The Avengers are never far from their past, as fans of the Marvel were reminded in the first episode of Disney Plus’ new series Hawkeye. Episode 1 introduces Kate Bishop, a young lady played by Clara Stack. She sees Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), heroically defeating aliens during the Battle of New York. Soon afterwards, the episode moves to the modern day MCU, where Clint Barton is still reckoning with the Loki’s plot for global domination from nearly a decade ago. He’s forced to consider the events of the Earth-shattering day when attending a performance of Rogers, The Musical.
Even though notices are posted outside of the theatre, they promise that Rogers “captures the heart of a hero,” the musical appears to be more an ensemble work, introducing all of the Avengers in sing-songy fashion. Hulk like to smash, Iron Man flies, and Captain America “can do this all dayyyyyy,” a call-back to The First Avenger.
Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman wrote this song, which they have also collaborated on for other Broadway musicals. Hairspray And Catch Me If You Can, Rogers is the MCU’s latest attempt to reminisce over past battles with a wink and nod. This scene is a bit similar to the one in Loki Where the God of Mischief sees Infinity stone paperweights being used, the silliness is of Rogers Asks audience members if they remember the whole thing.
It brings back memories of past traumas for the cast. Clint gazes at the performers in shock, as if he is witnessing a “packaged” version of himself. He turns down the sound of his hearing aid, tells his daughter that this wasn’t what it was like, and eventually leaves halfway through the performance, right after seeing some bathroom graffiti that declares “Thanos was right.” It’s hard to see Hawkeye disagreeing with that statement in the moment.
Episode director Rhys Thomas tells Polygon that he came upon the idea for staging the in-world musical adaptation of the Battle of New York when he was “trying to think of things that would annoy Clint.” Once film-score fan and Marvel President Kevin Feigie signed off, the next question was what the tone could even be. “You realize, like, oh, we’re making an MCU musical The MCU. How good can it be? Is it really that bad? You need to make it absurd. So finding that line, which I feel like is a line that I find myself constantly trying to walk: you’ve got to take it seriously, but just not seriously enough.”
This isn’t Thomas’ first attempt at a parody musical either. A mockingbird was one of the creators. Now Documentary! series, he co-directed “Final Transmission,” the show’s loving spoof of the Talking Heads concert film You must stop making sense.
Shaiman and Wittman told Marvel they wrote their entire song, titled “Save The City,” in the midst of the pandemic. Writing at a time when New York was actually under attack, they wanted to create a song that felt like when “people would go and bang on pots and pans for the hospital workers, first responders. All of it seemed to be fitting into the context we were working in. So, the notion of ‘someone please save New York,’ was the battle cry,” they said.
Rogers, The Musical recruited a number of stage vets to pull off the production, including Adam Pascal and Ty Taylor as “Lead New Yorkers,” Aaron Nedrick (“Musical Iron Man”), Avery Gillham (“Musical Hawkeye”), Harris Turner (“Musical Hulk”), Jason Scott MacDonald (“Musical Thor”), Meghan Manning (“Musical Black Widow”), Nico DeJesus (“Musical Ant-Man”), Tom Feeney (“Musical Captain America”) and Jordan Chin (“Musical Loki”).
But the real secret weapon was Shaiman’s hustband, Lou. Shaiman“It seemed fate that I married a man who was a total Marvel nerd,” he said. “So, I would go with him as a good husband to go watch all the movies, then we would usually sit in the parking lot of the movie theater, and I’d say what did I just see? How does that all work and who’s who, and little by little I started putting all the pieces together. Both of us were very lucky to be able to share this experience. [my husband, because] he could just spit out whatever the words are like, you know, ‘Tesseract.’ I never knew that Scott and I would write a song with the word ‘Tesseract’ in it.”
Of course, this isn’t Marvel’s first musical turn either. IWandaVision’s “Agatha All Along,” was a delightful viral hit. Also, not to be forgotten about in Hawkeye One of the most famous musicals ever: Spiderman: The Darkness is Off This Broadway musical was the most expensive in Broadway history. If Tom Holland can keep up with his character’s dancing, perhaps he will be able to bring his dance experience to the screen.
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