Broadway to hit Columbia

Cast of “Broadway’s Next H!t Musical” give a taste of the character,
humor and talent to be expected as they come to The Columbia Theatre.
Courtesy of Baylin Artists Management

Broadway fans can go to the Columbia Theatre and be a part of “Broadway’s Next H!t Musical.” 

The curtain rises for the performance on Tuesday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m., but factors of the show begin to develop even before the opening note rings throughout the audience from the stage.

Broadway’s Next H!t Musical,” is an improvised musical comedy production that requires the help of the audience to achieve its fullest potential.

Attendees should not expect to hear only from specific musicals like “CATS,” “Wicked” or “Phantom of the Opera;” once audience members arrive, they can speak with performers and the 10 most popular songs mentioned will be a part of the show. 

“People can say whatever they want, and they [the performers] will build on that,” said Interim Director of Columbia Theatre Roy Blackwood. “They have a matrix and will use within that whatever the audience talks about.”

The 10 titles chosen are typically ones with a theme that can be worked with by the performers to produce an interesting show. Attendees do not have a list that they have to choose from; songs are chosen purely from the audience’s own suggestions.

“I can’t guarantee that every song will be there, but more than likely [a song you choose] will be,” said Blackwood.

Blackwood compared “Broadway’s Next H!t Musical” to “Whose Line is it Any Way?” a show which did comedic sketches through improvisation when the show’s host would read a scenario from a card and actors would then act it out.

According to Blackwood, like watching the show, attending the musical will allow people to see a comedic mind at work. 

“You see how it comes together,” said Blackwood. “They used the basic elements of comedy and use familiarity, surprise and timing. All these things and cleverness are worked in together [during the show]. That’s what they’ll do at ‘Broadway’s Next H!t Musical’ as well and I believe students need to see that.”

Broadway’s Next H!t Musical” is the only unscripted theatrical awards show and Blackwood believes students will benefit from attending the performance. 

“Students need to understand the nature of improvisations and they are somewhat familiar with it through improvisational comedy,” said Blackwood. “However, I would like them to start to understand the nature of improv from a theatrical point of view as well.” 

The performers are people who have worked either on, or with, Broadway. They are not a part of an exact company, but are of the same caliber as The Second City, an improvisational comedy enterprise. 

“I am incredibly excited to see what the performance will look like after they pool together all the votes and just go with it,” said computer science major Adam Callender.

Tickets for the concert are 39 dollars for loge, 25 for orchestra/balcony and 15 dollars for students. All Southeastern faculty, retired faculty or university staff with ID may purchase one ticket for "Broadway's Next Hit Musical" and receive one ticket for half price. Both tickets must be purchased in the same transaction and for the same price at the Columbia box office. For more information, contact the Columbia box office at 985-543-4371. 


Editor's Note 10/27/2015:  The story has been corrected to provide correct ticket pricing information.