Coup de Comedy 2023 & GII: Evolution of Improvisation has ended
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Friday, May 12 • 9:30pm - 10:45pm
The Black Version Performance & Talk Back

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"The Black Version is a completely improvised show that was created and performed to all sold out houses at The Groundlings Theatre starting in 2010. Rolling Stone Magazine calls the show "Hot" and the cast "A Comedic A Team", LA Weekly says it's " Red Hot" and "Scores more than it's share of Belly Laughs" and the LA Times calls the show "A Winner"!

The all African American cast of regulars includes show creator Jordan Black along with other comedy veterans Cedric Yarbrough, Gary Anthony Williams, Daniele Gaither, and Phil LaMarr all under the direction of Karen Maruyama. Past special guest performers include Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key & Peele (former original cast members) along with special guest performers such as Wayne Brady, Niecey Nash, Nyima Funk, Jerry Minor and Angela V. Shelton among others who come and perform in the show from time to time.

Along with the Groundlings Theater The Black Version has performed in San Francisco at the SketchFest comedy festival as well as the Louisville Improv Festival.

This talented cast has vast film and television credits ranging from Mad TV and Saturday Night Live to the Boondocks and Reno 911 and dozens more.

The show begins when the director asks the audience to suggest a popular film title and then the cast, right there on the spot, improvise the “black version” of that film.

Limited seating available: reservations via Sched registration are highly encouraged. Just add the event (click next to the event title) to your schedule and your reservation is set. If the event is full, you will be on the waitlist and will be encouraged to show up and if there is space, we will get you into the event.

Face coverings (masks) are recommended (regardless of vaccination status) per UCI policy.

(All events are subject to change.)

avatar for Black Version, The

Black Version, The

"The Black Version is a completely improvised show that was created and performed to all sold out houses at The Groundlings Theatre starting in 2010. Rolling Stone Magazine calls the show "Hot" and the cast "A Comedic A Team", LA Weekly says it's " Red Hot" and "Scores more than it's... Read More →
avatar for Cedric Yarbrough

Cedric Yarbrough

The Black Version
Cedric Yarbrough is a multi-hyphenate performer who just wrapped production on the new AMC series, LUCKY HANK, starring opposite Bob Odenkirk and Mireille Enos. Cedric stars “Paul Rourke,” a poetry professor at Railton College who self-identifies as the rival to Odenkirk’s “Hank... Read More →
avatar for Daniele Gaither

Daniele Gaither

The Black Version
Improvess, Actor, Impressionist, Singer and Dancer. Partial credits: MADtv, The Great North, Bob’s Burgers, American Dad, Family Guy (Fox). Bojack Horseman, Battle Kitty, The Woman Across the Street from The Window (Netflix). The Thundermans (Nick), A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO... Read More →
avatar for Gary Anthony Williams

Gary Anthony Williams

The Black Version
Williams’ film credits include the newly released Block Party, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, The Internship, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Undercover Brother, Soul Plane and The Factory.On television, Williams recently starred in the sitcom The Crew, Reno... Read More →
avatar for Jordan Black

Jordan Black

The Black Version
Jordan Black is a former writer for “Saturday Night Live,” “The Last OG,” and a former writer/producer for “Last Man Standing” and the reboot of “Punky Brewster”. He’s currently a writer/producer on the reboot of “The Wonder Years” on ABC. As an actor he has... Read More →
avatar for Karen Maruyama

Karen Maruyama

Director, The Black Version
Karen not only enjoys acting and improvising but also teaches all class levels as well as having the privilege of directing Main shows, Sunday shows, Gas Shows, and the Black Version at the Groundlings. She is also currently part of the directing faculty at the American Film Institute... Read More →
avatar for Nyima Funk

Nyima Funk

The Black Version
Nyima Funk joined The Second City Main Stage in Chicago and won a Joseph Jefferson award for Best Actress. Her television credits include Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Key & Peele, Barely Famous, Son Of Zorn, The Soul Man, Wild ‘N Out, The George Lopez Show, Why? With Hannibal Burress... Read More →
avatar for Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

The Black Version
A Los Angeles native, Phil is an alumnus of Yale University and The Groundlings Theater and is best known as one of the original cast members of MAD TV, “Hermes” on FUTURAMA, “Marvin” in PULP FICTION, “Green Lantern” on JUSTICE LEAGUE and as the voice of SAMURAI JACK.His... Read More →

avatar for Global Improvisation Initiative (GII)

Global Improvisation Initiative (GII)

The Global Improvisation Initiative (GII) was launched in 2016 by co-founders Theresa Robbins Dudeck and Joel Veenstra as a project to support an ongoing, international exploration of the art and impact of improvisation—appreciating the rich history and diversity of our field—and... Read More →
avatar for UCI Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts and Culture Initiative

UCI Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts and Culture Initiative

Building on UCI’s demonstrated excellence in the creative arts and cultural programming, Illuminations aims to ensure that all of our students, regardless of major, have serious and meaningful exposure to the creative arts. In addition, we seek to strengthen the connections between... Read More →

Friday May 12, 2023 9:30pm - 10:45pm PDT
Little Theatre (HH 161)