“Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging” celebrated its official opening at the Davenport Theatre on Sunday, May 4. Created and written by Gerard Alessandrini, "Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging" is the newest version of the Forbidden shows which looks at both the current shows playing on Broadway as well as the trends that are influencing it. Think of a show that is “Saturday Night Live” styled satire and humor and you have a picture of what to expect.
When the press notes say “The gloves are off!” they weren’t kidding. Not much appears to be off bounds in this new edition of the show that had its beginnings in 1982 when Mr. Alessandrini created the first edition. “Forbidden Broadway” has won numerous awards throughout its history including a 2006 Tony Honor, Drama Critics’ Circle, Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Lucille Lortel Awards. It should also be noted that Broadway stars often stop by to laugh at themselves and enjoy the humorous presentations.
This newly updated version is directed by Phillip George and Mr. Alessandrini with musical direction by David Caldwell. Sets are by Megan K. Halpern, lighting by Mark T.Simpson, costumes by Dustin Cross and Philip Heckman, sound by Matt Kraus and wigs by Bobbie Cliffton Zlotnick. It includes a look at shows such as Pippin, Matilda, Cinderella, Bridges of Madison County, Rocky, Aladdin, Les Miserables, Bullets Over Broadway, Cabaret, Kinky Boots, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and others.
How do you best describe what happens? Well picture the show "Les Miserables" and now picture the most outstanding characteristics of some of the characters singing their parts but with words specially adapted to poke some fun at their script. Taking it a step further, three of the cast came out with props resembling yokes slung over of their heads resting on their shoulders as they lamented the removal of the famous turntable in the newest edition of the show which opened this spring on Broadway. They also sang about how much technology is used in the show as they displayed pictures on transparencies via an overhead projector on a screen onstage. This was a funny dig but one could also find a bit of a message about the topic of technology being used in shows nowadays. So the audience gets laughing but also thinking too.
The cast is fabulous as they sing, dance, and change their costumes and wigs numerous times. Featured are Carter Calvert, Scott Richard Foster, Mia Gentile and Marcus Stevens, with David Caldwell on piano. Their ability to transform their looks and characterizations in an instant is remarkable to see and enjoy.
Theater goers who enjoy good laughs, good singing and good music will enjoy this show. You don’t have to be an expert on all the shows portrayed; there are enough funny things that go on to keep them entertained. However, if you are a regular Broadway theater goer, you will have a tough time containing yourself as the jokes and pokes come fast and furious.
“Forbidden Broadway” can be seen at the newly renovated Davenport Theatre at 354 West 45th Street in New York City on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7:00pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 7:00pm, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. For more information about tickets, check the show’s website, www.forbiddenbroadway.com or contact Telecharge.