10 November 2007
The plots, characters and tunes improvised in Spontaneous Broadway are more engaging, original and downright hilarious than most popular musicals.
I’ve been singing “Chickens Dream Too” all weekend. It was an unknown ballad until Saturday afternoon - when Dame Helen Highwater created it. Spontaneous Broadway is improvised musical theatre.
Thank God You’re Here gives telly fans an idea of what impro is about. But compared to Spontaneous Broadway, the TV impro is like paddling in a pool with floaties compared to a swimming Bass Straight in a winter storm, tied to five other people. There are no costumes, supporting cast or film editor to make you look clever on stage.
Spontaneous Broadway are the totally fabulous Genevieve Morris, Geoff Paine, Julia Zemiro, Ross Daniels, Russell Fletcher and pianist extraordinaire John Thorn. They play characters plucked from every community musical group – each aspiring to me so much more than they ever will be. In character, they work with audience suggestions and improvise a song from the potential musical.
The audience vote for their favourite and then the whole cast improvise the entire musical. “Port Phillip: the Musical” won, due to its unforgettable romantic duet “Dredge My Bay”. Ok - “Port Phillip: the Musical” won, due to the innuendo as its lesbian leads sang “Dredge My Bay”. Relevant, local, environmental and sexual politics – what more could you possibly want!
This is an absolute must for musical fans. Parody only succeeds when the performers intimately know and love a genre. This group know their musicals, but its appeal is much broader. See it for the skill of the impro or just because you will be assured an afternoon of non-stop laughter.
Spontaneous Broadway is at The Famous Spiegeltent on Saturday 17 and 24 November. As it was standing room only this week, booking is recommended.
PS – I have to mention Chad Bradley, just so he gets a mention in at least one review.
This review originally appeared on AussieThearte.com.