How it Works

The audience shouts out a title of a musical that has never been performed before. Accompanied by a full band, the first title that the group hears becomes the title and theme for that evening’s completely improvised 60 minute musical that BWC creates on the spot.

BWC has featured performers Stephnie Weir and Nicole Parker (MadTV), Rachel Dratch and Aidy Bryant  (SNL), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen and the E St Band), Mark Pender (Max Weinberg 7) to name a few.

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For all inquires please contact
our Producer Emily Dorezas 773.368.1685
emd at babywantscandy.com

BWC CAST ALUMNI

 
Samantha Albert
Christina Anthony
Jennifer Bills
Jimmy Carand
Bumper Carroll
Josh Chamberlain
Tim Chidester
Bill Chott
Eugene Cordera
Ali Davis
Tara DeFrancisco
Deb Downing
Rachel Dratch
Alex Fendrich
Sue Gillan
Charles Glen
Laura Grey
Peter Grosz
Paul Grondy
Kat Gotsick
Greg Hess
Nick Kanel
Heather Kinney
John Lutz
Rachael Mason
Mary McCain
Kara McNamara
Seth Meyers
Rachel Miller
Katie Nahnsen
Scot Robinson
Abby Sher
Heather Simms
Eliza Skinner
Miles Stroth
Stephnie Weir
Sara Wolfson

 

BWC BAND ALUMNI

 

Garry W. Tallent
Dave Adler
The Knife
Larrence Fingerhut
Jody Shelton
Dave Asher
TJ Shanoff
Joe Latessa
Ryan McCall
Patrick Burke
David Andrew Moore

 

PLAYERS

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Amber Petty (Ensemble) is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and is a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. She's appeared in pilots for comedy central and various commercials. Her favorite shows include Penny's White Orphans and The Kirk Cameron Repertory Players Present: A Harry Potter Musical.

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Joey Bland (Ensemble) hails from Richmond, VA. He has trained and performed at Second City, IO and Comedysportz. He is an ensemble member of the Improvised Shakespeare Company. Joey performed in Cinderella, Cinderella, MC Willie and the Music Factory and How to Eat Worms. Joey was a contestant on the TV program Jeopardy, where he returned twice. Joey now tours with the Second City. Most recently, Joey Appears on the NBC show Sports Action Team.
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Aidy Bryant (Ensemble) moved to Chicago from Phoenix to attend Columbia College where she graduated with a BA in Theater. She improvised  with Hunter Family Crest, You are Not Alone, and Radical Concepts.  She appeared in Friend, and Scientology: The (Unauthorized) Musical at The Annoyance theater. Currently Aidy appears weekly on Saturday Night Live.

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Ross Bryant (Ensemble) hails from North Carolina where it was his dream to be a member of Baby Wants Candy. He can also be seen performing with the critically acclaimed Improvised Shakespeare Company at iO. Ross appears regularly with ComedySportz Chicago, and The Hot Karl.
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Christy Bonstell (Ensemble) has studied at the IO and Annoyance theatres and performed in several shows at the Second City Donny’s Skybox. She spent several years in Detroit where she was thrilled to be an understudy and teacher at Second City Detroit. She also taught and performed as part of several casts at the Improv Inferno in Ann Arbor, where she produced the Michigan Improv and Laugh Festival. Christy, who has a B.F.A. in Theatre from Wayne State University, performs with the teams Speakeasy and Quill at the Playground Theater and currently with the Simultangerous Seven at IO.

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Craig Cackowski (Ensemble) has performed with Baby Wants Candy since 1997. Festival appearances with Baby include the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (where he performed in the now-mythic show "The Mighty Swordfish", among others), UCB NY’s Del Close Marathon, the Chicago Improv Festival, as well as a memorable trip to Singapore. Craig can also be seen performing regularly in L.A. at the IO West, in such shows as Dasariski, Armando, Cog, Goal! and My First Time With Cacky. He is a faculty member at both the IO West and Second City LA training centers. Film and TV appearances include Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sports Action Team, and Year of the Dog..

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Tara Copeland (Ensemble) is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College. She can currently be seen the group Mother. Tara has also appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, as well as in The Third Degree, Commedia Del High School, Vampires in Havana, Double Down, I Eat Pandas & Friends, and the short film Running with Scissors. She was seen most recently as Pip in The Crushing Blow (www.thecrushingblow.tv).

