Feel like part of the show at Broadway's 'Freestyle Love Supreme'

Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Feel like part of the show at Broadway's 'Freestyle Love Supreme'
Sandy Kenyon highlights the first Broadway show he attended in a year and a half, "Freestyle Love Supreme."

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The first Broadway show I attended in a year and a half was "Freestyle Love Supreme," a show that's different every night because it's entirely improvised and relies on audience participation.

It proved the perfect way to get back to going to the theater again, and I went to see it at the urging of one of its creators: Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Before there was "In The Heights" or "Hamilton," there was "Freestyle Love Supreme," and Miranda has been doing the show off and on for 18 years.

Each performance is is improvised using suggestions from the audience.

"Only makes my work as a writer stronger, because when you have been in the position of making up music and lyrics in real time, it allows for the stuff you write to feel that much more real," he said.

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The co-creator still makes occasional appearances in the show, which is now back on Broadway after the pandemic shutdown.

Andrew Bancroft is a current cast member.

"One thing I felt stepping out on stage again is the overwhelming need for something positive," he said. "And coming out on stage, we have an opportunity to lift each other up. I mean, that's how we thrive."

Aneesa Folds is another in the ensemble.

"The secret to improv is listening, because you need to be taking in everything that's happening at that moment," she said. "You need to be present."

Folds is from Jamaica, Queens, while Kaila Mullady hails from Ronkonkoma and grew up beatboxing.

"I feel terrible for my babysitters, my mother, my family," Mullady said. "I have been doing this since I was 5 or 6 years old."

She never expected it would be a career path.

"And definitely not something that would bring me to Broadway," she said.

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The performers recently received Broadway's highest honor: A special Tony Award.

Anthony Veneziale conceived this show originally and created "Freestyle Love Supreme" with Miranda and director Thomas Kail.

"Improvisation is not recognized on Broadway in that way," Veneziale said. "And so to hear that there was a special Tony Award for a show that doesn't fit any categories, it meant the world."

He said everyone in The Booth Theater feels "galvanized" at every performance, adding that improv is, "the medicine we all need."

The show is set to close on January 2. CLICK HERE for information and tickets.


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