Freestyle Love Supreme, New York City's improvised musical comedy show, is coming back to Broadway. Producers Thomas, Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jenny and Jon Steingart and Jill Furman just announced the reopening this week.
Created by Kail, Miranda and Anthony Veneziale, the fully improvised musical comedy show will be returning to The Booth Theater on October 7 for a limited run until January 2. This gem of a show, directed by Kail, is created live every night as the audience contributes words, ideas and inspiration. No performances are ever the same.
"If live theater is coming back, so is FLS,” said Miranda. “Our most important collaborator is the audience, and we can't wait to get back in the Booth.”
The FLS company includes Andrew Bancroft AKA “Jelly Donut;” Tarik Davis AKA “Tardis Hardaway;” Aneesa Folds AKA “Young Nees;” Arthur Lewis AKA “Arthur the Geniuses,” Kaila Mullady AKA “Kaiser Rözé;” Chris Sullivan AKA “Shockwave;” and Anthony Veneziale AKA “Two-Touch.”
Throughout the performances, there will be unannounced special guests that will include Lin Manuel-Miranda, Christopher Jackson, Wayne Brady, Utkarsh Ambudkar, James Monroe Iglehart, Daveed Diggs, and more. And the Hulu documentary, We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
“We are thrilled to be back on Broadway and part of this theatrical community we love so much. The immediacy of our show, with its content driven by audience suggestion, makes it one of the rare shows that can speak to whatever is happening in the moment. We cannot wait to be onstage at the Booth Theatre making people laugh,” said Kail.
In addition to the impressive cast, the producers are heavy hitters too. Producing giant Jenny Steingart is known for championing and nurturing hit productions that manage to be entertaining, smart and evocative.
In 2002 Steingart co-founded Ars Nova with her husband Jon Steingart. For 17 years the theater has been a beacon for emerging artists and new works. (For example, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 came out of Ars Nova.) “We recognized a need for an organization that would preserve the ability for young artists to have a safe place to take risks,” she says.
Steingart is also a producer for Tina Fey’s Mean Girls and Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, directed by Joel Grey. She is also a partner in Freestyle Love Supreme’s Academy, the first ever freestyle school created and run directly by FLS members. And she is a co-founding partner of the Japanese animation studio Ultra Super Pictures.
“I find producing to be a deeply creative enterprise and feel as artistically fulfilled behind the scenes as I did when I was the artist,” says Steingart. “I’m able to champion someone’s vision and think of ways to amplify his or her message out into the world. I feel real joy when I can connect truly talented and brilliant people together and watch them ideate and create.”
Over 15 years ago, Steingart discovered Freestyle Love Supreme. And that was several years before Miranda was working on Hamilton. But Steingart knew Freestyle Love Supreme and its creators were special. Freestyle Love Supreme also had Ars Nova’s founding Artistic Director, Jason Eagan, involved in the development process.
“None of us could have imagined an improv, freestyle, hip-hop show would end up selling out on Broadway,” she explains. “But what was obvious to my husband, Jon Steingart, our partner Jill Furman and me was that Lin [Manuel-Miranda], Tommy [Kail], Anthony Veneziale and the rest of the group were uber-talents. We wanted to do this show even when we had a small audience and made no money. It has always been about the love of great talent and thoughtful, spontaneous art.”