It’s a musical, Jim, but not as we know it…

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I’ve seen shows on Broadway. And shows Off-Broadway. And even shows Off-Off-Broadway. But I’ve never seen Spontaneous Broadway. And to think it was all happening just down the road from me at the Subiaco Arts Centre in Perth.

For those not familiar with this fringe brand of theatre, it’s where a group of performers have to act, sing and dance on command – or at least, from made-up song titles suggested by members of the audience. Several routines are tested and the one voted for by the audience (via the most riotous applause), gets turned into a musical, then-and-there, on the spot, highly improvised, without much practise, and with plenty of cock-ups, all for the amusement of the audience who are really the ones in control here (as hard as the pseudo director on stage might try to run the show)

Improv performers Scott Brennan, Gillian Cosgriff, Rebecca De Unamuno and Glenn Hall did a brilliant job in entertaining the opening night’s intimate crowd. The proof of success in their hilarious shenanigans was the fact that my guest only understood a minimal amount of the English language, having only arrived in Australia from Italy a couple of months ago and even he was laughing hysterically.

Host Russell Fletcher kept his performers on their toes (literally at times, when one of the performers would occasionally break out in ballet and modern dance routines), while musical ‘director’ John Thorn was quick to change the tempo when suddenly called for.

This show (or that one, depending on what fabricated song gets turned into an entire musical) is only on for four more nights at the Subiaco Arts Centre: Friday 9th, Saturday 10th, Friday 16th and Saturday 17th November. And if, like us, you’re somewhat tired of the dire and contrived state of the modern musical (thank you Glee and Rock Of Ages), you’ll find this random delivery of the genre most refreshing.

 

Tickets to Spontaneous Broadway: Standard $38, Concession $30 avaiable through www.ticketek.com.au or phone 1300 795 012.