“STUNNING! A phenomenal display of fearlessness, creativity and inspiration. Impro Theatre always amazes audiences, but with “Sondheim UnScripted,” they push the envelope.” – Examiner
“SHEER BRILLIANCE! Amazing! This group of actors must be seen.” – Broadway World
“WOW! GENUISES! Supremely talented artists. Vocal prowess, harmonizing know-how, and some snappy footwork to boot.” – StageScene LA
“A night full of UNPREDICTABLE FUN! Quite the spectacle when these actors create an entire show out of nothing.” – Pasadena Independent
“HILARIOUS! DELIGHTFUL! Funny, heartwarming and full of surprises. Only you get to see it this time before it’s gone forever.” – Musicals in LA
“SCINTILLATING! Brilliantly clever and funny! I elected to attend two different performances, and neither show bore any resemblance to the other. Both occasions were brilliant!” – LA Splash
“The most brainy, witty, dexterous, side-splitting comedy you’re likely to see all year. The pros of L.A. based Impro Theatre are spectacularly quick-witted and imaginative, not to mention vocally talented. They skillfully manage to be both clever and musical. They are amazingly gifted and very, very funny. Fantastic!” – San Diego News Network
“The most uproarious, side-splitting, laughter-till-you-drop show that sticks with you after it’s over. Impro Theatre perfectly organizes their ode to the Sondheim magic.” – Entertainment Today
“An outstanding cast that clearly understands the form and [has] the vocal power to sustain it.” – LA Weekly
Improv does Sondheim (Williams & Shakespeare) at the Odyssey
Reviewed By: Bonnie Priever
April 14th, 2011
“When you listen generously to people, they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time.” This is so true in the art of improvisation, where listening, timing and thinking on one’s feet are of the essence. The Odyssey Theatre takes a new spin on this fine art with its Impro Theatre’s UnScripted Rep, inspired by the styles of all time greats Tennessee Williams, William Shakespeare and Stephen Sondheim. As Michelle Spears (Ensemble; Co-Director, Sondheim, UnScripted) promises, “no show is ever the same.” Drawing upon themes suggested interactively by the audience (at my show, it was marriage and slaughterhouses), the ensemble collaborates and creates a Sondheim-esque work of art with merely a skeleton of an idea. With soaring counter melodies akin to “You Are Not Alone“ from Into the Woods, and shades of Sweeney Todd with macabre butcher references, the musical production had nuances so
credible, Sondheim himself would be in awe!
Each troupe member has vast experience in improv, as was evident by their witty repartee and energetic physicality. Lisa Fredrickson, an ensemble member of improv companies for 22 years, finds this theatrical homage to literary greats, “the most fun and challenging yet.” States Brian Lohman (Ensemble; Director, Williams, UnScripted), “It’s quite humbling to do Sondheim’s work, and not be too sentimental or mocking…” Inspired by Sondheim’s shows, ranging from fairy tales to assassin, this improv company put together a show based on complex themes, with lyrics so profound: “Why should I settle? It’s unsettling — it’s love — it’s time I plant my roots and grow… One day you buy a ring, and everything changes — every step we take, every piece of cake.” The show, like the institution of marriage itself, is a true commitment by all involved, and truly “no piece of cake,” but rather an intense labor of love.