The funniest musical I've seen in some time is A Scotsman in Thailand - and it closed on opening night. As surely as this was a tragedy, it was also unavoidable -- since Scotsman was the ad hoc work of Baby Wants Candy, an outstanding musical improvisation troupe from Chicago, now at the Players Theatre.
As near as I can tell, the group sketches out a few basics ahead of time -- but besides deciding who will have the first solo or the nominal leads, it's all improvised. The audience shouts out a title, and away we go.
At the performance I witnessed, A Scotsman in Thailand became a gender-bending tale of a highlander romancing a whore. Yep, this is R-rated improv, with characters including a sexually compulsive world traveler, a female pimp with Hollywood dreams, and a parade of anthropomorphized travel gear. (In case you were wondering, all bags, backpacks, and fannypacks are gay and they're jealous.)
The company is delightful from top-to-bottom. They're open, generous, and as dexterous as the best improv group should be. The spot-on-band (Steve Jacobs, David Andrew Moore, Jody Shelton, and Johnny Pisano) is a jack of all genres -- and a master of them, too.
-- Adam R. Perlman