Enjoy a 'Spontaneous' night out

Since Kat Koppett developed the improv show Spontaneous Broadway in the mid-1990s, it has been performed around the world. It's frequently staged in San Francisco, and it recently wrapped up a run at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Local audiences can catch Koppett in the musical comedy when it returns to Proctors on Friday, Jan. 15. Koppett's Mop and Bucket Co. will perform "Spontaneous Broadway" at Proctors' Upstairs at 440 through Jan. 24.

Since the show is built on audience suggestion and participation, Koppett noted that people could attend the show every night and see something different each time.

"Our shows are unique," she said. "It's completely customized theater."

The "Spontaneous Broadway" shows do have some common threads. Each kicks off with audience members dreaming up song titles that they write down and submit to the performers. Each actor picks a title and makes up the accompanying song on the spot. At the end of the act, the audience votes on which song they liked best, and the performers create a 45-minute musical based on that song for the second act.

The actors will get together backstage before the second act and pick a starting point for their musical " "Maybe we'll say it's in a small, Midwestern town," Koppett said " but that's about the only thing they don't freelance on stage.

"We just go," Koppett said.

If it sounds like a whole lot of improvising, it is. Koppett said some people come back to see "Spontaneous Broadway" a second time just to "make sure it's real" " that the show isn't duplicated each night.

Mike Burns, MopCo's artistic director, said the company has also been seeing repeat visitors for other shows, which is exciting because when he launched MopCo in 2005, there wasn't much of an improvisational scene in the Capital District.

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