Enterprising producer Jordan Scott Gilbert will open The Phantom of the Improv on Wednesday, July 9th at Sophie’s At Broadway (318 West 53rd Street – between Eighth & Ninth Avenues). Preview performances begin Wednesday, July 2nd. This interactive musical comedy improvisational retells the haunting love story. Based on Gaston Leroux’s Twentieth Century Gothic dazzler, which has sold millions of copies, subsidized Broadway for the last three decades and has had various film adaptation, now makes it to the comedic world of Improv. Director Philip Lakin and Mr. Gilbert have created an emotionally driven narrative between a handsome celebrity, an unsuspecting virginal beauty and a disgustingly ugly obsessed stalker that cries out for Audience Involvement. Together they have taken the French million-dollar novel and opened it up for suggestions from the world’s hippest and quick-witted audience – the New York ticket buyers.The courageous cast will, on the spot, embrace the audience’s re-writes and brilliantly incorporate them into their own unfolding universe.
As EVERYONE knows Mr. Leroux’s narrative goes like this: The lovely and beautiful Christine Daaé travels Europe with her famous fiddler father whose folk concerts are sure-fire sell-out events until he dies and she goes to live with his benefactor’s elderly widow and reconnects with her childhood sweetheart, the handsome Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny who encourages her burgeoning music career at Paris’ Opera House where she begins to hear a haunting and other-worldly voice in her head which turns out to be the voice of Erik: The Phantom, a physically deformed and mentally disturbed musical genius who also happens to be one of the original architects of the Opera House under which he has made his home to which he drags Christine after a headline-grabbing audience-crushing horror of a plummeting chandelier which he orchestrated after being ignored by the Opera’s management. Erik: The Phantom is madly in love with Christine and completely besotted by her voice as opposed to Raoul who is obsessed by her perfect body and angelic face. Speaking of faces, Erik: The Phantom’s is described in the novel as resembling that of a rotting corpse which seems less and less to bother Christine as she embraces a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome and begins to fall for the murderous freak who releases her back into society so that she can star on the stage of the Opera House after which he re-kidnaps her and threatens to blow the Opera House to smithereens if she does not agree to be his wife. Erik attempts to drown Raoul. Christine kisses Erik who is so flummoxed by this display of kindness that he re-releases her on the condition that she promises to bury him when he dies of a broken heart which he does three weeks later.
Skip to the year 2014
The audience will be asked to improve on the novel’s outrageous narrative. Their suggestions will be embraced by the cast on stage and incorporated both musically and dramatically. The audience needs to be as creative as the cast is quick to respond. This is a duel of wits. This is a challenge of dramatic and comic genius. This is the most high-stakes show in the Broadway neighborhood. This is the NEW reality. This is reality theatre.
Andrew Fox, Stoddard Blackall (Broadway’s Next Hit Musical), Nathan Chang (Upright Citizens Brigade, Joseph And The Amazing …, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spelling Bee, Seussical), Kelly Leissler ([title of show], Ragtime), Brian Matthew Byus (Taming of The Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, LAByrinth Theater Company), Olivia Howell ( The 39 Steps, A Year With Frog and Toad), Danielle Heaton (On The Town, Bat Boy) and Ellie Bensinger (Legally Blonde, Tartuffe, The Pajama Game, Tick…Tick…Boom!, Candide Television: The Blacklist Film: Titanic, 10,000 Saints) will star.
Philip Lakin will direct and loves nothing more than bringing stories to life. Recent directing credits include Kennedy’s Children by Robert Patrick and Princess by Catherine Davidson.
Jordan Scott Gilbert was a co-producer of the Broadway production of Ghost The Musical with Paramount Pictures, for which he was named the first Broadway Producer Of The Year. Jordan also co-produced on Stephen Schwartz’s London revival of Pippin starring Frances Ruffelle. Recent credits include Ball Boy, Disney’s They Spoke Out: American Voices Against The Holocaust, We Are Lights starring Melba Moore and Nick Wyman, Peace Aqua starring Andrea McArdle, and Showbiz Talk. Jordan first served as assistant to the lead producer on the Broadway musical A Tale Of Two Cities.
The Venue: Sophie’s at Broadway 318 West 53rd between 8th and 9th.
The performances: Wednesday- Saturday @ 8pm
The Tickets: $35 with a two item minimum.
There is a Two Item Minimum
Seating is first come, first serve.
Buy Online: www.phantomimprov.com
Buy by Phone: 1-800-838-3006