Imagine an event where "SNL" cast members, comedy TV writers, legendary Chicago improvisers, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Fred Schneider of the B-52's and a laundry list of amazing musicians and comedians perform on the same stage. Now imagine how fun that event gets at 6:00am when the show is only half over. Whatever you imagined barely scratches the surface of the "Letters to Santa: 24 Hours of Improv and Music" benefit.
Hosted every December at The Second City's e.t.c. Theatre, "Letters to Santa" features a 24 hour line-up of marquee names (listed below) and runs from 6pm, December 18 to 6pm, December 19. You pay $20 once and you can come and go throughout the 24 hour period. The event also features silent auction prizes like "A living room concert for you and 29 friends by Jeff Tweedy" which went for around $30,000 last year. Proceeds from the event go to Onward House, who distributes them to families in need during the holidays.
Confirmed improvisers include Ryan Archibald, Emily Candini, Dina Facklis, Scott Goldstein, Shelly Gossman (Writer - Sullivan & Sons), Brendan Jennings, Michael Patrick O'Brien (Writer - Saturday Night Live), Sam Richardson, Tim Robinson (Featured Cast - Saturday Night Live), Rebecca Sohn, Rich Sohn, Fred Armisen (Cast - Saturday Night Live, Portlandia), and Sudeikis & Wilde (featuring Jason Sudeikis & Olivia Wilde).
Many of these names are former Second City performers, so doing a benefit in The Second City e.t.c. Theatre feels a little like coming home for the holidays.
Confirmed musical performers Fred Schneider, Kim Deal, Jeff Tweedy, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Bonnie Prince Billy, Jenny Gillespie, Robbie Fulks, Steve Albini, and The Blisters will entertain with live music throughout the marathon. Set times will be available soon.
The event was created eleven years ago by Heather Whinna, a night manager at The Second City, and her husband, Steve Albini, the lauded Chicago musician and producer. They used their unique connections to the comedy and music worlds to benefit Chicago's families in need. The event was an instant success and has been running annually since.
If you're in Chicago any time during the benefit, you have to at least stop by to see how crazy it gets when sleep deprived artists get together for a great cause. If you can't make it to the live event, Gigity.tv has got you covered. The whole thing is live streamed online at LettersToSantaChicago.com.