Mad Libs and musicals with FLiNT and Black Tie

Fundraiser combines comedy and musical theatre.

This Halloween weekend, FLiNT Improv treated their faithful audience to a unique collaboration between their troop and Black Tie Productions. The event, a miscellany of musicals and Mad Libs, was a fundraiser for Black Tie’s production of Evil Dead, opening this March.

The spotlight was placed on members of Black Tie during the first half of the show. The actors performed recognizable cuts from the group’s favourite musicals, but with an added twist: audience members bombarded the performers with various noun and verb suggestions, which were then used to substitute the song’s original words. The performance was a musical game of Mad Libs. The ability of the crowd to instantly come up with absurd and comedic words played a significant role in creating an entirely new and often hilarious meaning to the song. The performers gave a solid performance, but the role of the participants was vital to the act. Black Tie also revealed an exclusive preview of the group’s upcoming production of Evil Dead, leaving spectators intrigued and interested in the show.

Despite the spontaneous nature of Black Tie’s performance, the actors were able to think on their feet, and the story flowed seamlessly, despite the ridiculous narrative antics. It was entertaining to see the actors remain serious when performing such outrageous songs—the chemistry between them was palpable, and so was creativity.

After a first half dedicated to Black Tie, who delivered a well-received performance, it was time for FLiNT Improv to show what they were capable of. The team performed an improvised musical, a performance that bore the same core comedic antics as the previous performance and that proved to entertain the crowd time and time again.

Alaa Ratmi, a member of FliNT’s main cast, said the show was more of an “experimental show: a beta-test if you will”, noting that it was “the very first time [FLiNT] were doing a musical, which is a bit out of reach for what we usually do.” Ratmi continued by explaining that “Friday shows are basically a platform for us to try new stuff.”

When asked about whether the Friday events are a good way for individuals to get familiar with FLiNT, he said newcomers should attend the weekly Wednesday shows: “If you want to know what FLiNT is all about, Wednesday shows are the ones you have to attend.”

But according to Black Tie Productions President, Ricky Buchanan, the collaboration with FLiNT was a natural pairing, and one the groups had been working up to for quite some time.

 “We have been talking about having a musical Mad Libs event for a couple years now. It’s the kind of event that was right up our alley. […]Flint had been in the talks of doing an improvised musical as well so this just seemed like the perfect opportunity for both of us.”

While the collaboration with Black Tie Production may have been a unique event, FLiNT organizes similar performances at The Pond bi-weekly on Fridays, and weekly on Wednesdays. A night of improv with FLiNT is certainly an appropriate way of blowing off steam after a week’s worth of work.

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