New York City actors give surprise musical performance in middle of beer garden
BY JOEL LANDAU
The patrons at a West Village beer garden may have thought they had too much to drink when they started seeing a group of people spontaneously singing about beer.
But it was all part of a surprise musical performed by the city’s comedy troupe Improv Everywhere who released an online video of the performance at the Houston Hall beer garden on Houston St. earlier this month.
The group usually does elaborate prank videos around the city, but its founder Charlie Todd told the Daily News the group had done five other “Musicals in Real Life” performances from 2009 to 2011, and was itching to do another one.
“I’ve been wanting to do another musical for a long time, but it’s expensive,” he said. “You have to wait for the right opportunity.”
But the New York State Brewers Association approached them about doing a video on the popularity of locally brewed beer, which was perfect for Todd.
“I am a massive craft beer geek,” the Hell’s Kitchen resident said. “It was a lot of fun to work on and do it at Houston Hall.”
The cast includes YouTube stars and actors from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. The main song features a young man who is agonizing over what beverage to select at the beer garden.
But soon the entire crowd was in on the dilemma as the performers were wearing microphones and the score was pumped through the hall’s speakers.
As our hero struggled to make a decision he was joined by some very helpful drinkers who assured him any beer he chose from a local brewer would be great.
We hate soda. We hate pop. Yuck! We like barley, yeast and hops.
“Beer, we love beer and that’s what we have in here. We hate soda. We hate pop. Yuck! We like barley, yeast and hops,” they sang.
And after our protagonist declared he was no longer flummoxed over which beer to order the cast celebrated with drumming on large kegs and doing some high kicks.
The crew had hidden cameras around the business and showed the audience members were at first shocked, but then got into the experience and applauded when they were finished.
“When it was over (the actors) just went back to their seats and blended back in,” he said. “That’s always a funny moment when the people who witnessed it try to figure out what was going on. They go up to the people and ask, ‘Hey, what was that?'”