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Robert Dassie (Ensemble) is originally from Chicago where he toured with the Second City and co-created and performed in several long-form improvisation shows at the IO. He has appeared regularly in New York at the UCB hosted Del Close Marathon with his two-person show WeirDass, ventured out to Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Baby Wants Candy and has appeared at improv festivals around the globe. In Los Angeles you may see him performing every Thursday at the IOWest in the critically acclaimed "Dasariski" or often at the UCB Theatre in A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T. Bob can be seen on HBO's upcoming "Funny or Die Presents..." starring in "Carpet Bros." along with Tim Meadows, David Spade and Will Farrell. Check out www.robertdassie.com if you need to know more!

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Amanda Blake Davis (Ensemble)  can be seen in the current revue at Second City etc where she also appeared in Disposable Nation and Pratfall of Civilization. Amanda performs with the Virgin Daiquiri, Sirens, and ComedySportz Chicago.
 

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Rebecca Drysdale (Ensemble) is an Alumni of The Second City in Chicago and Amsterdam’s BOOM Chicago. Her solo show One Woman in Several Pieces won her the breakout performer award at the Aspen Comedy Festival in 2005 and she will be taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. Rebecca recently completed a web series entitled Rebecca Drysdale is a Time Traveling Lesbian for HBO. Becky performs in improv shows all over the city. Check out www.beckdrys.com
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Erica Elam (Ensemble) Recent theatre credits include Born Yesterday (Peninsula Players), The Trip to Bountiful (Goodman), The Philadelphia Story (Remy Bumppo), Inherit the Wind (Northlight), The Romeo and Juliet Musical (Second City/Chicago Shakespeare), Winesburg, OH (Steppenwolf/About Face), and Sodomites: The Musical! (Annoyance). She has also performed at The Second City, iO Theater, Annoyance, and The Comedy Shrine. She is a proud ensemble member of The Best Church of God. Erica was named one of the “Top 5 Actors to Watch” by The Chicago Tribune and is a graduate of The University of Georgia, The Second City Conservatory Program and The School at Steppenwolf. You can see Erica in the Chicago cast of Baby Wants Candy or touring the country with Baby Wants Candy.

 

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Brendan Dowling (Ensemble) is a resident member of the world famous Comedy Sportz Theater. Most Recently Brendan co-wrote the Second City review I lost my Denvirginity for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Denver CO. Brendan was part of the record breaking Baby Wants Candy sold out run in the Edinburgh Scotland Fringe Festival.

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Kevin Fleming (Ensemble) has performed at numerous theaters including IO, Annoyance, Second City and Victory Gardens. Kevin co-hosted Murray in The Morning, which aired nationwide on Sporting News Radio Network. Kevin recently wrapped up the hugely successful What You Need a play he co-wrote and starred in with fellow BWCer Al Samuels. Kevin co-created and co-stars in the NBC comedy Sports Action Team.
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Chris Grace (Ensemble) is an improviser and stand-up comedian in New York City. He performs regularly in Cold Soda, The Faculty, A/C, Starkey & Grace, and Baby Wants Candy. He's appeared in pieces for College Humor and has written for McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He got a BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and you can follow him and find out more at chris-grace.com.

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Peter Gwinn (Ensemble) is a founding member of Baby Wants Candy. He studied and taught improv at IO Chicago and the Second City before moving to NYC. He authored the book “Group Improvisation”, which you can buy from amazon.com. Peter performs in ASSSS-CAT and can also be seen performing in the group Arsenal on Harold Night at UCB. Currently Peter writes for the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
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John Hartman (Ensemble) is just thrilled to be performing with Baby Wants Candy.  John was a main stage cast member of the Improv Inferno in Ann Arbor, MI before moving to Chicago.  In Chicago, he was recently seen in Photobooth and Good Liars at The Annoyance Theatre, where he also just mounted his first solo show, Your Friends and Enemies.  He improvises at The Playground with Alright, Janice!, at the iO Theater in White Jazz and Qweirdo, and sometimes all the way up in Maine with ImprovAcadia.  He'd like to thank all of the wonderful people he gets to play with every day.

