A New York Theatre Guide to... freestyle love supreme!

The Broadway premiere of freestyle love supreme returns to the Booth Theatre in 2021.

Chris Sullivan, Christopher Jackson, Anthony Veneziale, Utkarsh Ambudkar & James Monroe Iglehart in freestyle love supreme

From humble beginnings in Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, to the bright lights of Broadway! The hip-hop improv group known as freestyle love supreme was co-created in 2003 by Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Thomas Kail, alongside current member Anthony Veneziale. And though FLS has toured the world, performing at comedy festivals from Edinburgh to Montreal to Melbourne, it could not feel more at home than at the Booth Theatre on the Great White Way, where it began its Broadway debut engagement on September 13, 2019, before an official opening to rave reviews on October 2. 

Freestyle Love Supreme is at the Booth Theatre from October 7 - Jan. 2, 2022. Find out more about Freestyle Love Supreme here. 

Anthony Veneziale, Chris Sullivan, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aneesa Folds

What's the story of 'Freestyle Love Supreme' on Broadway?

No two performances of freestyle love supreme are the same and that’s due to the improvisational format of the show. freestyle love supreme is a combination of rap artistry, music and improv comedy at its absolute best! With three emcees, a beatboxer, two musicians and a couple of special guests thrown in for good measure, freestyle love supreme elicits suggestions from the audience in attendance and spins them into spontaneous freestyle raps or even full, comedy-infused scenes in jaw-dropping fashion. Whether it is just a verb, something we love (or loathe), or an audience member’s entire day so far, the freestyle love supreme members work their lyrical magic to weave these into a highly entertaining narrative before our very eyes in 90 non-stop minutes of freestyle heaven. 

 Chris Sullivan, Christopher Jackson, Anthony Veneziale, UtkarshAmbudkar & James Monroe Iglehart

Who’s starring in 'Freestyle Love Supreme' on Broadway?

freestyle love supreme boasts a rotating cast of performers, all equally innovative, for each performance. The core group led by co-creator Anthony Veneziale (aka Two Touch) includes Andrew Bancroft, Tarik Davis, Aneesa Folds, Arthur Lewis, Kaila Mullady, Chris Sullivan and Anthony Veneziale.. If you are extra lucky, you may just witness a special cameo appearance from such Hamilton alumi as Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs, Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart, Tony Award nominee Christopher Jackson or even Lin-Manuel Miranda himself, who are all booked to appear at sporadic performances throughout the Broadway run. Other special guests include Ashley Pérez Flanagan (aka Reina Fire), Bill Sherman (aka King Sherman) and last, but by no means least, multiple Emmy Award winner Wayne Brady

Chris Sullivan, Daveed Diggs & Wayne Brady

Why should I see 'Freestyle Love Supreme' on Broadway?

There is simply nothing else like freestyle love supreme currently on offer on the Great White Way. Although some purists might shy away from such a genre, this unique kind of artistry has been given the opportunity to be showcased on such a mainstream platform. Freestyle raps tackle diverse subjects:Marvel’s Avengers, naptime, bikini waxes and one night stands with priests-in-training were all spit and lapped up by the audience.

The beauty of freestyle love supreme is that it is a shared experience. The performers are reliant on the audience and the limitations of its imagination and they also employ such a supportive demeanor, as they gather the audience’s input. Nobody is subjected to ridicule or embarrassment. We’re in this together. And the pace of the freestyle raps and the creative, quick-thinking and intellectual ways they surface are simply mind-boggling. It’s equally impressive to hear the singing vocals, harmonies and fully-realized musical numbers in the show too.  

Kaila Mullady, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Anthony Veneziale, Ashley Pérez Flanagan & Aneesa Folds

Who would we recommend Freestyle Love Supreme to?

If you like Hamilton, or anything that Lin-Manuel Miranda does, you'll enjoy Freestyle Love Supreme. If you love a bit of audience participation, then this is the Broadway show for you too. It's also great if you're a wannabe rap star too, imagining that you're coming up with the quick-witted lyrics. 

Check out our video guide to FLS from the show's director and co-creator, Thomas Kail here.

(Photos by Joan Marcus)