This year, Chicago's The Second City celebrated its 53rd anniversary—and its 100th revue in the Mainstage Theater. Thus 2012 was a big year for Andrew Alexander, the sketch comedy troupe’s CEO, executive producer, and co-owner (not to mention award-winning theater, film, and TV producer in his own right). Alexander and his wife currently split their time between Chicago and Los Angeles, but when he’s in the Windy City, you can find him in Old Town, somewhere in or around The Second City stage at Piper’s Alley (1616 N. Wells St., 312-337-3992). He filled us in on the hot spots he frequents between acts.
You’re grabbing dinner before the show: where do you go and what do you order?
ANDREW ALEXANDER: [My wife and I] love Adobo (1610 N. Wells St., 312-266-7999), which is right beside The Second City. The food is always terrific and the service is wonderful. I highly recommend the guacamole—they prepare it tableside and it is always delicious. They make the desserts in-house and all of them are excellent. You can easily make a meal out of the guacamole and a dessert, but they do a great job with fish, too.
How about for a post-show drink?
AA: Corcoran’s (1615 N. Wells St., 312-440-0885) is a favorite of the The Second City actors. If you didn’t have enough of them during a show, you can stop by and tell them what you really thought.
Any other Old Town Favorites?
AA: My wife and I are huge fans of the Thomas Masters Gallery (245 W. North Ave., 312-440-2322). Most of the artwork in our home is from Thomas. We recently bought Jen Candy, John Candy’s daughter, a piece from there [for her wedding]. She used to work at The Second City and we thought giving her a piece of art from Chicago would be a great way to celebrate her love of the city. John Candy used to live in Old Town, and Jen ended up living on the same street that he had [lived on] many years ago when he was performing here.
Many of the artists Thomas Masters represents have a strong Chicago connection. One piece we bought used to hang in the entryway of Alinea (1723 N. Halsted St., 312-867-0110). Thomas arranged a visit during the day to go and view this painting, which was on loan to the famous restaurant. We knocked at the back door and were allowed in through the most amazing, quiet, well-organized kitchen we have ever seen. It turns out the restaurant was about half a block from our home but we didn’t even know this astonishing place existed at the time. And, yes, we did end up purchasing the painting, and it now hangs in our dining room.
You have lived in a number of cities, but be honest: which city's residents have the best sense of humor?
AA: Chicago, of course!