In comedy, the stand-up crowd and the improv crowd rarely mix.
But when The Comedy Shrine reopens Friday in Aurora, both brands of comedy will have a stage at the same venue.
If you goWhat: The Comedy Shrine
When: Reopening July 8 with improv shows at 8 and 10 p.m. and stand-up featuring Prescott Tolk at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Where: 4034 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora
Tickets: $20, $15 with student or military ID; one-drink minimum
Info: (630) 585-0300 or comedyshrine.com
Monday: Stand-up Open Mic at 8 p.m., $5
Thursday: Pimprov at 8 p.m., $15; Midwest Comedy Showcase at 8:30 p.m., $10
Friday: Whose Line? improv at 8 p.m., $20; Superstars of Stand-up at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., $20; Whose Line? Naughty Show at 10 p.m., $20
Saturday: Teen Improv Show at 4 p.m., $3; Cheaper than a Movie family improv at 6 p.m., $10 for adults and $5 for ages 15 and younger; Whose Line? improv at 8 and 10 p.m., $20; Superstars of Stand-up at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., $20
Sunday: Late Night Catechism at 3 p.m., $20
The new theater, 4034 Fox Valley Center Drive, is an upgrade over the shrine's previous Naperville location for several reasons, said owner Dave Sinker, adding that the ability to showcase both improv and stand-up is probably the most significant.
"I think we're the only theater around that will offer improv and stand-up," Sinker said.
And what does that mean for anyone in the suburbs who likes to laugh?
"We go from pimps to nuns, and everything in between," Sinker said.
Shows start Friday, July 8, so here's a rundown of the new features visitors will find as The Comedy Shrine reopens in Aurora seven months after closing its Naperville location in January. It wouldn't be complete without Sinker's occasional comedic interjections on the improvements.
• Two stages -- one for improv shows and one for stand-up comedy, even though the two brands of funny don't normally jive.
"A fight may break out in the lobby. We're going to have to separate the two groups," Sinker joked. "I'm trying to be the peacemaker. I'm the Gandhi of comedy. I'm bringing these two forces of good together."
The new venue also has:
• A first-floor location accessible without any stairs.
• A larger parking lot.
• More space to display the comedy memorabilia that gives the shrine its name and six tables where patrons can sit and "enjoy the museum."
• A full bar "with mixed drinks and all that real stuff grown-ups drink," Sinker said, because "the more you drink, the funnier we seem."
• A location in a strip mall not used for offices.
The Comedy Shrine is next to Enchanted Castle Fox Valley and occupies space that formerly belonged to Enchanted Castle. Crews had to paint over a unicorn while renovating the space to give the stand-up theater its black box appearance.
Yup, a unicorn.
With renovations complete, Sinker says his venue will be "elegant."
"I think the thing (patrons are) going to be impressed with is how comfortable the place is going to be," Sinker said. "It's going from a theater space that was built to try to fit into a strip mall, to a theater space, to a real theater experience."