National Symphony Orchestra To Premiere THE SECOND CITY

The NSO Pops and Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke welcome one of the world's premier comedy troupes, The Second City, with renowned improvisational comedian Colin Mochrie, to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for three performances to open the 2016-17 NSO Pops season, September 15-17, 2016. The Second City Guide to the Symphony is a live performance featuring a blend of original sketch comedy, new music and songs by Matthew Reid, and orchestral works by Mozart, Mahler, Glinka, and more. The performance-which, in classic Second City style, contains some content recommended for ages 16+-is a celebration of the symphony orchestra, taking a satirical buT Loving look at The Players, the repertoire, the composers, the personalities, and even the audience.

The Second City has grown to become a leading Comedy Club, theater, and school of improvisation, producing an eclectic array of entertainment in Chicago, Toronto, Hollywood, and other cities worldwide. Recent productions include Almost Accurate Guide to America, an exclusive collaboration with the Kennedy Center as part of the District of Comedy Festival that put a comic twist on historical figures, events, and inventions that make up the story of America; The Art of Falling, a critically acclaimed collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Ahmanson Theater, Los Angeles); Let Them Eat Chaos (Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C.); and #DateMe, an original comedy in partnership with OkCupid. Upcoming productions also include an original parody Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf, with Writers Theatre, and Unelectable You a political show in partnership with SLATE Magazine. Notable alumni include Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, and Bill Murray. Second City Theatricals is the exclusive provider of sketch and improv comedy for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Colin Mochrie is no stranger to The Second City. He worked for The Second City for three years, co-writing and starring in three productions and directing three seasons of its national touring company until 1988. Soon after, Mochrie appeared as a regular cast member on the British Channel 4 improv show Whose Line Is It?. When the show ended in 1998, Mochrie joined the American version of the same show (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) hosted by Drew Carey on ABC, appearing in every episode from its debut in August 1998 to its finale in 2006. Mochrie has since established his name on Canadian television, starring and appearing in numerous Canadian television comedy series includingBlackfly, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Corner Gas, The Surreal Gourmet, and She's the Mayor. In 2007, Mochrie and his Whose Line co-star Brad Sherwood hosted part of the Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner with the President. Recently he has appeared on Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza on GSN and returned for the CW network's revival of Whose Line Is It Anyway?.

Program Details

Thursday, September 15, 2016, at 7 p.m. Friday, September 16, 2016, at 8 p.m.

Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 8 p.m.

National Symphony Orchestra, Steven Reineke, conductor, Colin Mochrie, guest star

The Second City Guide to the Symphony

Tickets: $24-$99.

Please note: this performance may contain content for mature audiences.


Cirque de la Symphonie: Halloween Extravaganza, October 13-15

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Film with Live Music) , November 25 and 26

Steven Reineke, conductor

A Holiday Pops!, December 9 and 10

Steven Reineke, conductor

Laura Benanti and Santino Fontana, vocals

The Washington Chorus

An Evening with Ledisi, February 24 and 25, 2017

Damon Gupton, conductor

Mellow Tones

Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella & Company, March 24 and 25, 2017

Steven Reineke, conductor, Sy Smith, Capathia Jenkins, Montego Glover

Indigo Girls , May 5 and 6, 2017

Steven Reineke, conductor

The Music of John Williams, June 22-24, 2017

Steven Reineke, conductor, Choral Arts Society of Washington


Show-stopping pops concerts have been a staple of the National Symphony Orchestra's more than 80 years of performances. These concerts have ranged from performances on a barge on the Potomac River, to concerts on the Ellipse, and in National Parks around the greater Washington area. The 2000-2001 season saw the creation of the post of Principal Pops Conductor specifically for Broadway great Marvin Hamlisch, who held the position until the 2010-2011 season. The 2011-2012 season was the first with Steven Reineke as Principal Pops Conductor. NSO Pops performances take place at all the NSO's principal performance venues: Wolf Trap, the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, and in the NSO's primary home, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with a subscription season featuring the Orchestra with guest artists from a variety of musical genres.

ABOUT Steven Reineke

Steven Reineke's boundless enthusiasm and exceptional artistry have made him one of the nation's most sought-after pops conductors, composers, and arrangers. The 2016-17 season will be his sixth as Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. In that capacity he has led performances of Broadway favorites, jazz, hip-hop, and shows featuring such notable performers as Nas, Trey Anastasio, Seth MacFarlane, and Kendrick Lamar.


David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of the NSO.

Additional support for the 2016-2017 NSO Pops Season is provided by The Honorable Barbara H. Franklin and MR. Wallace Barnes.

Capital One® is the Presenting Sponsor of Comedy at the Kennedy Center.


Tickets for The Second City Guide to the Symphony begin at $24 and are available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, online at, and via phone Instant-Charge, (202) 467-4700 or (800) 444-1324.

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