Spontaneous Broadway has all the cheese and energy you'd expect of a broadway musical. The performers are introduced with the gusto of a TV warm up and take to the stage in character, gait, and stance beyond their personalities, even before they're endowed with their musical identities.
From buckets of audience suggestions ideas are selected to form the basis of a number from yet-to-be-created musicals. There are duets including a moving piece between husband and wife about how she'll love him even after his gender changing surgery and a group dance piece partnering walk like an egyptian with riverdance. The most moving piece is Mike McLeish's cleaner, Javier who is such a passionate tidier that he wears rubber gloves to bed. After a quick round of audience clap-vote, it's selected as the basis for the show.
Enter Shaun Micaleff in a maroon jacket, complete with wavering accent and character, as Director. There's a different guest director each night and their job is to outline the location and loose content of each scene which is then created by the performers. This is where I'm conflicted. As a personality I adore him, his character was endearing, and clearly he's fantastic to watch on the stage. As an improvisor though he's a wildcard, with a dangerous mix of a passion for schadenfreude, an absurdist imagination and a wide and deep general knowledge. Anything could happen, anywhere, at any time; and it does. Characters are introduced and killed off before their plane lands, and for some reason missing limbs make their way into the story more than once. The challenge for the performers is that each scene is set in incongruous circumstances, which is hilarious, but difficult to build a plotline from. The advantage for the audience is that you see the mental gymnastics of a talented cast trying to take a story across time and space to a reasonable close. Ultimately the mic is handed back to Micaleff to tie up loose ends, as it should be.
All in all, it's a fantastic night of entertainment with some very talented performers and the musical improvisational excellence of John Thorn, in the lovely Fairfax Theatre.