One Night Only: The Greatest Show Never Written has thirteen performances left at the Factory Theatre, and I urge you to make this your Valentine’s date night.
As this show is a fully improvised musical performed each and every night, no two performances are alike. If you love musicals, improv or comedy, this show will have you swooning and possibly even catching a repeat performance (as I plan to do).
In the interest of full disclosure – I know some of the performers of this show. They are highly talented and amazing individuals whom I’ve admired in the Toronto comedy scene for years, and I count at least one among my group of friends. That aside, this show blew my mind. As a performer and comedian, I have pretty high standards for live shows. For one thing, it made me laugh-cry my eye makeup off – that’s how funny it was. Lesson learned: always wear waterproof!
Secondly, the cast is so exquisitely talented it is both inspiring and humbling. They improvise songs with beautiful melodies and harmonies, with just enough slips to prove to the audience it is in fact, fully made up.
They are able to completely improvise an entire musical, based off a series of audience suggestions. The night I saw the show, the suggestions were “Boring,” “Politics,” and, of all things, “Momfuku.”
While amateur improv can sometimes force the connections between themes or the suggestion, these sure-handed performers (many of whom hail from the Second City Mainstage) make everything come together magically while making it seem effortless.
There’s no chance of spoilers, so I can tell you some of the show’s highlights: Alex Tindal singing a ballad about the importance of consent in sexual relationships; Ashley Botting and Carly Heffernan’s same-sex duet as former-lovers-turned-sexual life coaches; and Ron Pederson’s campy, literal spotlight hogging in an ensemble number, which had the audience howling.