Ever wonder what happened to the characters of your favorite musicals after the curtain closes? Well, so have the creative team behind ‘Sequel the Musical”, and improv show that improvises a sequel to a Broadway musical of the audiences choosing. When asked about how the idea came to be, creator, Rachel Zeolla said “I got into musical improv because of my love for musical theater, so I tried to create a show that encompassed both of those things. There are so many amazing stories in musical theater, and I felt like it would be fun, and hysterical, to explore where else those stories could go in their sequels.” The team has improvised anything from “Phantom of the Opera” to “Footloose” and has even improvised four different versions of “The Sound of Music.”
“Sequel” is different than other comedy shows in the fact that the performers not only have to improvise a scene but entire songs, harmonies, reprises, and dance numbers. When asked about how they have worked to overcome these additional challenges cast member, Alex Marcus said “Obviously we could never recreate an R&H or Sondheim masterpiece on the fly, but working to mimic the style of the composer is a big help to make our show feel linked to the original. Making big choices about genre, from musical style to tone to choreography, was one of the first things we worked on as an ensemble…”
Of course, performing a show like this, there are bound to be some memorable moments. Some of the cast’s favorites include bursting out into a scene from the television show “The Office” in the middle of the sequel to “How to Succeed”, building a barricade out of trash cans and audience members for their Les Miserables sequel, and the very dedicated chandelier repairman in their “Phantom” sequel. When attending a “Sequel the Musical” performance audience member can be sure to see their favorite (Or least favorite) musical unlike they have ever seen it before, with hilarious results.
The cast assures you that you don’t have to have extensive knowledge of Broadway musicals to enjoy their performances. “I've had a lot of people come see the show that had no idea what the musical was that we did a sequel too, but they still loved it so much and had a great time just the same as those that did!” Zeolla says. The musicals are solely based on the synopsis given by the audience, so the audience is playing an active role in what they see on stage. Cast member, Kate DeFeo says “We base the Sequel entirely on the synopsis that the audience member gives us and if that's all we know about the show that's suggested, then how they present the information is what we will go on. We might have never seen the show, so we will listen carefully to the synopsis given and hit the characters and the description given hard.”
So whether you’re a master of musical theatre or just discovered “Hamilton” yesterday, you will enjoy a fun night of improv with the cast of “Sequel the Musical.”
“Sequel the Musical” was created by Rachel Zeolla
It features: Alex Marcus, Nathan Brown, Brad Benson, Kate DeFeo, Rachel Zeolla, Sarah Nisbett, Michael Serpe, Annie Unnold, Tiffany Springle.
Pianist: Frank Spitznagel
It was performed on March 29th at the People’s Improv Theater (PIT)
It will be performed Friday, April 5th, Friday, May 3rd, and Friday, June 7th at 11PM at the Magnet Theater.
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