No for­bid­den laugh­ter in hi­lar­i­ous Abbey Show

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

A qual­ity pro­duc­tion that sets out to en­ter­tain is what’s drawn An­drea Maxwell to di­rect her first show for Abbey Mu­si­cal Theatre.

For­bid­den Broad­way is an out­ra­geous off-Broad­way re­vue that par­o­dies mu­si­cal theatre, es­pe­cially those hit shows that have en­joyed suc­cess­ful sea­sons around the world.

For­bid­den Broad­way first opened in New York 35 years ago and ran for more than 2332 per­for­mances in the years that fol­lowed. It’s been rewrit­ten many times to in­clude par­o­dies of the lat­est shows and stars who’ve made them fa­mous.

The most re­cent ver­sion that An­drea will di­rect is called For­bid­den Broad­way’s

Great­est Hits and opens at The Au­di­to­rium from May 19-June 3.

An­drea said the show be­came avail­able at the right time for her.

‘‘It’s so amus­ing. The hu­mour res­onates with me,’’ she says.

‘‘With winter ap­proach­ing it was the ideal time for com­edy and laugh­ter.’’

An­drea and Mu­si­cal Di­rec­tor Kirsten Clark have gath­ered to­gether a top cast to present the fast-paced ex­cerpts from mu­si­cal theatre.

‘‘The au­di­ence will love se­quences from such well known shows as An­nie, Wicked, Les Mis­er­ables, Chicago, Fid­dler on the Roof, Cats and Sweeney Todd,’’ she says.

‘‘But while the words of the songs are par­o­died in a hi­lar­i­ous way, the struc­ture and in­tegrity of the mu­sic and the shows are not com­pro­mised.’’

For­bid­den Broad­way may be much loved by per­form­ers, but isn’t as well known to the au­di­ence so An­drea has as­sem­bled the cream of Manawatu per­form­ers to sing the reper­toire, be the per­form­ers who made them great and at­tract the crowds.

‘‘I have a great cast of 11 artists who are all soloists in their own right,’’ she says.

‘‘They’ll per­form the so­los, duets and en­sem­ble num­bers. This is a fam­ily night out and the au­di­ence will know the shows and love the out­ra­geous lyrics to fa­mil­iar songs.

‘‘This is about Broad­way mu­si­cals like you’ve never seen them be­fore.’’

Kirsten is more than mu­si­cal di­rec­tor and ac­com­pa­nist on stage. She also in­ter­acts with the soloists and leads some of the com­edy rou­tines.

An­drea is a sea­soned per­former her­self and made her di­rect­ing de­but in

Quilt for Manawatu Theatre. She then mu­si­cally di­rected Dusty for Abbey Mu­si­cal Theatre last year be­fore start­ing re­hearsals last month for For­bid­den Broad­way. ‘‘I like in­ti­mate shows and waited for the right mu­si­cal to come along,’’ she says. ‘‘I’m sure peo­ple will love For­bid­den Broad­way and be swept away by the amaz­ing tal­ent on show.’’ For­bid­den Broad­way runs from May 19 to June 3 at The Au­di­to­rium. Book­ings www.abbey­mu­si­calthe­

ChrisThomp­son par­o­dies a song fromPhan­tom while Liam Taylor is a puss with a purr-puss­when he sends up a num­ber from CATS.

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