Saturday, 27 September 2008
Sondheim UnScripted, Sept 27, 2008 ***
By Impro Melbourne, directed by Dan O'Connor
Lithuanian Club, Sept 27 to Oct 3, 2008
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
If you’ve never seen a totally improvised musical there are two in the Fringe Festival. Sondheim UnScripted (directed by Dan O’Connor who is visiting from Los Angeles) takes from the audience, “the title of a musical that has never been written”.
What follows is an hour of songs and narrative loosely based on the stylings of Stephen Sondheim who wrote Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods and the lyrics in Westside Story.
Hold The Press was the catalyst title of the show I saw. Being improvised, the show is filled with surprises, successes and failures, but it is always entertaining. Watching an improviser’s mind in a whirl is fascinating.
The cast of nine singer-improvisers opened with It’s a Good Edition, an ensemble number about a newspaper office. Sondheim’s dense lyrical style, chamber size cast, unusual melodies, quirky characters and narrative were echoed here, and the opening song was reprised in the finale.
If you crave more comic or musical improvisation see Spontaneous Broadway Oct 2-11 or Theatresports Sundays Sept 28-Nov 30.
By Kate Herbert