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Friday, Mar. 1, 2024

Improv coming to NPAC this fall

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Just announced – Broadway’s Next Hit Musical, a night of pure improv comes to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 14.

This Van Wert Live fall feature is presented by Laing Family Dentistry: Drs. Kevin and Robert Laing. Broadway’s Next Hit Musical is New York City’s award-winning all-improvised comedy show. Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and it’s all funny.

The New York Times calls Broadway’s Next Hit Musical “Hilarious!” Time Out NY says “At last! A musical of, for, and by the people.”

The improv show Broadway’s Next Musical is coming to the NPAC October 14. Photos submitted

Broadway’s Next Hit Musical performs “The Phony Awards”, the original improvised awards show. Master improvisers gather made-up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, comedy, and a ton of laughs. The audience then votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns this Phony Award-winning song into a full-blown, improvised musical — complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, plot twists galore, and songs that you will be humming for days.

Broadway’s Next Hit Musical has toured extensively throughout the United States and internationally. When the group is not on the road, the show can be seen at their home in New York City, the 2022 Tony Award-winning cabaret club “54 Below”.

Under the direction of improv veterans Rob Schiffmann and Deb Rabbai, TheaterWeek hailed the show as “brilliant” and The New York Post called Broadway’s Next Hit Musical “remarkable.”

The following commonly asked questions, answered direct by the director, provide an understanding of what unexpected the audience should expect.

Q. What is the musical about?

A. We don’t know yet.

Q. How do you not know yet?

A. We’re going to make up a whole musical right in front of you.

Q. How is that possible?

A. We are some of New York City’s best improv comedians and musicians. We’ve been perfecting our ability to create a whole musical from a single audience suggestion for over 15 years.

Q. How does the audience suggest the show?

A. When you arrive at the theater, you will see slips of paper and a giant fishbowl. Think of the title of a song you want to hear us make up, write it down, and put it in the bowl. If we pick it, we’ll make up a song based on your title, and that song might inspire our musical for the night! We can’t use a song that already exists. Write down a fake song title so that we can improvise it from scratch. Like, “Mr. Wert Drives A Van” or “Cougars, Knights, Lancers, Oh My!”

Q. So what exactly happens in the show?

A. The first half of the show is a glamorous awards show, hosted by our hilarious emcee extraordinaire. Four master thespians take turns coming to the stage and drawing song titles from the bowl. They take those titles and turn them into full-blown improvised songs, fighting tooth and nail against each other to win the grand prize of the evening — the Phony Award. It’s like the Tony Award but, you know, not real.

Broadway’s Next Musical is sure to invoke laughs.

Q. Where does the musical come in?

A. After we do four songs, there’s a vote, and the winning song gets turned into a full-on made-up musical in the second half.

Q. Can I bring my children?

A. Yes! Our show is 100 percent family-friendly. No cursing and nothing foul. There may be fowl, but no guarantees. It’s 90 minutes of laughter.

Q. You’re just kidding about not knowing the titles. You surely look through them first or have something prepared. Are you for real?

A. We really, truly, might pick your title. And if we don’t, we might pick your friend’s. Or your husband’s. Or your kid’s. Or a good-looking stranger’s. We don’t see those song titles until we are pulling them out in front of you onstage. Risky, right? We promise every single word is made up on the spot right before your very eyes! If you come see us more than once, we guarantee you’ll never hear the same song twice.

Q. What about the piano player? Does he play from stock melodies?

A. Nope again. The piano player is also making everything up. Crazy, right? Piano Player Gary served as the musical director for Broadway’s Avenue Q for its entire six-and-a-half-year run. Other NYC conducting credits include The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Kinky Boots, The Fantasticks, and Next to Normal. He co-wrote the long-running Off-Broadway musical Altar Boyz, for which he received Drama Desk nominations for both his music and lyrics. Gary also wrote and arranged for Disney Channel’s “Johnny And The Sprites” starring John Tartagila. He has been playing improv piano for longer than he would care to admit.

The entire show is improvised from the moment the curtain rises until the final bow. One has to come and be part of the audience to witness just how.

Tickets for Broadway’s Next Hit Musical from $19-49 are available now to Van Wert Live Members. General Sales begin on Friday, April 14. VWLive Memberships begin as low as $100 and provide 365 days of early buying opportunities and a 10 percent discount for Van Wert Live events. Memberships and tickets can be purchased at

POSTED: 03/31/23 at 11:16 pm. FILED UNDER: News