No script? No score? The creators of the new improvised musical BroadWHAT?! say neither are a problem.
Set at the turn of the 19th century and inspired by audience suggestions, Off Key Improv presents BroadWHAT?!, a full-length improvised musical exploring classic character-types, songs styles and choreography. Included in the show will be favourite musical theatre hits from shows like Les Misérables, Hamilton, Rent, Wicked, Grease, and The Sound of Music.
Off Key Improv are no novices when it comes to improvised musicals though, having previously tackled an improvised musical based on the film Love Actually last year. The group also comes with an impressive pedigree, having been invited to the prestigious New York Musical Improv Festival in 2014.
“Since exploring a full-length musical based on a movie this past Christmas, we’ve wanted to pay homage to the classic Broadway show,” says Off Key Improv’s artistic director, Jennifer Pielak. “We’re also obsessed with Hamilton right now, so the idea of setting it in the Industrial Revolution era was met with great enthusiasm.”
With a brand new show created each night, the entire proceedings – music, lyrics, stories, characters, choreography, and lighting – are all improvised based on audience suggestions.
“The great thing about shows like Hamilton or Spring Awakening is that they’re set in a different time period, but the music is contemporary and connects well to modern audiences,.” says musical director, Peter Abando. “Audiences can expect diverse musical stylings reminiscent of favourites such as Les Miserables, Grease, Rent, and Wicked, to name a few. One moment you may be watching a thrilling rap battle, and the next a heart-warming ballad.”
And with Hamilton still one of the hottest shows on Broadway, this just may be the closest thing Vancouver audiences get to the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical for some time.
BroadWHAT?! plays Studio 1398 (1398 Cartwright St, Granville Island) from June 15-19. Visit http://offkeyimprov.com for tickets and information.