Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finding Humor in the T

Every Bostonian has been there. Zipping into the city, you jump on the T (or subway, for the non-Bostonian readers), bypassing traffic and the struggles of parking in America’s biggest college town. Though the purpose is transport, you can always bet on some interesting interactions along the way. From Berklee musicians performing on the platform to sports fans en route to Kenmore Square, or Harvard students sporting the classic crimson H, there is no shortage of characters to observe. Fold these visuals into the reality of public transport and you have the makings of a great comedy.

Enter Brett Johnson ’07, a comedian and writer for
short films, who studied theatre arts and political studies while completing his undergraduate degree at Gordon.
When ImprovBoston’s audition notice for T: A MBTA Musical crossed his desk, his personal experiences with the T and its cast of characters fitted perfectly. Though he was finishing shooting for his recent short film Albionic for the Boston Film Festival, he took on a split-role for the production, including the fun and mysterious character of Charlie. The show sold out for every performance, including two extensions of the musical due to popular demand.

chronicles the journey of three 20-somethings whose lives have been derailed by the MBTA’s many imperfections. When they discover a secret map that will enable them to conquer the shortcomings of the T, they set forth on a colorful journey—equal parts love story, melodrama, and scavenger hunt—under the city of Boston.

The Metro newspaper features a spread on the popular ImprovBoston production. Johnson’s character, Charlie (center/gray hat with red stripe), takes a lead role. From flashmobs on the T to reviews in every newspaper in the city, the sold-out production was a comedic hit in Beantown.

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