CIF’s Super Secret Show for Improvisers

Adsit and Lutz Surprise Improvisers with Secret Show

Adsit and LutzNot only was this year’s CIF bigger and better than every year before it, they also did a little something special for the performers. Many of Chicago’s improv stages were vacant last night as many of the improvisers in the city gathered for a “super secret” show at Stage 773. CIF was kind enough to arrange a private midnight soiree with Scott Adsit and John Lutz that was only open to performers in CIF this year. Kevin Mullaney, CIP Artistic Director, introduced Adsit and Lutz, but first took a “selfie” of himself with the crowd. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance as I was able to briefly interview these two before they took the stage. Incredibly kind and humble individuals and insanely talented improvisers. They asked for a suggestion of a favorite childhood memory and “fainting goats” was the first suggestion taken.

Adsit opened by announcing that his goat had fainted because he told her he was going to eat her. In an effort to snuggle the fallen goat, he ended up crushing her. Lutz played his father telling him that she was dead and they were going to have to kill her. As Adsit ran off to get the butcher knife, he found a couch on stage and immediately the scene transitioned into an audition. Adsit played an overly dramatic and vaguely demanding director informing Lutz to give his monologue, but to surprise himself so that Adsit didn’t get bored. Then the game broke out of what could Lutz do to keep Adsit from curling up on the couch and falling asleep…which he did end up grabbing a pillow and a blank to do so. But before that, Lutz began kicking over chairs and one ended up around his neck before the scene transitioned into a young David (Lutz) being out of bed and his mother (Adsit) got up to help him find whatever was “rooting” around in his closet. David suggested maybe it was Dad who was in the closet and Adsit said, “Dad is not rooting around in the closet anymore.” Beautiful delivery. After the exposition that Adsit did not want Dad around, he ends up appearing asking for money and ultimately makes false promises to his son. He exited by saying to inform David that “he left by climbing down the pipes.”

The scene that followed was a very heartfelt scene discussing religion, God and two construction worker’s fathers. Adsit opened the scene by saying “I was going to put up some dry wall if you care to join me.” (Indicating the boards laying against the back of the stage.) Then he followed that up by saying “Wait, this is plywood. I brought the wrong shit. My fault.” and they proceeded to sit down, share a drink and chat about life and the differences between dried and “wet” (or regular) fruit. In the middle of Adsit’s rant about being atheist and his thoughts on living right now in the moment instead of waiting for death to strike you down to escape this world into heaven, Lutz jumped up, took his place on the couch and proceeded as another director listening to an audition.

From here Lutz jumped up as a cop and pulled over this high school student who was walking in the middle of the street at 3:00am. Claiming, “I know your kind.” To which Adsit responded, “Pedestrians?” He pulled Adsit into his car, in which Adsit sat in the passenger seat. They started a back and forth banter which Adsit mentioned he thought Lutz had daddy issues. Then he said he had a ukulele in his knapsack and asked if Lutz would like to see it. So he pulled it out, started strumming and then on Lutz’s initiation, the ukulele backfired and shot Lutz dead.

This then jumped back and forth from audition mode to swinging lights (in which Adsit proceeded to start swinging all of the large lights hanging from the ceiling.). Lutz continued to caution that it was a bad idea and really dangerous, but Adsit was persistant. The kid, David’s, dad came back into the scene in the bathroom threatening to take his life. David came out and found his grandpa and said he needed his help to save his dad and how did they get to the bathroom quickly? They took the pipes. The zoomed all over the stage and then came up through the toilet in the bathroom to save his dad. Which lastly transitioned to Adsit holding the goat and Lutz informing him it was time to end it. As Adsit finally accepted the goat’s fatal end, he stabbed the goat, and as the lights went down Lutz shouted, “Owwww.”

So much back and forth. So many story lines. So many details that all got answered and packaged up and tied with a big bow at the end. A true improv gift. Adsit and Lutz were incredible. It was such an honor to see the two of them have so much fun on stage and do this for the fellow improvisers of the festival. I know many minds were blown and maybe more importantly, many ear-to-ear smiles filled this crowd as every performer in that room truly felt honored that Scott and John would do this special, “super secret” show just for them. A big thank you to CIF for thinking of the improvisers and arranging this show. What a very heartfelt gift.

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posted on by Kiley Peters posted in Chatter, News/Updates, Reviews

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