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News Release: Broadway's Next Hit Musical - An Improvised Musical Comedy

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January 24, 2019
BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and it’s all funny. Broadway’s Next Hit Musical is the improvised musical comedy where Whose Line is it Anyway?  meets the Tony Awards and it’s coming to The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College on Friday, March 29, at 8 pm.
 
Broadway’s Next Hit Musical abandons the same old song and dance to create a brand-new musical comedy starring some of New York’s funniest comedians. The award-winning show goes wherever the audience takes it. Audience members write down made up song titles and the ensemble of master improvisers gathers these suggestions and presents them as “nominated songs” for this coveted Phony Award. The spontaneous scenes and songs are filled with great dancing, catchy melodies, and tons of laughter.
 
Audience members vote for their favorite song and watch as the cast turns that song into a full-blown improvised musical, complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore. Broadway’s Next Hit Musical has been seen recently throughout the United States and in New York City at The Triad Theater, The Tribeca Film Festival, and at The New York Musical Theater Festival, among many other locations.
 
Under the direction of improv veterans Rob Schiffmann and Deb Rabbai and managed by Baylin Artists Management, Broadway’s Next Hit Musical is hailed by TheaterWeek as “brilliant.” The New York Times calls the show “Hilarious,” and The New York Post says, “A spontaneity and wit that must be seen to be believed.”
 
About the directors
Rob Schiffmann has worked and toured as a professional improviser and musician for over seventeen years. As a two-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award winner and the recipient of the 2011 INNY (Improvisation News) Award for Best Improv Coach, Schiffmann’s musical and improv talents are known across the country. He has taught and directed improv at The School for Film and Television, Weist-Barron, and the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. A graduate of Oberlin College, Schiffmann worked regularly with Chicago City Limits as a performer, teacher, and director from 1994 to 2011.
 
Schiffmann joined Broadway’s Next Hit Musical in 2001. Broadway’s Next Hit Musical master improvisers started their success at the famous New York City cabaret club Don’t Tell Mama, as well as with the New York Musical Theater Festival. Rob became co-artistic director in 2009 and continues to perform with the hysterical troupe throughout the country and at their resident theater The Triad in New York City.
 
DEB RABBAI
Deb Rabbai is an improviser, singer, teacher, corporate facilitator/role player, actor, and voice actor who has been working successfully in these mediums for twenty-five years. She spent ten years performing and teaching improvisation with TheatreSports New York, five years performing with ComedySportz New York, and six years performing with Chicago City Limits. Rabbai has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and in national commercials for MasterCard, Wendy’s, and Zyrtec. Rabbai has done countless voiceovers, ranging from radio and TV advertisements, to video games and has made a name for herself in the world of Japanese anime having voiced characters in over 45 anime films which are listed on her Wikipedia page. A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and a highly experienced teacher of improvisation and acting, she's had the pleasure of teaching at NYU, Marymount Manhattan College, The American Comedy Institute, The New York Film Academy, and American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Her great joy has been taking on the role of co-artistic director of Broadway's Next Hit Musical in 2009 and in watching the show and its performers flourish.
 
Tickets for Broadway’s Next Hit Musical are on sale now starting at $29. They are available at www.TheMendelCenter.com and through The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, weekday 10 am to 6 pm. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, seniors, students and children, active military members, and veterans. For information about group rates, pre-show party options, and other special arrangements, contact the Box Office.
 
This performance is sponsored by Holiday Inn Express – St. Joseph and MailMax.
 
About The Mendel Center Mainstage
The Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mainstage season performance in the fall of 1992. Since that time, it has presented Mainstage season performances to more than half a million attendees. This is in addition to the scores of performing arts, national and international speakers, ceremonies, and community events hosted by other groups and organizations on the Mainstage. The 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre offers state-of-the-art acoustics and comfortable seating in elegant surroundings. Amenities include free parking, handicap accessibility, and an array of services including catering and bar service for private pre- and post-show events, child booster seats, assistive listening devices, non-spill cups for beverages inside the theatre, and premium seats in the Stage Side section.
 
The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.
 
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