It's one of the greatest comedy legacies in America and the breeding ground for some of the funniest actors and sketches of the past half century, and now The Second City is poised to invade Astoria's historic Liberty Theater with three shows Labor Day Weekend.

Curtain for the Friday, Sept. 3 show will be 7 p.m., and shows Saturday, Sept. 4 will be at 6 and 9 p.m. Ticket prices vary from $30 for the best seats in the house to $15 for seniors. Tickets are available now at all Ticketmaster locations, or by calling (503) 709-ARTS (2787) or logging on to www.ticketmaster.com

"The Second City's 45th Anniversary Show" is a hilarious and inventive evening of sketch comedy and improvisation. Featuring a cast of six and a musical director, The Second City is two acts of highly charged and wildly funny comedy.

Through every political scandal, cultural milestone and public disgrace, The Second City has been there to create hysterical comedy out of our own country's hysteria. Along the way, The Second City has also produced North America's greatest comic talents, such as Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Stephen Colbert of "The Daily Show," Alan Arkin, Robert Klein, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Nia Vardalos, Mike Nichols, Elaine May and many, many more. The Second City's 45th Anniversary Tour provides a look back at our favorite comedy moments of the last 45 years, while providing a look forward at the next generation of comedy's best and brightest stars. Through songs, scenes and a whole lot of improvisation, The Second City's 45th Anniversary Tour provides a cultural index of how much we've needed to laugh through the years.

It all began in a converted Chinese laundry on Chicago's North Side on a cold December night in 1959. No one could have known that by the next century, The Second City would have established itself as the premier comedy institution in the world. Taking its act north, The Second City would build a second permanent home in Toronto, Canada, where it would create the Emmy award-winning television series, "SCTV." Pioneering the use of improvisation in developing talent and creating satiric revue comedy, The Second City has become - in the words of the New York Times - "A Comedy Empire."

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