UCB Puts Every Avengers: Endgame Character In An Improv Show, All On Stage At The Same Time
Update: You can now watch video of the entire show, which ended up featuring a total of 90 different characters. The entire crazy thing is here:
Anticipation for next week's Avengers: Endgame is building. Fans are coming up with theories, spreading rumors, checking out alleged leaked footage. But first, all of its characters will appear on stage at the Upright Citizens Theatre on Franklin tonight.
OK, kind of. The show, "All 77 Characters From Avengers: Endgame Do A Monoscene," features 77 improvisers in costume with all of them on stage at once.
The show, just like the movie, is a sequel to a similar show last year for Avengers: Infinity War. Organizer Joey Clift told LAist that it sprung out of a conversation Clift had backstage with a friend about the fact that there were going to be 76 different characters in that movie.
Clift said that he suggested, "Hey, that'd be really funny if somebody did a UCB improv show where we got 76 people to dress like the Avengers and do improv at the same time."
Clift and friend Mark David Christenson laughed about the idea and joked about it with others, but the premise started to spread.
"Finally, the UCB artistic director and top brass heard about it, and both of us got emails saying, 'Hey, so are you guys going to do that 76 Avengers show?'" Clift said.
They decided to go for it. In just a couple weeks, they rounded up nearly a hundred improvisers to play Avengers characters.
The premise was that the characters were getting ready to fight Thanos, but that they also did improv -- and, of course, everyone would be on stage during the whole show.
"It's definitely not designed for there to be 76, 77 people on stage," Clift said. "It hit a point where people in the show were just sitting in the audience or just standing in the aisle-way, because they couldn't physically fit on the stage. There were people that were literally sitting on the set."
So why add one more character this year? To make room for the latest Avengers addition, Captain Marvel.
But don't expect the show to exaaaaactly match up with the movies -- while a lot of the characters are from the movies, a lot of them definitely aren't.
Last year's show included Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, former WWE champion John Cena, Wonder Woman, a Disneyland employee, a guy who keeps saying "Look everybody, it's Spider-Man," and other less canonical Marvel Cinematic Universe characters.
This year, they're kicking that up a notch with characters including Homer Simpson (recently acquired by Disney in their Fox purchase), Domino's Pizza mascot the Noid, and DC Comics movie director Zack Snyder.
"I feel like this show might just turn into Zack Snyder ranting about the Justice League for 20 minutes, while we quietly listen," Clift said.
They've also got some special surprises planned. Last year, they weren't afraid to have a few duplicates in the mix.
"I think we had four Captain Americas, three Thanoses," Clift said. "It sort of turned into a game of somebody shouting, 'I want to see all four Captain Americas interact!' And then we would just shove all four Captain Americas to the front of the stage, and they would just talk for 30 seconds."
Clift said that some of the highlights from last year's show came from trying to make sure all the performers were showcased. One way to include everyone was starting the show by introducing each character individually -- they all came out, posed, and said their catchphrase -- "Hulk smash" or "Get me pictures of Spider-Man."
That took up the first 25 minutes of the show.
Another shortcut to including everyone: chanting.
"Somebody asks a question, and then everybody just starts chanting 'Yes,' and then all of the sudden there's 70 people on stage chanting 'Yes!'"
It's easy for things to get wild with that many people involved.
"There was a point in the show where it was just so chaotic that an audience member started talking, and I think I just said, 'Also, everybody in the audience -- you're in the scene too, so if you want to chime in, go for it!'"
Despite the madness, Clift said that it somehow ended up being a pretty good improv show.
"You think that 77 people trying to do improv would be totally chaos, but really, it was a cohesive, coherent improv scene that told a complete story," Clift said.
This year's show was originally announced as taking place inside the Soul Stone, but Clift said he was considering switching it to the Quantum Realm. If that means nothing to you, you probably haven't been reading Avengers: Endgame fan theories, and honestly, you're probably better off. All you need to know is they're going to try and make it fun.
"All 77 Characters From Avengers: Endgame Do A Monoscene" starts Friday night at midnight. You can find out more about the show and get your tickets here.
Below, read the names of every single person involved in this show.
Hosted by Walt Disney (Joey Clift) and Kevin Feige (Mark David Christenson)
Eileen Mary O'Connell
Eric Chad Ho
Mark David Christenson
J. Elijah Cho
Benny Wayne Sully
Barton A. Lewis
Jesse Arlen Klein
Elisa N. Ellis