Those who attend Saturday’s performance at the McPherson Opera House will truly see a show like no other.
That’s because the direction of the improvisational cast is guided by the audience, resulting in a new show each time.
Broadway’s Next H!t Musical will begin at 7 p.m. by asking attendees to submit made up song titles.
The first half of the show will appear like an awards show with four contestants. As they come up one-by-one, each contestant will draw a song out of a hat and make up a fictional musical from where it might come from.
After the audience votes on their favorite, the Broadway cast will invent an entire musical based on that popular song.
“They’re going to watch the drama unfold, and they will be the only one who will get to see the show, because it’s truly being created in the moment,” Schiffmann said. “It’s so fun to watch people spontaneously create together, particularly when they’re really good at it.”
These unique shows have left a mark on both the audience and the cast members. Schiffmann recalls two shows that cast members still talk about today.
The first stemmed from an audience suggestion of “smoking in the barn.” This turned into a musical titled “Lincoln ain’t no saint,” a fictional story about the young life of Abe Lincoln.
“We talk about that because at the same time, it was really hilarious, and it really made us laugh,” he said. “How we got to him abolishing slavery had no basis in fact but it was freakin’ hilarious.”
The second came from a suggestion written in Spanish. He recalled it as saying, “Mi llamo es Boomit,” which turned into a Spanish-speaking man who traveled to America with a pet llama named Boomit.
“We had an actor play a llama, and it was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in my life,” he said.
It’s moments like this that Schiffmann said makes performing so enjoyable.
“One of the most beautiful things is that no one worries about mistakes because when you do, that’s when it gets funny,” he said. “You can expect to see a lot of beautiful mistakes.”
Tickets are $32, $28, $24 and $10 for students. For purchase, contact the McPherson Opera House at 620-241-1952 or visit www.mcphersonoperahouse.org.
Broadway's Next H!t Musical has toured extensively throughout the U.S., is a two-time winner of awards by the New York Manhattan Association of Cabarets, and cast has been seen on Broadway, TV and film.
Page 2 of 2 - “I hope they (McPherson audience) are surprised, exhilarated and blown away,” Schiffmann said. “And the best possible reaction they can give us is to tell us they don’t believe it improvised because the truth is, it is really improvised.”
Contact Jenae Pauls at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel.