Shot by: Keith Haskel, Georgia Hilton, Kristopher Knight, Nathan Russell, Andrew Flynn Soltys, Charlie Todd, Angel Yau
Photography: Katie Sokoler (Flickr Set), Gene Driskell
Starring: (in order of appearance) Michael Kayne, Corey Johnson, Megan Maes, Kevin R. Free, Amy Heidt, Lauren Adams, John Flynn
Chorus: Ari Scott, Cody Lindquist, Winston Noel, Kerry McGuire, Ashley Harrell, Anthony King, Scott Brown, Mark Sam Rosenthal, Dimon Hunter, Will Storie, Seth Shelden, Kirk Damato, Justin Purnell, Venessa Diaz, Gerard Haitz, Steve Dressler, Jeremy Bent, Todd Simmons, Lindsey Sproul, Lauren Reeves, Milo Finch, Big Rich Armstead, Johnathan Fernandez, Jaime Linn, Evan Greenspoon, Lydia Hensler, Jaime Skinner, Natalie Neckyfarow, Cassandra Taylor
For our latest mission, a musical breaks out at the GEL Conference in New York. A speaker is suddenly interrupted by a man who refuses to turn off his cell phone. This is the fourth in our series of Spontaneous Musical projects. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our report below.
I’ve been involved with the Gel Conference since speaking there in 2005. Gel is an annual conference exploring good experience in all its forms – in art, business, technology, society, and life. There are always fabulous speakers, and it’s always a great time. This year, I asked founder Mark Hurst if he’d be open to Improv Everywhere staging a surprise musical at Gel. He immediately agreed.
Agent Brown working with the cast
Rehearsing with the seven principle cast members at the UCB Theatre
Dress rehearsal the day before
Agent Free hams it up in rehearsal
Agent Johnson interrupts
Audience members laughing
(yes that’s the Internet’s Matt Haughey and Anil Dash)
Agent Fernandez and Agent Finch leaving the theatre
If you’d like to hire us to stage a surprise musical prank at your conference, please get in touch!
– Many more photos in higher resolution: Agent Sokoler’s Flickr Set
– Our first musical: Food Court Musical
– Our second musical: Grocery Story Musical
– Our third musical: I Love Lunch! The Musical
– Buy the original cast recording of Gutenberg! The Musical, also by Brown & King.
Great job! I liked these musicals a lot!
Nice one Charlie and the gang!
Being that I was in that room, it was pretty great and there was a good 30 seconds or so before I realized what was going on (and we didn’t even find out it was a real IE prank until the end). The video feels like it naturally edits out a lot of the dead “what the hell?” time in the room but we were all kind of astonished (I rolled my eyes and said “ugh” when I saw the name Twirlr come up as it seemed really believable) and then all kind of amused by the song, then when the aisles filled with singers it was a total spectacle.
Thanks Matt! I love that we got a photo of you and Anil. I was bummed I didn’t get to hang out with you more at GEL, but most of my GEL was sneaking around behind-the-scenes and rehearsing this.
Awesome! Your musical missions are definitely my favourite :)
Indeed, more IE awesomeness. Way to keep the creative juices flow’n, Charlie! – LSN
Wow – absolutely hilarious as always.
Of course I’m sharing this!
As always, simply wonderful! I really didn’t see Agent Kayne as being a part of it! The name “Twirlr” seems totally believable as another product starting with ‘tw’ entering the market. I really enjoyed the lyrics in the song as well– you made use of a ton of social media sites!
Hey guys, nice surprise musical :D Was the music playing in the theatre or was it added later in editing?
Your musicals are every time great but this one was probably the greatest:) I just love that song. You should make some CD of your songs:)
Hilarious and oh-so-relevant to today’s world. Fantastic!
So good. Love these spontaneous musicals. Well done to everyone involved, looks like you all had a fantastic time.
That was excellent! I am very impressed by Agent Kayne’s acting, he looked genuinely taken aback and at a loss at the interruption (I even felt embarrassed for him), making it that much better when he joined in. =) Very well executed. =D
Awesome! , but Twirlr?! :) LOL
I kind of wanted to hear more about Twirlr. Maybe it’s a web site that generates songs by analyzing Twitter?
