Forbidden Broad­way Is Out­ra­geously Funny

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

The chance to lam­poon Liza Min­nelli, Bar­bra Streisand and Rita Moreno was just the op­por­tu­nity Liam Tay­lor was look­ing for. Liam plays one of the lead­ing roles in Abbey Musical Theatre’s hi­lar­i­ous pro­duc­tion of Forbidden Broad­way cur­rently be­ing staged at The Au­di­to­rium. Liam (pic­tured) was one of AMT’s ris­ing stars be­fore he left to study musical theatre in Christchurch. With a de­gree in Per­form­ing Arts from NASDA, he was en­gaged in ed­u­ca­tional mu­si­cals around New Zealand be­fore leav­ing for Mel­bourne. Now back in Palmer­ston North Liam wel­comes the op­por­tu­nity to present the not so se­ri­ous side of his per­son­al­ity by lam­poon­ing the three women.

Forbidden Broad­way is an out­ra­geous off-Broad­way re­vue that par­o­dies musical theatre, es­pe­cially those hit shows that have en­joyed suc­cess­ful sea­sons around the world. It first opened 35 years ago but has been rewrit­ten many times to in­clude par­o­dies of the lat­est shows and stars who’ve made them fa­mous. Liza was fran­tic and over-the-top while Bar­bra was a self-in­dul­gent star and Liam em­bel­lishes ver­sions of them while re­tain­ing the in­tegrity of who they are and the num­bers they sing. He’s also a moggy and sings I En­joy Be­ing a Cat which is a par­ody of I En­joy Be­ing a Girl from Flower Drum Song. Liam, who starred in Les Mis­er­ables, Rent, All Shook

Up, Cabaret and CATS, be­fore leav­ing for Christchurch says “it’s great to be back.” Re­fer­ring to Forbidden

Broad­way he says “I love be­ing some­one new every time I’m on stage.” The show is equally sat­is­fy­ing for Erica Ward who “gets to play so many roles with her voice.” Por­tray­ing Id­ina Men­zel in Wicked, she sings De­fy­ing Sub­tlety which is a par­ody on De­fy­ing Grav­ity. As Epo­nine from Les Mis­er­ables, her great num­ber On My Own be­comes On My Phone as the writ­ers change the lyrics to cre­ate a ri­otous evening of laugh­ter and en­joy­ment. Raz­zle Daz­zle from Chicago be­comes Glossy Fossy and, as Red Rid­ing Hood, Erica joins cast mates in singing Into The Words in­stead of Into The Woods. Erica (pic­tured), who has trained at both EIT in Hawkes Bay and the Massey School of Mu­sic, loves the show and the op­por­tu­ni­ties she’s re­ceived. “It’s amaz­ing to be some­one dif­fer­ent each time on stage, ful­fill­ing the dream roles I’ve al­ways wanted to play,” she says. Both Erica and Liam and a tal­ented cast are con­fi­dent the au­di­ence will have a great time and be en­ter­tained and amused from start to fin­ish.

Forbidden Broad­way opened on May 19 and runs to June 3 at The Au­di­to­rium. Book­ings www.abbey­mu­si­caltthe­atre.co.nz

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