Broadway’s Next Hit Musical Fairmont Southampton
Broadway’s Next Hit Musical presented an evening of hilarious improvised theatre, delivered in two parts.
First, a music competition among four songs from non-existent musicals vied for a coveted “Phony Award”. The song titles, supplied by the audience, were drawn at random from a glass bowl and then handed over to the actors for performance.
The multitalented cast managed to make all the songs sound completely authentic and sincere, even though the titles seemed carefully engineered to sound utterly unpromising to any performer: Red Bird Soup; I’ve Got No Brakes; Dellmi Molli Maria Wow; Those Old Bermuda Sounds; Leftover Pizza and Lasagne.
A standout moment for me was an operatic duet of Red Bird Soup by two nuns, Maria Josephina and Morphina Joseph (Katie Hammond and Deb Rabbai), before they murdered the Cardinal for stealing Maria’s contributions from the church suggestion box.
However, audience applause chose Leftover Pizza and Lasagne as the winning song.
It formed the basis for What is Love? a Broadway musical that took over the second part of the night.
There were moments of pure performance art when Ms Aurora Borealis (Deb Rabbai) “recognised” the choreographer of the show sitting in the front row of the audience. She then prevailed upon the luckless audience member to stand up and perform some of “his dance moves”. The cast then carefully reused these absurd and meaningless movements throughout the performance, to ludicrous effect.
As for the storyline of the show, it charted the course of romance between Aurora and Mercurio (Robert Z. Grant) as it veered between existential despair, ecstatic love and then despair again, before it reached a totally predictable and corny happy ending.
Pianist Gary Adler created all the music on the fly, including an authentic sounding overture, Bernsteinesque links between scenes, Wagnerian leitmotifs and emotive fortissimos.
This was a completely original and wonderfully comic Friday evening’s entertainment.