Wordplay on Another Level: Broadway’s Freestyle Love Supreme arrives in Boston

free-style

/frē,stil/

denoting a contest or version of a sport in which there are few restrictions on the moves or techniques that competitors employ.

Oxford Language
Freestyle Love Supreme now playing in Boston.

In this case the sport is a performance that includes the artists on stage and the audience. There are definitely few restrictions, and the techniques the artists use to create this show are impressive. Freestyle Love Supreme has some incredibly intelligent and talented artists creating a fast-paced, one of a kind, improvised, freestyle, hilarious, smart, silly, heartfelt performance. Freestyle Love Supreme opened at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre Friday night for the first time since its Broadway run.

Freestyle Love Suprese photo by Joan Marcus

The show was created by Anthony Veneziale, Thomas Kail, and Lin-Manuel Miranda and in Boston is brought to life with a fabulous cast. Veneziale is a quick-witted narrator and MC. Chris Sullivan is beatboxer extraordinaire who creates any sound effect the show requires. Jay C Ellis has words rolling off his tongue faster than your brain can think of what comes next and is an incredible storyteller. Aneesa Folds, in addition to being quick-witted and a master wordsmith, has a voice that is so beautiful it awakens the cherubs carved on the loge walls. You can’t help but fall in love with Folds’ voice and energy. Andrew Bancroft has facial expressions that reach the last row in the theatre and an ability to connect all the pieces that the rest of the cast throws down tying it all up into a neat little parcel.

When the stools come forward its about to level up. Freestyle Love Suprese photo by Joan Marcus

The freestyle, hip hop, beatbox, vocalizing, and banter with the audience makes this show stand out from anything I have seen. It is like the theatre version of a 12 course tasting menu. The nature of improv means that you get some references that maybe only a small group catches, but then there is also always something spectacular where every piece just falls into place, the energy builds, and after the piece is done the cast and the audience have a “what the f*^>€ just happened?!” moment and the room feels electric. The word we had was “graduation” and the piece that came out of that particular freestyle would have definitely graduated with honours.

Freestyle Love Supreme plays at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston through April 2nd. Tickets can be purchased here. Come prepared with words to share and be a part of the Freestyle Love Supreme experience. On opening night, the Wordle of the day made it into the show. Even though not every word suggested is chosen, the cast goes all out making everyone feel included in the process.

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