Posts tagged #age appropriate

Appropriate Ages for Broadway's Next Hit Musical

Broadway's Next Hit Musical is a comedy show. You've seen some comedy. You know that it can be raunchy. Is that what Broadway's Next is going to be like? Maybe you saw our show in the past and thought it would be so fun to take your kids to - but what if they get a song title suggestion that's dirty? It's improvised, so they never know what it's going to be about from show to show, right?

This post is to make it clear what ages are appropriate for Broadway's Next Hit Musical and let you in on how we handle any not-kid friendly situations. We asked Rob Schiffmann and Deb Rabbai - co-producers and co-artistic directors - to shed some light on the little ones coming.

Why is it important that the show is clean

Rob Schiffmann and Deb Rabbai in Broadway's Next Hit Musical

Rob Schiffmann and Deb Rabbai in Broadway's Next Hit Musical

Rob: Because we want to appeal to as wide an audience as we can. Also, profanity is a cheap way to get laughs. I prefer the challenge of a deeper level.

Deb: As we travel the country performing our show our aim is to be inclusive while entertaining. While it's true we have the ability to not stay clean it's more of an exciting artistic challenge to remain clean. We want everyone to feel excited, entertained and happy at our show whether it be a grandmother or a 10-year-old kid and staying clean is the best way to do that.

Has Broadway's Next always had that philosophy?

Rob: Yes and it has paid off in the form of the varying types of work that I get.

Deb: Absolutely yes. Some groups or entertainers are willing to dip into the well of blue material because it's shocking but frankly it's too easy. It's a greater artistic challenge and offers greater fulfillment  to stay clean while getting your point across.

What age do you think is too young for this show?

Rob: I think that when a parent thinks their kid is able to sit through a 90 minute show and focus on it, they are old enough to come.

Deb: I would echo Rob's answer. If your child can remain focused and seated for 90 minutes it would be great to have them at the show. If pressed I would say five years old might be too young.

Broadway's Next is based on suggestions audience members write down on slips of paper. What if they write something off color? How do you handle that?

Rob: We try to avoid it but when it does come up, we proceed with intelligence and dignity and remember that their may be children in the audience.

Deb: If the suggestion borders on questionable and we end up accepting it the best way to handle it is to take the high road and use our intellect to manage that suggestion. If the suggestion is clearly inappropriate or unacceptable sometimes the best way to manage that is to discard it and go back to the bowl for a suggestion that's less offensive.

What's an example of a suggestion that you got that was not PG? How did you handle it in that moment?

Rob: I got the suggestion "Jewish Dogs Eat Their Own Poop." I turned it into a musical about a zoo for stereotyped animals and how the zoo owner learned a moral lesson. The song then won which meant we had to do the entire musical. It was a little preachy but a good challenge nonetheless.

Deb: Again Rob gives a great example. A very long time ago when we had the ethic to accept whatever suggestion we pulled from the bowl and make the best of it, I got a really inappropriate suggestion "you're a c**t" which I changed to you're  a runt. It was the best I could do in the moment as there was a ten year old sitting in the front row.

Posted on December 21, 2016 and filed under Announcements, Bways NHM Info.

Frequently Asked Questions By An Inquisitive Audience Member

WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE SHOW MY FRIEND BARB IS DRAGGING ME TO TONIGHT?

Broadway’s Next Hit Musical.

Audience members from our show in Jenison, MI at the Jenison Center for the Arts

Audience members from our show in Jenison, MI at the Jenison Center for the Arts

SOUNDS FUN! SO WHAT MUSICAL ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

We don’t know yet.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW YET?

We’re going to make up a whole musical right in front of you.

HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

Magic.

SERIOUSLY?

We are some of New York City’s best improv comedians and musicians. We’ve been perfecting our ability to create a whole musical from a single audience suggestion for over 15 years. Also, magic.

AUDIENCE SUGGESTION?

Yes. When you arrive at the theater, you will see slips of paper and a giant fishbowl. Think of the title of a song you want to hear us make up, write it down, and put it in the bowl. If we pick it, we’ll make up a song based on your title, and that song might inspire our musical for the night!

NEAT! I’M GOING TO WRITE DOWN “SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW.” I LOVE THAT SONG.

NO! WAIT! STOP! If you write down the title of a song that actually exists, how can we make it up? We’ll have to pretend like we don’t know it’s a real song, and then it gets weird. Write down a fake song title so that we can improvise it from scratch. Like, “My Cat Ate My Shoelaces,” Or, “This FAQ Is Really Boring.” It’s funnier that way, trust us.

OKAY, I THINK I GET IT. SO WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS IN THE SHOW?

The first half of the show is a glamorous awards show, hosted by our hilarious emcee extraordinaire. Four master thespians take turns coming to the stage and drawing song titles from the bowl. They take those titles and turn them into full blown improvised songs, fighting tooth and nail against each other to win the grand prize of the evening -- the Phony Award.

THE PHONY AWARD?

Yeah, like the Tony Award but, you know, not real.

CUTE.

Yeah, we know.

SO WHERE DOES THE MUSICAL COME IN?

After we do four songs, there’s a vote, and the winning song gets turned into a full-on made-up musical in the second half.

OKAY, I REALLY WANT TO COME NOW. BUT FINDING A BABYSITTER IS SO HARD. CAN I BRING MY 9-YEAR-OLD?

Yes! Our show is 100% family-friendly. No cursing and nothing foul. There may be fowl, but no guarantees.

GREAT! MY 80-YEAR-OLD MOTHER WANTS TO COME TOO, BUT I’M AFRAID SHE WON’T WANT TO SIT THROUGH A LONG SHOW.

Then she’s in luck! It’s only 90 minutes.

FANTASTIC. BUT WAIT, LET’S GET BACK TO THE MADE-UP SONGS THING. YOU WON’T REALLY PICK MY SUGGESTION THOUGH. YOU JUST PRETEND TO PICK OUR TITLES WHEN REALLY, YOU USE PRE-WRITTEN SONGS, RIGHT?

We really, truly, might pick your title. And if we don’t, we might pick your friend’s. Or your husband’s. Or your kid's. Or a good-looking stranger’s.

SURE, BUT YOU'VE LOOKED THROUGH THOSE TITLES IN THE BOWL, AND ONLY A FEW FROM THE ACTUAL AUDIENCE ARE IN THERE, RIGHT? I BET THE REST HAVE BEEN PRE-PLANTED.

Nope! We don't see those song titles until we are pulling them out in front of you onstage. Risky, right?

OKAY, BUT YOU JUST USE STOCK LYRICS RIGHT? EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE TITLE.

Nope! We promise every single word is made up on the spot right before your very eyes! If you come see us more than once, we guarantee you’ll never hear the same song twice.

WELL FINE, OKAY. BUT THE PIANO PLAYER JUST HAS A COUPLE DIFFERENT MELODIES THAT HE CHOOSES FROM, RIGHT?

Nope again. The piano player is also making everything up. Crazy, right?

I STILL DON’T BELIEVE YOU. HOW CAN THAT BE?

You’ll see!

YOU’RE REALLY TELLING ME THAT EVERYTHING IN THE SHOW, EVERY LYRIC, EVERY MELODY, EVERY DANCE MOVE IS MADE UP COMPLETELY ON THE SPOT, HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE, AND WILL NEVER BE DONE AGAIN?

That’s correct.

THAT’S AMAZING!

Thanks!

CAN I BUY A T-SHIRT?

Yes. They’re on sale for $15 in the lobby.

Posted on February 3, 2016 and filed under Bways NHM Info.