by: Sandi Durell
They’re back! Don’t worry if you’ve missed many of the recent and current Broadway musicals; you’ll get more than the necessary roadmap and probably laugh your socks off a lot more than you would at the originals as Forbidden Broadway takes you on a parody jaunt. This way you can choose which shows you actually want to see and look at all the money you’ll save!
With four high octane performers Natalie Charle Ellis, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Lee Stern, Marcus Stevens and David Caldwell ably providing the piano accompaniment throughout this two-act mischievous romp along the great white way, you’re in for the time of your life at the 47th Street Theatre where no one and nothing is immune from the stabs and jabs of creator Gerard Alessandrini, as he slices and dices the stars, songs and productions of award-winning Broadway shows.
Take the recent revival of Evita starring Ricky Martin, referred to as a boy-band toy (played by Marcus), and Jenny’s version of Elena Roger who played Eva Peron “Hello Buenos Broadway – love you even though you hate me so” (well, the critics did do a number on the diminutive Roger). Then it was time to chop, chop Matthew Broderick (Marcus) and Kelli O’Hara (Natalie) aided by Jenny and Scott – – “Nice song if I can sing it and if I sing it, you’ll ask why!” Poor O’Hara wasn’t spared either – “laughs are on a role, but not with me.” Ah, it’s all just Wonder bread and mayonnaise!
With the revival of Annie on the boards this season, Granny-Annie (Jenny) on a walker is way past her prime – “I’ve withered and grown a beard – – tomorrow is yesterday.”
It may have won the Tony for Best New Musical, but here “Once” is enough as the cast struts on stage with beards, instruments and Hoover vacuum – contorting words in my mouth – if Once is too bland. . .you’ll heave and just leave. Jenny plays Cristin Millioti to the edge, replete with facial contortions and pleading eyes.
Poor Sondheim has revived and revived “Follies” but never earned a dime with a cast from AARP; Bernadette Peters (Jenny) getting her fair share of torture, but no matter – Stephen will listen!“Into The Woods” wasn’t spared nor was Donna Murphy (Natalie) covered in bark nor Amy Adams (Jenny) “you know nothing of madness until they role up your hair.”
From Spiderman to Jersey Boys to Porgy and Bess and a special lashing for Mandy and Patti; and lest we forget Newsies and so many more, the Wicked assault continues. The Elders, here from the “Book of Morons,” have a quest: to murder good taste is our mission . . . we believe that musicals should be disgusting . . . that Broadway should be crass and rude”
This is a killer cast directed by Phillip George and Gerard Alessandrini. The costumes are fun and hilarious to the credit of Philip Heckman. It’s two acts of nothing but pure laughable pleasure 47th Street Theatre thru January 6, 2013 www.telecharge.com www.forbiddenbroadway.com