The Best Improv Comedy In New York City

When you originally walk up the stairs into the cozy Triad Theatre on the second floor of 158 West 72 street for “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical,” you don’t know what to expect. A small stage, with most of the space being allocated to a piano, you wonder how many laughs will be in store.

However, those worries are quickly put to rest in what ultimately becomes a hysterical evening that you won’t soon forget. Lovable and incredibly quick-witted Jeff Rogers, the MC for the night, tells the audience several times to keep drinking because it makes the show even funnier, but in all honesty, even the most straight-laced, rigid and boring person will find something to laugh at during the show.

Simply put, every member of the cast is extremely talented, which makes it impossible to pick a favorite by the end of the two-hour show. The fact that all the comedy is improvisational and completely made up on the spot makes everyone associated with this performance something special.

Excellently paced, the mic work of Rogers and musical ability of pianist Eric March set the scene for both the silly fake awards show and the even sillier musical that follows it. As a result, for two hours, drinks will be had and laughs will incur. How many times however is impossible to measure though.

These guys are that good.

The way it all works is simple. Before the show, all attendees are given cards to write the title of a song on. It could be a real song, or a fake one, and as expected, all the songs performed were ones with made-up titles. Ranging from such classics as “Shave my beard and rub my toes,” to “T2 (2X Tempo),” the members of the cast perform on the spot and afterward, the crowd picks their favorite song. From that favorite, a musical is put together that not only showcases the improvisational skills of the cast, but also the music abilities of pianist March, who is able to change the feel of a scene just as quickly as the actors on stage.

Of the cast, Kobi Libii was the first of the five cast members to truly get the audience to pop, but each member of the cast had their moments. Rebecca Vigil was hilarious with her facial expressions, French accent and wit. Robert Z. Grant, who ended up stealing the show with his miming, was probably the quickest of all the cast members and slipped in a handful of memorable one-liners. Deb Rabbai and Rob Schiffman were sharper than a pound of cheddar cheese, both as a pair and alone, but worked their best together.

Their first performance, where they play an epileptic nurse/former veterinarian and over the top doctor was hilarious, but the roles they take on in the full play over the second half of the performance show their true talent. Their ability to come up with the most random things at a moment’s notice added an extra level to the performance that takes the production from great to nearly perfect. It should be said as well that Rabbai has a pretty solid singing voice as well.

All in all, when the quaint and comfortable atmosphere of the triad is combined with great service from the bar staff and a one of a kind show with some of the best improv actors you’ll ever find, it’s quite possible that “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical” is the type of production you could see more than once- and enjoy every single time.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 12447 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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