Fan favourite player Rik Brown often dazzles the audience with a solo scene, but he had to pull off two to beat The Big Hoo-Haa!’s Jimmy James Eaton in week three of this Maestro™ season!
In a night of Maestro™ that saw the contestants divided into evens and odds for an onstage dance battle, players knew pretty early that directors Anna Renzenbrink and Merrilee Afton McCoy had more than the usual crop of games planned. No player was tested more intensely than Rik Brown, who found himself called for not one, but two solo scenes!
The solo scene is a double-edged sword for players in Maestro™, a show with built-in unfairness at every turn. When called to perform a solo scene, a player has the unique opportunity to steal the spotlight for themselves. Bag a score of five in a solo scene, and those points are all yours—it’s an instant leg up in the competition. But if the audience gives your solo scene a two, you can find yourself racing to catch up for the rest of the night (assuming you make it that far!).
So when Rik got a four for his first solo scene—a soap opera in which he played all of the parts—he was well on his way to the Maestro™ title. Or he would have been on any other night, but on this night Jimmy James Eaton was posting consistently strong scores for every scene he played in. In fact, right up until the final round, Jimmy James was in the lead!
But then, in the final scene of the night, Rik was called yet again to take the stage unaccompanied, and the directors asked him to name his favourite historical figure. Throwing his fate into the hands of the impro gods, Rik free-associated his way to the name “Frank Sinatra” … before admitting he knew next to nothing about the singer! The directors then had all the eliminated players take the stage as the slumped bodies of Rik’s fellow performers in a stage musical retelling the life of Frank Sinatra. Rik’s job: to “cover” for his fallen castmates by not only singing all of the parts in the musical himself, but by doing it while dashing around the stage, lifting up their bodies to perform work them as puppets, “Weekend At Bernie’s”-style!
To say Rik earned the five points with which the audience rewarded him would have been the understatement of the evening, but earn them he did, and he walked away with the framed $5 note and Maestro™ sash to prove it!
This Week: Carousel at 6PM!
In addition to week four of our Maestro™ season this Sunday night, Impro Melbourne is also proud to present the premiere performance of Carousel: Wherever your story takes us. Carousel is a free show created and devised by the students in Impro Melbourne’s Performance workshop—an exclusive program that admits students by audition, inviting them to create a brand new improvised show, from scratch, in a matter of weeks!
This is your opportunity to see the birth of something brand new and watch it take shape along with the very performers who have created it. It’s a glimpse into the crucible of creation … and it’s absolutely free!
Carousel is showing at 6PM for each of the next three Sunday nights—right before Maestro™—so come on down to The Space a little early this week to get a full three-course meal of impro: Carousel followed by two halves of Maestro™. See you there!