The Bix: Reviewed


By Emma McCormick

Remember that time you made up a song in the shower and you thought, “I’m a musical prodigy!”

Sorry, but I suggest you think again. That title is reserved for members of The Bix, Northwestern’s musical improv group.

If you are unfamiliar with improv, it is a popular pastime here at Northwestern. Improv shows are essentially comedy acts that are completely unscripted and unplanned. The ideas for each scene, or “game,” are generated from an audience suggestion, and the members of the improv group are expected to create a viable scene based on that suggestion. At a typical show at Northwestern, the crowd roars with laughter because of the absurd, yet hysterical ways in which these scenes come together.

Now take the difficulty of trying to make strangers laugh by performing a scene which is completely undetermined until it’s over and multiply it by 100. That is about where I would rate the difficulty of performing in The Bix.

Instead of “simply” acting out scenes, members of The Bix must create musical numbers which correspond to the audience's random suggestions. Oftentimes, a singular scene will involve multiple numbers. Bix members rhyme, harmonize, and dance as they free-style, in a musical theatre-y kind of way.

The group’s first show was on Saturday, November 18th. The 50 minute show debuted new members Maddie Burton, Peter Colbert, and Graham Helfrick. Other performers included Lucette Panush, Lydia Hartman, Ziare Paul-Emile, John Michael Currie, Alec Steinhorn, and Max Beer.

While the entire show was astounding, I was blown away when Alec (playing a bartender) and Maddie (playing herself with a broken toenail) sang their way to resolving her little toenail problem by chopping her foot off. The two made such a trivial issue seem like a monumental, Tony Award-winning moment. Another memorable moment was when Morty Shapiro (played by Lucette) was beat in a dating game show by your favorite instrument, the triangle (played by Graham). The show closed after the entire cast created a memorable number about the trials and tribulations of eating hot, spicy chicken wings.

My only major complaint about the show? The fact that I couldn’t breathe because I was so nervous that the performers wouldn’t be able to come up with their next lyric. But they never failed to do so; they just kept singing and rhyming and rapping and absolutely killing it.

For anyone who craves a good laugh and wants to feel musically untalented, I highly urge you to see The Bix’s show at the end of winter quarter. Without a doubt, you’ll leave on a high.




Steven Norwalk