“Freestyle Love Supreme” is not so much Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway follow-up to “Hamilton” as it is a subsidiary of Lin-Manuel Inc. The hip-hop improv group that Miranda co-founded 16 years ago with fellow Wesleyan University alumni would certainly not be performing its spontaneous raps on Broadway at up to $199 a ticket were it not for Miranda’s fame and the promise of his name…It is able to use the draw not just of Miranda but several other Hamilton-created stars as potential performers in the show, although their appearances are intermittent and “unannounced.” The show is so much closer to comedy club than Broadway fare that it includes a performance Monday nights at 10 p.m. That’s the show I attended…And yet, it is easy to appreciate this show….hard not to be dazzled by the verbal dexterity of the cast… Freestyle Love Supreme is designed to feel good-natured and informal, like friends sitting around a dorm room at Wesleyan, even though there are 766 of us and we’re at the Booth Theater…That goodwill goes a long way. If the show isn’t always a consummate entertainment, the performers are always impressive, and also fun. And if the performers are often more fun than funny, they are certainly never at a loss for words.
Click on any photograph by Joan Marcus to see it enlarged. (Note, not all the people pictured perform at every show.)