Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Impromptunes, April 3, 2018 **1/2


The Completely Improvised Musical 
At Trades Hall, Music Room, Victoria St Carlton, until April 22, 2018 
Star Review: **1/2 
Australian act 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
 Review also published in Herald Sun online on Tues April 3, 2018. KH

A good musical requires a talented musician, cleverly constructed and tunefully sung songs, and a really sharp narrative with good dialogue and characters.

In its Completely Improvised Musical, Impromptunes manages to do the first two items very well, but, on this night, their musical called Hot Chocolate comes unstuck because of a shabby narrative, awkward dialogue and inconsistent characters.

After an overture by their versatile and inventive musician, the show’s title, provided by an audience member, is the cue for a classic, peppy, musical theatre opening song, ‘Hot Chocolate, Yahoo!’, sung by the cast of five.

The story is bumpy, but deals with the staff of Hot Hot Hot Industries that makes hot chocolate, but is also a hotbed of envy, ambition and lust.

Peter, the brown-nosing executive, sings about hot chocolate being a metaphor for his life, and the finale is the rousing chorus, 'Life is like hot chocolate. It's best shared with those you love.'

The songs sound like musical theatre tunes, complete with harmonies and cheesy dance routines and, on this night, there were plenty of love songs: a duet called ‘You and I, Me and You Together’; 'Maybe This Is The Moment', a quartet by two couples; and 'Sometimes Love Makes You Sweat'.

‘Trapped’ is a clever tune sung by all cast members, and the rapid-fire, uptempo ‘Sugar Song’ is a hoot.

It's exciting to witness singer-improvisers scrambling to create songs, story and characters, and you'll certainly get a different show every night, with good music and capable singers – and the narrative might be amazing on another night.

By Kate Herbert

Cast of Hot Chocolate:
Emmet Nichols
Hollie James
Morgan Phillips
Amberly Cull
Roland Lewis

David Peake

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