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Jeff Hiller (Ensemble)  New York Stage credits include Slut, Awesome 80’s Prom, Showgirls: The Best Movie Ever Made. Ever., Air Guitar The Musical, A Ho Ho Horatio Christmas (with SNL's Horatio Sanz), NY Fringe Festival hit Silence!, and The Children at the New York Musical Theatre Festival .  TV credits include: 30 Rock, MTV's Boiling Points, The PA (FUSE), Starved (FX), Late Night with Conan O'Brien, a ton of VH1 Clip Shows Most recently Jeff appeared in the film Ghost Town.

 

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Hans Holsen (Ensemble) with playwright Brett Neveu, developed American Shirt, a one-man improvised show. Hans also wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed one-musical Dennis Tar Highschool Tennis Star! He has performed at ComedySportz as an ensemble member and in the Hot Karl, at the Neo-Futurarium with Barrel of Monkeys, and with Collaboration in two Sketchbook festivals. Hans was a member with the Second City National Touring Company. Currently Hans lives in Amsterdam as an ensemble member of Boom! Chicago.
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Nathan Jansen (Ensemble) went to Kansas State. He has performed with several improv companies including Quincy, Swanel, Armando Diaz, Mission Improvable, Comedy Sportz, Improv Acadia. He most recently performed in the sketch show "TAMMI" with a heart over the I.

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Michael Kayne (Ensemble) studied improvisation at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Vocal Performance at NYU. He has performed in the Broadway workshop of Hoopz (choreographed by Savion Glover), and in regional productions of A Christmas Carol, Brigadoon, Annie Warbucks, The Sound of Music and The Trial of Mary Surratt (world premiere). 

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Bob Kulhan (Ensemble) is a founding member of Baby Wants Candy. He also performed for The Second City & TUTA Theatre Company.  In addition, he has created several wildly popular one-man shows including:  Bing Faithful’s Very Merry Nondenominational Holiday Special, Shecky Kulhan: Theater of the Mind & Shecky Kulhan: Amuse-Bouche.  Thanks to his family.  He hopes you enjoy the show!!! Please, if you have any decency whatsoever, go to:  www.BobKulhan.com

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Nick Semar (Ensemble) He grew up in St. Louis, but got his B.F.A. in Theater Performance from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, where he started playing with The Skinny Improv. He moved to Chicago and studied at the iO theater, where he played on a couple of Harold teams. He has been an ensemble member of ComedySportz Chicago where he is also the director/producer of Battle-prov.

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Rob Lindley (Ensemble) is an Artistic Associate with Porchlight Music Theatre were he has appeared in many productions including the Jeff-Nominated Sweeney Todd and Closer Then Ever. Rob can be heard singing around town with his After Dark Award-Winning vocal trio Foiled Again including a holiday show this December. Rob has been named one of the “30 Under 30″ rising stars to keep an eye on by the Chicago Sun-Times. Rob most recently appeared in the Critically acclaimed Back at Leipzig at Writers’ Theatre.
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Nicky Margolis (Ensemble) is an alum of the Second City ETC stage where she co-wrote and performed in three revues:  Immaculate Deception, Disposable Nation, and Pratfall of Civilization.  She recently starred in her original solo show Split!.  You can catch Nicky playing with the fantastically funny and talented all-lady ensemble, Virgin Daiquiri.

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Jack McBrayer (NY) helped create three revues on The Second City’s e.t.c. stage. He improvised regularly at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in NYC and appeared as a sketch performer on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and in several episodes of Arrested Development. Jack appears in Talledega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. You can see Jack every week playing Kenneth on NBC’s “30 Rock”.
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Beth Melewski (Ensemble) Beth is a former member of The Second City National Touring Company and The Second City Denver where she co-wrote and performed the original review How I Lost My Denverginity. She also performs with Virgin Daiquiri at iO Chicago. She is proud to be one half of the improv duo Dual Exhaust who was named by The Chicago Sun-Times as one of the “top 10 comedy duos of the past 10 years”. Beth is the host for Discovery Channel's Cash Cab Chicago.


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Thomas Middleditch is a member of Baby Wants Candy and plays in the NYC cast. The Improvised Shakespeare Company, Bullet Lounge, Felt, and of course Baby Wants Candy. He also has performed with The Second City in many respects, the most hilarious of which being at sea on a cruise ship. You may have seen his annoying McDonalds “I’m Into Nuggets, Y’all!” commercial which aired nationally, or pitching softballs in NBC’s Sports Action Team. He currently resides in New York City performing standup, sketch, and improvising in many shows, namely Happy Hour at the UCB Theater.  

