Performers work without a net

Chicago City Limits improv group comes to The Maryland Theatre

Chicago City Limits improv group comes to The Maryland Theatre

October 25, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

The only question Executive Producer and Artistic Director Paul Zuckerman couldn't answer was what his production of Chicago City Limits Without a Net was about.

That's because in every show the actors make it up as they go along. "We take audience suggestions," Zuckerman said.

Chicago City Limits, a comedic improv show, is coming to The Maryland Theatre on Friday. During parts of the program, the audience will determine what the show's five actors will do by calling out suggestions.

"Try to stump us," Zuckerman said. "Really, when you think about it, what can someone say that you have no reference for?"

The show will run about two hours with an intermission. The actors will start with scene-setters, such as a game of "Jeopardy!" In the case of the "Jeopardy!" scene, the audience will call out the answers to which the actors will respond.


Zuckerman said Chicago City Limits started off in Chicago (hence the name) in the late '70s, but it relocated to New York in 1979 and established its own theater there in 1980.

The art of being funny on the spot, he said, calls for equal parts of practice and natural ability.

"You can't rehearse the content but you can rehearse the skill," Zuckerman said. "It's like a sports competition. If you're a basketball player, you can't rehearse what you do at 1 minute, 57 seconds."

If you go ...

WHAT: Chicago City Limits Without a Net

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

COST: $25, all seats

MORE: For ticket information, call The Maryland Theatre box office, 301-790-2000, or visit the theater's Web site at Visit Chicago City Limits on the Web at

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