They feel a song coming on

Hello Trolley!
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  June 29, 2011


The night the Bruins took the Stanley Cup, the cast of Improv Boston's T: An MBTA Musical ambushed two carfuls of unsuspecting Red Line passengers.

Around 9 pm, 17 cast members gathered in front of their Prospect Street rehearsal space. Their plan: board a northbound car at Central Square, en masse, sing a song on it, get off at Davis, sing another song on the way back to Central, disembark.

"This is my first flash mob," said director Jeffrey Mosser. He planned to stage a number of surprise public-transportation performances to coincide with the show's Thursday opening. After a discussion of logistics and a group huddle, the cast descended the stairs toward the Red Line.

"I'm excited!" said Melissa Carubia, who wrote the show's music. T follows three disgruntled twenty-somethings who find a mysterious map that leads them on a vision quest filled with self-discovery and mythic beings — like Charlie, trapped underground for eternity because he could not afford the nickel fare. "It's a classic Wizard of Oz story," Carubia said.

Once they reached the turnstiles, the cast's tension became palpable. Several cried out, "Oh, God," as the train approached. When the doors opened, they hurried aboard. After a few nervous moments, Carubia produced a small speaker and the cast erupted into the show's opening ensemble number, "The T Within":

You've been blaming every problem you have on the T / Searching, waiting, cursing, chasing all around this fair city / Getting in our own way's the sin / If you must blame, blame it on the T within.

The commuters listened, rapt and a little scared. A young woman anxiously pulled on her braid. A middle-aged business man looked horrified. As the singers exchanged a stage kiss, a bespectacled fellow wearing a leather jacket blushed and took a picture with his iPhone. The number wrapped to hearty applause.

"That was awesome!" said the man with the glasses, identifying himself only as Amadeo. "There were so many of them!"

On the way back, the cast sang "The Bro Song," a number about douchebags. In the middle, two drunk Bruins fans in hockey jerseys boarded the train.

"Some call us frat boys, some call us yah dudes / Some call us Massholes and some just say 'Douche!' " sang the cast, in a style best described as "German beer hall." When it was over, the Bruins fans whistled through their teeth.

"Go Bruins!" said the actors, exiting the train.

"Go flash mob!" said the dudes.

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  Topics: This Just In , Boston, Music, bro,  More more >
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