Someone get on that.
Great!! But it seems an apple advertisement… xD
Woke up at 635a today for work, and after a few bouts with my Monday morning usual routines I was very excited to see an email from you guys about a new mission! Especially a musical
mission – just what I needed today! You guys never fail to give me a lil lift…ty!!!!
Loved it! Thank you!!!
Kind of hurt I wasn’t invited to this conference, being that I live in NY haha. Maybe next time!
The conference is open to the public, you just have to sign up and pay.
I first I thought that it was really rude to interrupt a speaker. Then a few seconds into the video, I really thought twirlr was real and it was a tie-in of sorts. Last thing you know, I was almost in tears in laughter. Nice one!
Like most here, I really love your musical improvs! Try doing that at the TED next time :D
Encore!!! Encore!!!! I love these so much!!! XD
Love IE’s stuff, but I don’t really see much going on that’s either improv or spontaneous. Clearly, this whole thing was meticulously planned. I like the earlier poster’s term of “surprise musical” better. Much more accurate.
Check the FAQ.
Any chance the soundtrack of this one will be released?
Thanks so much for making another brilliant spectacle! I look forward to your updates of Facebook. This week has been particularly stressful and you helped it be less so. Great job!
Loved finally getting to experience one of these live! Went from totally fooled at the start, then a big grin as I realized what was happening, and then completely blown away when this giant cast of extras poured into the theater from nowhere! Plus it really is a catchy tune. Masterfully done.
Thanks Noah! Great seeing you at GEL as always.
Yea, this was ok.
quick! someone scoop up the domain name for twirlr
Haha. I tried too before it launched, but someone owns it already. Of course now if you Google twirlr, you get this page first. :)
That was freakin’ awesome! I thought the guy on stage looked familiar…
I love what you guys do :D.
I mean, it was no Food Court Musical or I Love Lunch. We’re all fans of IE here but just tryin to keep ya honest Charlie.
best one ever
I like the prescence of a BYU fan in the chorus!!
HAHAHAAAAA!!! I am obsessed with IE!!!! I want to see something staged at either a Yankees game or a rangers game. You guys deserve some national tv time. Mall cafes and subway rides aren’t the same since. I’m hooked.
Ok nevermind that you guys did one already at a stadium!!!! Seriously, every. Idea I can think of you have already done it. That’s why you guys are the profesh’s and I merely derive high entertainment and amusement :)
Conferences I attend are never this much fun. My disappointment at not seeing the real John Reynolds was quickly assuaged by a full out Broadway production number. Bravo!
wow, I’ve gotta share this!
Waste of time. Not even interesting or entertaining. Too forced.
Any chance we can get this as a ringtone? Also, an IE album would be awesome.
I’m gonna have to play devil’s advocate here and say this mission didn’t really impress me. The other musicals took place in locations that kept people guessing, but I imagine the people who saw this mission in person just thought it was a corny way of starting a presentation at a conference. They were probably more surprised when the speaker left without actually pitching his website than they were when the music started playing.
Before you know it, Improv is selling their CD “Surprise!!!!…musical”
(not trolling, just saying how viral you guys are now)
you guys rock, seriously. Improv actually thinks REAL hard for these entertainment unlike other organizations where they just show people get humiliated on TV thinking their viewers feel better for themselves. I hope you guys don’t become like that, there are so few people who make entertainment artistic…
Love the song & your lyrics, so hilarious~
By far, the best musical you’ve done, and the best mission in a long time. When I saw the title, I kind of rolled my eyes. But when I watched it, I started smiling. Good work! Hope to see more missions like this in the future!
Very very awesome action. I love it.
I also wanted to ask wether there will a publication of this song?
Loved this! Watched it twice, just tweeted it (of course), and am about to watch it again. I’ll probably end up facebooking it, to. :-)
Loved it! Thank you!!!
Awesome! I love it!
Lol this is hilarious! You guys do they funniest things, I’ve watched every one and they all make me laugh so hard. My friends and I tried to do one of the musicals! Keep doing what your doing, it just gets better!!! I wish I lived in New York to be part of your pranks!
Twirlr = Twitter + Tumblr? Epic.. Love it! Now, I’m getting a brain itch. Thanks! :-)