There are many classic comedy routines, but none is more lauded than the one in which someone walks toward a banana peel and places it in the garbage. Enjoy throwaway gags with this GrouponLive deal to see the Navy Pier Four Star Comedy Fest at the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier on Saturday, October 6, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Choose between the following seating options:
- For $19, you get one general-admission ticket for rear main-floor or balcony standing room (up to a $48.14 value, including all fees)
- For $34, you get one general-admission ticket for main-floor seating (up to an $80.97 value, including all fees)
These seating options are exclusive to Groupon and do not include complimentary cocktails.
The inaugural run of the Navy Pier Four Star Comedy Fest brings together Chicago’s top off-the-cuff comedians for shows and workshops. Headlining the night is SNL-alum Tim Meadows, alongside former cast members of the Second City Mainstage, Brad Morris and Joe Canale, who collectively form the comedic Megazord that is Uncle’s Brother. Together the trio takes on diverse roles, forming spontaneous scenes that harness cinematic-style cuts to poke fun at cultural presumptions with light-hearted aplomb. Also taking the stage, The Improvised Shakespeare Company wields an uncanny ear for the Bard’s voice to craft brand-new plays from audience-suggested titles, peppering what follows with iambic dialogue, memorable characters, and cohesive storylines. The gentlemanly members of the Cook County Social Club then drop by from the iO to show off what the Chicago Reader called their “black-comedy vignettes tethered to richly odd characters.” Before the evening’s show, the festival hosts a suite of free improv workshops from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., each taught by players from such stages as the iO and The Annoyance Theatre. The sessions teach patrons to think on their feet in order to entertain audiences and ace the standing portion of the SAT. Each class is limited to 20 students, so interested improvers should reserve space beforehand.
Originally part of architect Daniel Burnham's ambitious "Plan of Chicago" drafted in 1909, Navy Pier was designed to handle both recreational and freight traffic for the burgeoning metropolis. Its role quickly changed when it began serving as a barracks and training facility during two World Wars—it earned its nickname because of the more than 200 planes that littered the lake bottom around the pier, lost during exercises and sunk to intimidate fish with military technology. In the decades that followed, the pier was home to a University of Illinois campus, a convention center, and a venue for citywide festivals before falling into disuse. This ended in 1989, when the state moved to transform the venerable pier into one of Chicago's foremost tourist attractions.
Reopened in 1995, the revamped Navy Pier boasts 50 acres of parks, restaurants, shops, and entertainment, scenically located along Lake Michigan and the mouth of the Chicago River. The pier's most striking denizen is its 150-foot-tall ferris wheel, whose glittering lights slowly rotate above the water and frame a beautiful view of the city's skyscrapers for riders. Other attractions include a towering IMAX screen that shows educational films and Hollywood blockbusters, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which treats audiences to bold stagings of the Bard's greatest hits.