Little Reviews: Improv Playhouse First Friday Funnies

Libertyville, IL

This week, over twenty of my Facebook friends posted that they had sitters (score) and no plans (humph). What is there to do in Lake County other than going out to dinner or a movie? A fulfilling night out for me includes: fun, laughter, closeness, relaxation, and enjoyment.


I am so glad that I was able to visit the Improv Playhouse in Libertyville for their First Friday Funnies. Friends, this was worth it!  In conjunction with MainStreet Libertyville First Fridays, this is the perfect way to end a busy (or boring) week!

Improv playhouse libertyville
Photo Source: Improv Playhouse on Facebook

Since tickets are typically $15 or  less to shows at Improv Playhouse, grabbing dinner beforehand is reasonable (#affordabledatenight).  We were sure to arrive early for dinner and let our waiter know we needed to leave in time for our show (unfortunately, the kitchen didn’t get the memo so we were running down icy Milwaukee Avenue in heels, but we made it and I’m sure a few of my slippery slide-y moves made for a great pre-show).

The theater is very easy to find in downtown Libertyville, the driveway is just south of the train tracks on the west side of Milwaukee Avenue and brings you to the strip mall where the theater sits.  Improv Playhouse has a shared parking lot with plenty of space, but if you’re on the verge of being late and can’t find a spot (ahem) you can park at any of the public lots in Libertyville and walk there easily. Truth: I’ve passed this at least one thousand times and never stopped.

Photo Source Improv Playhouse Facebook Page

We entered the small theater just in time, gave our names at the desk and were offered champagne before we sat down.  A fun note about this location is that you can bring in alcoholic beverages (of course only if you’re of legal age, but these can be purchased roughly 100 steps away) to enjoy while at the show, but you know, that’s up to you.

The theater is an unassuming black room with steel chairs and a few wooden, backless benches.  Truth: my hopes were about as high as my 1 year-old can reach.  Note: I’ve never been to a comedy show, so maybe this is the norm?

We sat in the back row on a bench that is slightly raised, I may or may not have knocked a few picture frames off the wall with my back during the show, if you don’t tell, I won’t either.  The show started promptly with an emcee (whose intentional apprehensive disposition was hilarious) and then followed with the comics.

improv playhouse first friday funnines
© A. Chase | Little Lake | 2016

It was refreshing to see a comedy show that wasn’t raunchy.  Am I the only one?  At this particular theater, the comics are asked to keep it PG-13 and although I didn’t check what that actually means, I wouldn’t have been embarrassed to bring my 12 and 13-year-old nieces along.

The all-gender comedians had unique fast paced sets that had the crowd chuckling, giggling and all out belly laughing.  When you attend a show at Improv Playhouse, you are sure to be amused by the talented rotating cast, as they perform all around Chicagoland in clubs such as Zanies, Laugh Factory and The Improv.  These are not amateurs and it was apparent by the energy in the theater and that I didn’t want anyone to get off of the stage, it went by too quickly!

improv playhouse first friday funnies
© A. Chase | Little Lake | 2016

Again, this theater is small, and so when I ducked out to use the (clean!) restroom, I was glad to still hear the entire show.  Something I learned at this particular show is to participate and laugh loudly, the comics can feel your energy and you will notice.  Respond to their possible rhetorical questions and they will laugh just as hard with you.  “Call her!”

I guess you had to be there…

If an affordable date night, Guys’ Night or Girls’ Night is on your calendar, check out Improv Playhouse in Libertyville. You also may be surprised by all of their offerings: classes, parties, camps, etc.  Maybe I’ll bump into you at another Friday Funnies or one of their Saturday night shows, be sure to tell them that Little Lake County sent you!


Improv Playhouse
735 N. Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, 60048 | (847) 968-4529
(located just south of the train tracks on Milwaukee Avenue, west side)
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Disclosure: The writer received complimentary admission to First Friday Funnies in order to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are her own and no further compensation was received.

About Alli 46 Articles
Alli is a boldly authentic mom to three- because who has time to fake it? She enjoys almost all things that moms get to do and strives to find joy in every day. Along with her supportive husband, Alli can be seen (or heard) around Lake County chasing runaway children, eating ice cream and holding someone's hand.

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