Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Local Celebs Perform with Second City

Geoff Fox, the longtime meteorologist currently on the air with Fox 61 News, knows quite a bit about the history of the Second City. He can tell you a bit about one of Second City’s founders, Del Close, an improvisational innovator. He can tell you that you are never ever supposed to decline an offering from a fellow performer.


“Wait, aren’t you supposed to be telling me these things?” Fox quipped to a member of the theatre staff.

Fox 61 News meteorologist Geoff Fox, WTNH’s host of “Good Morning Connecticut” Chris Velardi, and 960 WELI’s Vinnie Penn, will perform along with the company of The Best of the Second City during its run at Long Wharf Theatre June 15-19. Penn will perform on Wednesday, June 15, Velardi will take his turn on Thursday, June 16 and Fox will get his chance on Saturday, June 18.

For Penn, a published author, a standup comic and a long time beloved radio personality, performing with Second City is something he’s always wanted to do. “It is the realization of a lifelong dream not only to perform with this revered troupe but as a New Haven native to stand on the very stage I grew up watching so many wonderful productions on. I look forward to making an ass of myself on stage now, as opposed to simply on-air,” Penn said.

Velardi, a Branford native, is going to have to tap into his old high school theatre days from 20 years ago to get himself ready. “I’m looking forward to this. It’ll be fun to be in front of a live audience!” Velardi said.

The performance schedule is Wednesday, June 15 through Saturday, June 18 at 8 p.m., with additional performances at on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 at 4 p.m. The production sponsor is First Niagara.

The Second City Touring Company is a mind explosion of political and social satire cropping up in every delicious nook and cranny of this great nation. Armed from Chicago with a battery of the most hilarious sketch comedy and improvisation on any continent, they’ve loaded up the tour bus to mock the millennial generation and beyond. Belushi, Colbert, Carell, Murray, Radner, Myers, Fey, Meadows, Farley, Aykroyd all came through Second City.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by going to http://www.longwharf.org/.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced
numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont
Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.”

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway
League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway
run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill
Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/. She
is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), CT Press Club's award winner of first place for web editing and second place in feature writing for the web in 2012.

She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor
for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web. Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented
by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle (awards committee).

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts,
the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

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