Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Freestyle Love Supreme is on Broadway at the Booth Theatre in the Times Square Theater District with previews starting September 13, 2019 for a limited run from October 2, 2019 through January 5, 2020. From $59
Get tickets at freestylelovesupreme.com
Freestyle is Latin hip-hop. It’s electronic dance music that came up in New York City in the 1980s. Its roots go back to Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force’s Planet Rock (1982, YouTube) and Shannon’s Let the Music Play (1983, YouTube) and. Nayobe’s Please Don’t Go (1984, YouTube) made it Latin. She is Afro-Cuban from Brooklyn. If you are of a certain age, there are a lot of good memories here.
Break dancers love freestyle. In the beginning it was especially popular in Puerto Rican communities in Upper Manhattan and The Bronx, and in Italian communities in Brooklyn. The music jumped to Miami and Philadelphia before spreading to cities all over.
Freestyle Love Supreme
The show is hip-hop improv musical comedy created live from audience cues and whatever is going on in the world.
Audience members check their cell phones and smart watches at the door so that everyone is present and engaged.
It was in this group during college that Lin-Manuel honed the skills he later used to create Broadway hits In The Heights (2005) and Hamilton (2015), the Broadway hit of our generation.
The show was conceived by Anthony Veneziale and created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale. It was first staged in 2004. Kail directs this version.
The show’s title is a reference to John Coltrane’s jazz suite A Love Supreme (1964). Coltrane meant it as a declaration of his love for music and God. People who were at those recording sessions remember an especially strong chemistry between the artists.
The regular cast members are Anthony Veneziale (Two-Touch), Chris Sullivan (Shockwave), Utkarsh Ambudkar (UTK the INC), Arthur Lewis (Arthur the Geniuses) and Andrew Bancroft (Jelly Donut).
But you never know who will show up. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Lin-Man) was there for opening night. Christopher Jackson (C-Jack), James Monroe Iglehart (J-Soul), Daveed Diggs (Mr. Diggs) and Bill Sherman (King Sherman) have committed to make spontaneous appearances.
The show includes a Freestyle Love Supreme Academy that teaches freestyle technique. Maybe you or your kid will be the next Lin-Man.
When you have nothing, you make up everything on the fly, especially when you find yourself in a new part of the world. Improvisation is the ultimate expression of the immigrant experience. That’s the kind of City we are, a city of immigrants all mixed together, making it up one day at a time.
Life in the City can be hard, but this is a show about love, so the raps are gentle teasing. Every performance is different. There are many good shows on Broadway, but none of them is more fun than Freestyle Love Supreme.