Spontaneous Broadway

Geoff Paine (from Neighbours) leads a team of experienced improvisers in this ‘never-before performed’ musical based on audience suggestion. A prepared plot about musical theatre performers as each of the improvisers takes it in turns to introduce themselves is Spontaneous Broadway’s contribution to the already crowded improvised-musical scene. The actors each take on a performer stereotype and remain in character during the show: we have Chad Bradley the Mr G-like dance specialist, the recent drama school graduate, Dame Helen Highwater the old battleaxe professional, and so on. Unfortunately this preamble, though amusing, left little time for the actual musical, which was rushed and felt facile compared to what other musical improvisers are doing.The spontaneous orchestra advertised turned out to be John Thorn on keys and a drummer. Well-versed in the clichés of music theatre music, Thorn's improvised overture was a highlight (if a desperate ploy to give the actors more time to plan) but his unabashed lifts from classic songs - like My Way, Angela from Taxi, and for some reason much of Cabaret - distract from the performance as the audience spends it's time guessing where the songs came from.The improvisers had the audience in stitches throughout, but the sophistication of the humour involved was low even for impro; at least two scenes relied heavily on not being good at a Kiwi accent. The actress playing Dame Highwater was adept at combining puerile gags with a more mature character-based humour, but jokes referring to the characters of the improvisers rather than the improvised musical itself became repetitive quickly.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives

★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond

★★★★★

The Blurb

Utterly brilliant ... Mindblowing ... Sensational', ***** (Melbourne Age). Sold out - Sydney Opera House. Geoff Paine, Julia Zemiro and a stellar cast create a hilarious, ridiculous new musical that opens...and closes...every night! Even if you hate Broadway you'll adore this!