Melbourne Fringe 2012

Spontaneous Broadway: Jubilee

0 Comments 01 October 2012

In Spontaneous Broadway: Jubilee, the quips are quick, the songs are fun (if not to the standard of Andrew Loyd Webber), and the mood jolly. Reminiscent of theatre sport productions, the showimmediately brings both the comedy and musical talents of its performers to the forefront.

Maintained by the welcoming host Russell Fletcher and the musical director John Thorn, Spontaneous Broadway presents a range of performers, from comedians like Cal Wilson, Andrew McClelland, and Emily Taheny to Broadway (or should that be Ozway?) celebrities such as Marney McQueen and Brent Hill.  The show and its performers change night-by-night, providing that you will always see, as Fletcher points out in his introduction, “The first and last night of your chosen musical.”

The emphasis, as with most spontaneous shows, is on how well the cast can react to the audience’s suggestions. In Spontaneous Broadway, those suggestions are five of the audience’s song title suggestions, randomly chosen. From there each of the performers gives a short sample of each song, going on to embellish it into a musical if the audience’s appreciation is high enough.  As such, each night will be as different as the people who see the show.

In the show I attended on 30 September, the selection went from a musical about preventing the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (based on the song “Sickie’s on the Train”), to Jesus Christ Timetraveller (“I Woke Up One Day to Find Myself Dead”), to settle eventually on the song “You Want to Wax What?!” – this last song from a musical whose name escapes me because I was laughing too much to write it down.

The performance by each of the cast is excellent; each performer was given a spotlight with each song to highlight their own particular humour, voice and musical style – to great effect. Each of the performers worked well with each other, supporting with quips, harmonising duets and providing ludicrous plot and characters (a special mention goes to Che Guevara, King of Russia).

The show itself will never be polished, either as a fully-staged musical or as a comedy routine, but the show is not about that. It’s an improv, spontaneity show, brimming with comedic genius that manages to do well at providing a night’s entertainment from a single piece of paper.

Spontaneous Broadway: Jubilee runs until 7 October at the Lithuanian Club. Tickets are $28 full-price and $22 concession (Tuesday sessions $20).

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