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"Broadway's next hit musical" now playing at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts

"Broadway's next hit musical" now playing at Denver Cenver for Performing Arts
"Broadway's next hit musical" now playing at Denver Cenver for Performing Arts 04:56

One of the funniest and most unique productions of 2024 is now showing at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. "Broadway's Next Biggest Hit," a mashup of improv, comedy and a musical, is currently on stage at the Garner Galleria in Denver.

The show, which has been on tour for several years, is making its first stop at the DCPA. The show, at its core, is a spoof of The Tony Awards which aired on CBS News Colorado Sunday evening. However, in this made-up award show, the cast is competing for the "Phony Awards."

Guests are asked to fill out a card as they walk into the theatre, placing a name of a made-up song they would like the performers to create a song about. Then, the audience is asked to vote, by applause, for whichever made-up song was their favorite as intermission begins.

"The first half of our show is an awards parody show, and the second half is a full production of whatever song won. It is a blend of standup comedy, improv comedy, musical improv and live music," said Greg Triggs, emcee for the show.

The cast members are very quick with their comedy, given no time to prepare for the songs they have to sing. They simply reach into a fishbowl filled with song submissions from the audience, and the music begins the second they read the title off the card.


"And then the chaos ensues," said Rob Schiffman, one of the improv actors known as "presenters." The energy is phenomenal. Every time we perform in Colorado the energy is phenomenal."

The first half of the show features many improvised songs, with around one dozen of the audience's submissions being incorporated into the songs before intermission.

When CBS News Colorado's Dillon Thomas attended the cast blindsided him, calling on Thomas to come on stage without any warning. They then asked him a series of questions about his life, like where he was from and what his hobbies are. From there they created four songs on the spot, making Thomas and the entire audience laugh nonstop.

Deb Rabbai, a presenter, compared their nightly performances to being on a professional sporting team. While those athletes can practice their skills, there is no way to know exactly what is going to happen at what time during any given game. She said that is the same for improv, noting they can be skilled in singing, comedy, acting, and more. However, on the stage, there is no way to prepare for what is going to happen until it unfolds live.

"We don't know exactly what is going to happen, but we are well versed in learning how to create a melody, rhyming, listening to each other and making each other look good," Rabbai said.

How often do you read those cards and you are laughing at those just as much as the audience?" Thomas asked the team.

"About 80% f the time," said Pat Swearingen, a presenter. "I'm probably the worst at breaking on stage. I do it most of the show. But, it is fun."

"It is a reminder to the audience that we are playing with each other, we are making it up, we don't know what is going to happen. We are laughing just as much as they are, we are all in this together," Schiffman said.

Putting them to the test live on tape, Thomas decided to throw some curveballs at them to see what songs they came up with.

"Sometimes we get song titles that are very specific to the town we are performing in," said Heidi Gleichauf, a presenter.


"Sounds like we should give that a test now," Thomas said.

From there, Thomas threw out three different song titles. One was, "CBS News Colorado reporters cover the Tony's first." The second was titled, "The Broncos have multiple new quarterbacks." The final song was titled, "I can't get into Casa Bonita, yet."

With ease, the artists created three different songs that made everyone laugh. If you would like to see those songs unedited and in-full, visit CBS News Colorado's Instagram page.

Adding one additional layer of challenge to the mix, pianist and musical director Gary Adler, who is also on stage, randomly decides what genre of music they will have to sing to.

"And then all a sudden I will play a tango, and because I am playing a tango they have to go with a tango," Adler said.

Tickets for "Broadway's Next Hit Musical" are on sale now, if you would like to purchase them visit DCPA's official ticket website

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