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Winston Noel (Ensemble) can currently be seen performing with the UCB Harold team Ragnarock. He has been in several plays and sketch shows around the city, and has been in online videos for collegehumor.com, Yahoo, and POM tea and on television on ESPN.

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Stuart Ranson (Ensemble) is a founding member of Baby Wants Candy. Stuart came to Chicago to study improvisation after graduating from The College of William and Mary. Stuart toured with the Second City National Touring Company and performed with theSecond City E.T.C in the Jeff Award winning Holy War, Batman! (Or the Yellow Cab of Courage).
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Albert Samuels (Ensemble) is a founding member of Baby Wants Candy. He holds and MBA from Stanford University and a BA from Dartmouth College. Al was on the Second City Mainstage, where he co-wrote and performed in the critically acclaimed revues Thank Heaven it Wasn’t 7/11 and No, Seriously, We’re All Gonna Die. He can be seen in the Will Ferrell film Stranger than Fiction. Al is co creator and co-star of the NBC comedy Sports Action Team.
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Tim Sniffen (Ensemble) has performed with BWC since 2001. He studied at The Second City, Improv Olympic, and The Annoyance Theatre. Currently Tim is a company member of the Second City National Touring Company. Tim recently returned from Amsterdam where he was an ensemble member of Boom! Chicago. Tim is a contributing writer for the prestigious Campus Activities Magazine.

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 Mike Still (Ensemble) is a regular at the UCB Theatre, where he is a member of the house team Badman, as well as UCBT's National Touring Company.  Mike is a founding member of the comedy group A Week of Kindness, which has performed across the country.  As AWOK's video director, Mike's internet shorts have been viewed over a million times.  Any products you see him hawking on TV, Mike vouches for with his life.  Mike is a graduate of Penn State University.

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Sam Super (Ensemble) studied acting in Oregon and London. He is a resident member of ComedySportz in Chicago where he has been named Rookie of the Year. You can also catch Sam improvising in The Hot Karl (CSz) , DSI’s The Beatbox, and creating sketch comedy with Seven8nine.
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Zach Thompson (Ensemble) majored in Broadcasting at ISU and trained at Second City, the Annoyance Theatre, and ImprovOlympic, where he still performs. Zach won the MVP title at ComedySportz in both 2003 and 2004 He’s also a founding member of critically acclaimed The Hot Karl.

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Ashley Ward (Ensemble) is an actress, singer and writer in NYC. She performs with Gunshow  and  High Fife. She  studied at the UCB, Second City and Improv Olympic. Ashley has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster University.

 

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Bryce Wissel (Ensemble) Is on the national touring company for the critically acclaimed Mission Improvable. Currently Bryce can be seen in pH Productions and Chicago Comedy Company. Bryce performs Stand Up comedy around Chicago.

BAND

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Dan Reitz (MD NYC) is a freelance musician and educator based in Brooklyn. He is currently music director of 50 Shades! The Musical and is an active jazz and rock trombonist. He performs regularly at the UCB Theater, The Magnet Theater and the People's Improv Theater and teaches rock band and instrumental music at the Bank Street School For Children. www.danreitz.com
 
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Joe Clark (Trumpet) is a trumpeter and composer. His choral work Asterism, text by H.P. Lovecraft, won the Kleinman Composition Award and Compulsion for Orchestra won the Union League Club Jazz Composition Award. Other awards include WFMT's 50th Anniversary Composition Competition, Student Downbeat Awards, and Best Music: 2008 Chicago 24-Film Fest. Joe’s arrangements and compositions have been performed by The Chicago Q Ensemble, Rob Parton's JAZZTECH Big Band, Tom Matta Big Band, DePaul Jazz Ensemble, Mulligan Mosaics, and numerous All-State High School Jazz Bands. He now teaches at Harold Washington College and arranges for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Once Upon a Symphony” program.

