Freestyle Love Supreme is an improvisational hip-hop (also known as freestyle rap) comedy musical group started by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale in 2004 and directed by Thomas Kail. In 2022, the group completed a Broadway musical run at the Booth Theatre.
The idea for the project started during rehearsal breaks for Miranda's first Broadway musical, In the Heights. During shows, the performers rap and beatbox, backed by keyboards. Unlike traditional, scripted musicals, the audience is intended to be engaged and participate in the show, providing suggestions and occasionally even being brought on stage. Before being performed on Broadway, there were performances at Ars Nova in 2004, 2006 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Montreal Just for Laughs Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2005, as well as many other performances including Joe's Pub, Google Zeitgeist, Greenwich House Theater, Mo Pitkin's, and others.
Members of the group appeared in several episodes of the 2009 The Electric Company revival, on which Miranda, Sherman, Jackson, and Sullivan were regular music contributors.
The group performed its Off-Broadway and Broadway shows in 2019–2020 in celebration of their 15th anniversary.
The story of the group and musical is featured in the 2020 documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, directed by Andrew Fried, who began filming the group in 2005. The film contains footage shot over the 15 years of the group's history.
Cast and crewEdit
Cast members have included the following, though other members have appeared, sometimes unannounced. The opening night performance on Broadway featured nine guest stars.[failed verification]
- Vocal performers
The following performers have performed rap or beatboxing on the show:
- Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Anthony Veneziale - a.k.a. Two Touch
- Chris Sullivan - Shockwave
- Utkarsh Ambudkar a.k.a UTK the INC.
- Chris Jackson a.k.a. C-Jack
- Kaila Mullady a.k.a. Kaiser Rözé
- Andrew Bancroft a.k.a Jelly Donut
- Daveed Diggs
- James Monroe Iglehart a.k.a J-Soul
- Wayne Brady
- Ashley Pérez Flanagan
- Aneesa Folds a.k.a Young Nees
- Jay C. Ellis a.k.a. Jellis J
The following keyboardists have accompanied the vocal artists:
- Arthur Lewis a.k.a Arthur the Geniuses (Sings during "True")
- Bill Sherman a.k.a King Sherman a.k.a And Bill
- Ian Weinberger
- Kurt Crowley
- Alan Markley
Their performances consist of freestyle "games" including: What Ya'll Know, On the Fence, True, Day in a Life, Foundations of Freestyle, Pet Peeves, Home, Second Chance, Deep Dive and more.
- Caroline Siede (June 2, 2020). "We Are Freestyle Love Supreme is a feel-good origin story for Lin-Manuel Miranda's first troupe". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- Lily Pace (October 3, 2019). "Behind 'Freestyle Love Supreme,' Lin-Manuel Miranda's Improv Dream". billboard.com. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- Vinson Cunningham (October 7, 2019). ""Freestyle Love Supreme" Raps its way to Broadway". Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- "Freestyle Love Supreme". broadway.com. 2020. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, Hulu, July 17, 2020, retrieved July 17, 2020 (subscription required)
- "The Ars Nova Revolution". ARS NOVA. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
THE ARS NOVA REVOLUTION: FROM FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME (ARS NOVA, 2004) TO HAMILTON (BROADWAY, 2015)
- Esther Zuckerman (October 17, 2014). "Lin-Manuel Miranda on bringing Freestyle Love Supreme to TV". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2015-04-11. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Scott Simon (July 18, 2020). "'We Are Freestyle Love Supreme' Is An Accidental 'Hamilton' Cast Origin Story". NPR News. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- "We Are Freestyle Love Supreme". Sundance Institute. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- "About — Cody Renard Richard, Stage Manager". codyrenard.com. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
- Evans, Greg (2021-06-16). "'Freestyle Love Supreme' To Make Broadway Comeback As Lin-Manuel Miranda Continues Juggernaut". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-10-17.
- Harms, Talaura (January 2, 2022). "Freestyle Love Supreme Wraps Up Limited Broadway Run January 2". Playbill. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
- Moynihan, Caitlin (December 9, 2021). "Freestyle Love Supreme Announces National Tour for Early 2022". Broadway.com. Retrieved January 9, 2022.
- Rubin, Rebecca. "Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Freestyle Love Supreme' Announces Nationwide Tour". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2022.