graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s in psychology and anthropology. After producing, directing, and writing several shows in the Champaign-Urbana community, Adonis started taking improv classes and regularly performing at iO. Adonis has been featured in several sketch shows throughout the city, including Chicago Sketch Fest and the Best of Annoyance sketch show. Currently, Adonis is a member of Devil’s Daughter Improv, improv trope The Mermaids, a 2022 Bob Curry Fellow, and is the Co-Artistic Director of the iO Theater.
Sabrina Odigie (Assistant Director) was born and raised in Chicago. She has studied and performed at comedy theaters across the country, including UCB, The Pit, The Annoyance, iO Theater, and The Second City, where she also assistant directed the Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase and Mainstage production of Do the Right Thing, No Worries If Not. When not directing, Sabrina performs weekly as a member of the Annoyance and iO house ensembles Modern Crimes and Rescue Baby, respectively. Follow her IG @sillygalbribri
Jason Tolliver (Ensemble) was born and raised on the southside of Chicago. Jason has studied and performed all over Chicago, including at The Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, and is also an ensemble member at Comedy Sportz Chicago, LOL (Schaumburg) and Shamilton. Jason is a graduate of Norfolk State University and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Devonte E. Washington (Stage Manager) is excited to join The Second City for this production. He has worked at many theater companies over the years across Chicago and beyond, most recently as part of the stage management team at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He Is also an ensemble member at Shattered Globe Theater Company.
Rob Wilson (Director) made his Second City directorial debut last year with The SuperAfroWavyDrippyExtraBrillantDope Show. He has since directed the critically-acclaimed Shamilton and The Dopeness. He does other stuff, too, but right now, he’s kinda enjoying this directing thing. Rob is repped by Stewart Talent, and on IG, he is @Rob_Willsun
About The Second City
The Second City opened its doors in 1959 as a small comedy cabaret and has since grown to become the world’s most influential name in improv and comedy. Second City’s stages, Touring Companies, and Training Centers across North America have proudly been the launch pad for many of the funniest names on the planet, including John Belushi, John Candy, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Keegan-Michael Key, Eugene Levy, Tim Meadows, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Suzy Nakamura, Catherine O’Hara, Amy Poehler, Gilda Radner, Sam Richardson, Joan Rivers, Amber Ruffin, Jason Sudeikis, Robin Thede and Steven Yeun, among many more.