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Improv group ‘Baby Wants Candy’ comes to Drake Friday

Baby Wants Candy’s previous onstage credits include “The 40-year-old Virgin Mary,” “The Revenge of Thomas Jefferson” and “The Adventures of Super Badger,” but as all were only performed once, it would prove difficult to find any sheet music or song lyrics.

In fact, the people who will fill the seats of Sheslow Auditorium this Friday at 8 p.m. will be witnesses to a musical performance that has never been seen before and will never be seen again.

Baby Wants Candy is a Chicago-based musical improvisation group billing itself as “the completely improvised musical.” The act begins when the players ask audience members to shout out titles of a musical that has never been done before.

The first one they hear becomes the basis for an hour-long show featuring songs made up on the spot and accompaniments from a full band of instrumentalists who are improvising beside the actors.

The Student Activities Board is sponsoring the free event, which will also feature the Drake student improvisational group, D.I.C.E.Y.

Committee co-chair junior Nick Lund said he thinks Baby Wants Candy’s performance will be a great part of Drake’s Parents Weekend.

“They tend to cater to college students’ sense of humor, so we think it will be just perfect for students on campus, all while keeping it family-friendly for the parents and siblings that will also be coming to the show,” he said.

Lund’s co-chair, junior Allie LeClair encouraged students to have their families accompany them to the event.

“We hope that this gives an activity to the students they can bring their parents to so they can show their parents what they have an opportunity to do here on campus,” she said.

BWC’s website boasts that the group has more than 2,000 shows under its belt, some featuring comedic personalities such as Rachel Dratch and Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live,” among others.

During Friday’s act, audience members may recognize one actor, Jack McBrayer, as Kenneth, the page from NBC’s “30 Rock.”

In addition to the big names, some of Drake’s own talent will be performing.

D.I.C.E.Y, a campus improv group with just over a dozen members, will open the show. The students have performed on campus before at Hubbell Dining Hall and Relay for Life in the Fieldhouse. But on Friday, they’ll be trying out something new, according to president Matt Pruett.

“Our first bit is actually a sketch, but I can’t spoil any details,” he said. “Needless to say, students and parents alike will get a good laugh.”

How it works:

The audience shouts out a title of a musical that has never been performed before. Accompanied by a full band, the first title that the group hears becomes the title and theme for that evening’s completely improvised 60-minute musical that BWC creates on the spot.

BWC has featured performers:

Stephnie Weir and Nicole Parker (MadTV)

Rachel Dratch and Seth Meyers (SNL)

Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)

Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band)

Graphic: Courtesy of Baby Wants Candy

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