For all the city’s improv lovers who also happen to have insomnia: This Tuesday, The Second City e.t.c. hosts its third annual “Letters to Santa” benefit, a twenty-four-hour excursion in improv that helps get children Christmas presents. An entire book of current S.C. performers and alumni are set to make it out for the event, including “Doors Open on the Right”’s Pete Grosz, director Mick Napier, and T.J. Jagodowski. When they say twenty-four-hours, they mean it—the program begins at 8:30pm Tuesday night, doesn’t quit until 8:30pm Wednesday night, and the core set of performers doesn’t revolve—they’re there for the full package. In previous years, attendees were encouraged to bring blankets and pillows if a breather became necessary, and it always seemed a rather brilliant idea. The actors deliver specific improvisational games, long-form scenes, monologues, and more to keep themselves and the audience awake, and a “special” guest appearance is not out of the question. On top of the comedy, a few Chicago musicians appear, including Steve Albini, The Mekons’ Jon Langford and Sally Timms, Robbie Fulks, and Jeff Tweedy. Also, a silent auction is held all night to win a private concert for you and your friends with Tweedy. You make your bid, you win, you pay, and he comes to your home and plays any twenty songs you want to hear. If that’s not enough to get you there, hey—it’s for a good cause. (Tom Lynch)
The Second City presents “The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa” on December 21 at The Second City e.t.c., 1608 North Wells, (312)337-3992, at 8:30pm. $10.