ROBERT Z. GRANT
Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different.
It’s all improvised and it’s all funny.
The hysterical Broadway’s Next H!T Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor, and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown improvised musical – complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore. BNHM has been seen recently at The Triad, Tribeca Film Festival, and at the New York Musical Theater Festival, among many others.
The lights go down. The overture begins. Pretty much your typical musical theater experience so far, yes? No! Tonight will be different! Why, you ask? Because this musical has never been seen before! In fact, it has not even been conceived, written or rehearsed! And yet it will appear, complete with script, music, lyrics and choreography, before your eyes this evening. This is the exciting process at the heart of Broadway’s Next H!T Musical. We will step onstage free of any pre-performance ideas and allow ourselves to be inspired by what you, our audience, write on a small piece of paper – a story to unfold as we perform it. We are empowered by the notion of creating a memorable song, complete with melody and lyrics. We dance to choreography invented as it is executed. Broadway’s Next H!T Musical, improvisation at its best, will amaze and delight you, and leave you with the experience of seeing what has never before been seen and what will never be seen again. Broadway’s Next H!T Musical can only be described as magic!
WHO’S WHO IN BROADWAY’S NEXT H!T MUSICAL
RALPH BUCKLEY (Co-Producer) has worked as an actor and director on and off Broadway, in television, film and radio. Ralph has produced music and improvisation in diverse venues including Joe’s Pub, El Flamingo and The Triad. He is executive director/producer of the ongoing improvisational performance workshop, The Yes Show.
ROBERT Z. GRANT (Performer) loves to make stuff up and sing about it. Recent credits include The Collective’s 360, Ionesco’s The Lesson, The Next Big Broadway Musical! (2007 MAC Award), The Amazing TED Show, and ComedySportz NY. Tour: two months in South Africa with The Glass Contraption. Robert studied acting with Bill Esper at William Esper Studio, dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, clown with Christopher Bayes at Juilliard, and improvisation with Ralph Buckley. Robert is probably best known for his anonymity. www.robertzgrant.com
CHRISTINE PYNN (Stage Manager) is a freelance stage manager, lighting designer and board operator in the New York comedy and theatre scene. She’s had the pleasure of working with several companies and performers, including The Peoples Improv Theater, Political Subversities, SketchFest NYC, Margaret Cho, Kurt Braunholer, Elephant Larry, MIRANDA, Joe Moses and Tom Shillue.
DEB RABBAI (Co-Artistic Director, Co-Producer, Performer) is an original member and co-creator of Broadway’s Next H!T Musical. A native New Yorker, Deb has worked as an actor, improviser, singer and voiceover artist for the last twenty years. Deb became the Co-Artistic Director of BNHM in 2009 and has proudly witnessed its progress over the last two decades into the hilarious hit it is today. A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC, Deb performs regularly with the national touring improv company Chicago City Limits. Deb is a highly experienced teacher of improvisation and acting, having worked at NYU, Marymount Manhattan College, The American Comedy Institute, Weist-Barron and Acteen in NYC. She also spent ten years performing and teaching improvisation with Freestyle Repertory Theatre (TheatreSports New York). Deb successfully created programs that teach curriculum through improvisation – these programs have been integrated into public schools in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Deb has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and in national commercials for MasterCard, Wendy’s and Zyrtec. Deb has done countless voiceovers, ranging from radio and TV advertisements, to video games and Japanimation/anime films. For more information on Deb, please visit her blog: www.misspeep.blogspot.com.
JORDAN RICHARDSON (Pianist) Composer/musical director: Desert Star Theater, Salt Lake City, UT; PCPA Theaterfest, Santa Maria, CA; Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville, Oceano, CA. Jordan resides in New York City and is happy to be joining Broadway’s Next H!T Musical. Thanks to my everlasting friends and wonderful family.
ANNIE SCHIFFMANN (Performer) is an actor, improviser, singer, and teacher. Annie performed with Chicago City Limits for over seven years. Annie also lends her talent to many corporate events and recently hosted, performed, or facilitated training at events for Tenneco, KPMG, and Cisco. Trained in improvisation, theatre, musical theatre, and directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Annie leads workshops for schools and corporations in all of these disciplines.
ROB SCHIFFMANN (Co-Artistic Director, Co-Producer, Performer) 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, Rob’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, Rob performed regularly with Chicago City Limits before joining Broadway’s Next H!T Musical in 2001. BNHM’s master improvisers started their success at the famous NYC 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 NYC. Called “sharper than a pound of cheddar cheese” by reviewfix.com, Rob has showcased his skills on The Daily Download and The CBS Early Show. Rob’s musical talent is also evident with the New York based acoustic-pop band, The Hillary Step; he is the main writer, lead singer, guitarist, and Music Director. For more information, please visit www.robschiffmann.com.
COURTNEY SIMMONS (Emcee) is thrilled to be a part of the BNHM cast. A recent alum of Marymount Manhattan College, she was last seen singing in Israel’s version of American Idol and won top female performer. Prior to that performance, she was performing at Feinstein’s Cabaret Club in the Broadway Ballyhoo. She is also a part of the Broadway By The Year chorus at Town Hall.
GREG TRIGGS (Co-Producer) has also performed with Disney’s Comedy Warehouse, the Brave New Workshop and Chicago City Limits. Writer/director for Disney, SeaWorld, the Tribeca Film Festival, the World Science Festival and the NFL. TV credits include BBC, ABC, TLC, Oxygen, the Discovery Channel and Nickelodeon. Recent projects include the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and the openings of the Disney Dream and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Honolulu. Learn more at www.StrategicEntertainmentNYC.com