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Keith Golden (Bass) joined the Dido band and embarked on a 3 year tour across the globe that led to sales of over 12 million units world wide. Keith has performed with Eminem on Saturday Night Live and England's Top of Pops. He has also played with Enrique Iglesias, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin and Doug E. Fresh. Learn more at Goldxilla.com

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Steve Jabas (Guitar) is talented guitarist, composer/arranger and producer based in New York. He recently produced recordings by singer-songwriter Noah Levi and composed the scores for the short film “Family Portrait” and  the independent feature “Shadowboxer.” In 2006, Steve was involved with the NY premier of the musical “Mental” and also with several productions at the New York New Musical Theater Festival.

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Kevin Florian (Guitar) a graduate of NIU’s jazz program, is a composer in his own invented genre of contrapuntal jazz-metal. He is a member of Monday Corners & the Delphic Jazz Trio, teaches guitar & is thrilled to play with Baby Wants Candy.

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Dan Wessels (Musical Director Chicago) holds his degree in Music Composition from Columbia College. He plays with Baby Wants Candy, ComedySportz, and pHamily: the Musical. He also serves as music director for other musicals around Chicago.
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Alex Burke (Musical Director LA) has his masters in music composition from USC. Alex lived in Chicago for several years where he was a musical director for Second City as well as, of course, Baby Wants Candy. Alex has composed scores for both television and film and most recently composed music for upcoming Nike commercials and Nike ringtones. Next time your phone rings and it sounds like a Nike, thank Alex. Currently Alex is working on the Q6 Studios, a recording studio he owns LA.
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Johnny Pisano (BASS NYC) For the last five years Johnny recorded and toured with the Jesse Malin Band. In addition, he has toured with Marky Ramone, Ryan Adams, Bree Sharp and The Niagras and has played with Deborah Harry, Counting Crows, and sung back up for Bruce Springsteen. Johnny most recenty toured Europe with Marah. Johnny appeared in the films A Perfect Stranger and August Rush. Johnny appeared on The Sopranos, Gilmore Girls and Law and Order SVU. For more on Johnny myspace.com/johnnypisano

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Chris Ditton (Bass Chicago) He was the music director and guitarist for the Columbia’s production of the musical Pippin earlier this Spring. He also played bass alongside BWC’s Dan Wessels in Columbia’s production of The Rocky Horror show.

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Richie Betts (Drums Chicago) has been playing with the band Janus for over 13 years. When not performing music he tends to the UPS store that he owns.

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Mark Pender (TRUMPET NYC) is a member of the Max Weinberg 7 on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Mark has recorded with Stevie Van Zandt, David Bowie, Joe Cocker , Bon Jovi , They Might Be Giants, South Side Johnny and Robert Cray. Most recently Mark recorded and toured with Bruce Springsteen as a member of The Seeger Sessions Band. You can also catch The Mark Pender Band’s live show around town be sure to buy a Mark Pender Band CD at www.markpenderband.com
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Mike Descoteux (Piano/Musical Director) has had the privilege of working with Tony Award-winning artists such as Jason Robert Brown, William Finn, Mark Hollmann, James LaPine, and David Ives. He serves as music director for The Second City. His work has been seen at venues including The Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, American Theatre Company, Childs Play Touring Theater, The Bailiwick, The Theatre Building, Comedy Sportz, Northwestern University, WGN, Improv Olympic, The Playground, The Chicago Improv festival, and The Chicago Sketchfest (with various ensembles and Octa-Sketch director).

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Douglas Levin (Drums Chicago ) is a Columbia College graduate. He has toured with Deep Elm recording artist Lewis, the Platters, the Drifters, the Coasters and Pinch. Currently Doug plays with the karoke band Hottenanny.

PRODUCERS

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Emily Dorezas (Executive Producer) served as talent coordinator/program developer for the Stand Up Comedy TV Network. Emily was a producer for Second City’s business theater and Humor Resources. Emily performs stand up comedy across the US and appeared on Comedy Central’s Daily Show as an Election Correspondent. She has produced several critically acclaimed comedy showcases throughout Chicago. Emily also appears on the NBC show Sports Action Team. Currently Emily is co-producer and co-writer for 50 Shades! The Musical.

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Garrett Palm (Associate Producer) has studied improvisation at both the Magnet and UCB. He has a theater degree from Principia College in Illinois, where he focused on musical theater. Most recently he lived in Beirut, Lebanon, where he taught improv and "worked on various writing projects he's been meaning to get around to." Before that he was working at a Nomadic Tuareg festival in Timbuktu, Mali.


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