MICF 2018 review: Take a chance on Spontaneous Broadway
COMEDY FESTIVALSPONTANEOUS BROADWAY ★★★★½Trades Hall, until April 22
Long-running improv show Spontaneous Broadway is in a less-than impressive venue this year, tucked away upstairs at Trades Hall. And while this year's cast may not have the high profile of some past regular performers (notably Julia Zemiro), the format remains the same and the talent on show is as impressive as it's ever been.
Working with audience song suggestions submitted before the start of the show, four performers each invent a premise for a musical and perform one improvised song as part of their pitch. The audience then votes on which will be that night's musical.
MC and narrator Russell Fletcher keeps things on track as the cast then spend the second half of the show improvising a narrative as well as the songs, accompanied by John Thorn on piano who brilliantly creates music to fit the mood of each scene. The line-up sees different guest stars each night work with a core group of performers. On this night it was Rik Brown, Gillian Cosgriff, Amberly Cull and Scott Edgar (Tripod).
Improv comedy can be a hit and miss affair but with the right talent it can reach exceptional heights. On this night, led by terrific, sharp performances from Brown and Cosgriff, our tragic, Wuthering Heights-style musical (titled Grave Expectations) was a joy.
Edgar, who was sidelined for much of the story, managed to come up with a hook that tied the entire story (and its title) together into a rousing closing number featuring a graveyard dance. Immense fun.