[IMPROV MUSICAL COMEDY ~ AUS ~ IF YOU LOVE… TO LAUGH]
The Blue Room, Wed 19 Jun.
Improvisation is a wild and unpredictable beast that both cast and audience ride in the hope that the journey and destination are worth the gamble. There were some spectacular hits and occasional misses along the way but on balance Spontaneous Broadway was worth the bet.
All audience members are invited to submit a song title towards the musical that will evolve over the course of the show. Our four very talented and daring performers (among them Adele, Johnny Newsboy, and Helmut from some odd corner of Europe) choose which of our songs to sing and pitch back to the audience in the hope that we choose their musical as the performance piece for the night.
The pitches were astonishing. In about 60 seconds the performer has to tell us what the song is about and convey enough information to pianist extraordinaire, John Thorn, about mood, style, and tempo for him to launch his accompaniment. The results are remarkable. Johnny Newsboy’s duet piece in I Love Hot Chips, was wonderful – funny and tuneful with great comic timing. I was disappointed that it wasn’t chosen as part of the winning musical. But that honour, as voted by the audience, went to Bold, Beautiful and Bearded from the musical, Bristle.
The actors get a few minutes to plot their course for this world premiere of Bristle – just enough time for Thorn to play the overture as a prelude to a sad tale of prejudice and redemption in the heart of rural Russia. Much silliness ensues, with more than a nod to The Village People, as the cast feel their way forward and are variously rescued or challenged by host Russell Fletcher throwing curved balls into the chaotic mix.
It’s fast paced, good-natured mayhem. Amazingly some of this improvised mayhem morphs into credible ensemble pieces.
Familiarity with some well-worn motifs from past musicals, finely tuned instincts for comedy, a brilliant firm hand on the musical rudder, and an accommodating host that makes sure the rules of the game were not stretched too much ensure entertainment that is full of fun, frivolity, and some memorable musical moments.
Spontaneous Broadway continues at The Blue Room, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times until Sat 22 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.