Arts preview: "TBD: The Musical"

Jim Fischer

Every big-budget stage musical you've ever seen has the advantage of being fully scripted and composed prior to taking the stage. Then again, maybe it's not such an advantage, as Hashtag Comedy is proving with its "TBD: The Musical" series, in which it presents fully improvised musical plays.

After selecting a title by soliciting suggestions from the audience, "the pianist starts in on the music and we go," Hashtag's Sarah Storer said. Storer, a fan of musical theater, brought the concept to Hashtag, which will present its fourth "TBD: The Musical" on Friday, July 8.

"We hit most of the tropes you see in a Broadway musical," Storer said. "The structure is very loose, but you'll get big group numbers, a big ballad and at least one villain or 'patter' song."

"The pianist (normally Bryan Tysl, though Emily Hartman fills in July 8) is every bit a part as any cast member. They determine when we sing [and] when we change scenes," she said.

Hashtag's more vocally inclined members make up the rest of the cast, but Storer said the keys are "commitment and emotion" rather than professional-quality singing.

Shadowbox Live

7:30 p.m. Friday, July 8

503 S. Front St.,

Brewery District