A cheeky regards to Broadway
There are highpoints and high notes aplenty as a tight singing and acting ensemble make the most of this musical merriment.
Forbidden Broadway is an affectionate cabaret style spoof of hit Broadway shows where the lyrics of well-known musical theatre arias are rewritten, stage conventions parodied, and their characters are redefined.
While there are a number of injokes about the original shows and their prominent performers, no one needs to be a die-hard musical theatre buff to appreciate the send-ups, or enjoy some top performers strutting their stuff. Described as a revue,
Forbidden Broadway would make an ideal nightclub table-show. Onstage musical director Kirsten Clark pounds out the tunes on an upright piano, and at times gets involved in the antics.
Clark’s face positively glowed when any number went particularly well, as many of them did, with perhaps the exception of the
Mamma Mia! segment, which looked a little underdone compared to the rest of the show.
But there is plenty to commend. There was Liam Peter Taylor’s exquisite drag appearances as Liza Minelli and Barbra Streisand, and as a stray from
Cats. Corey Clark brilliantly plundered Les Mis and other falsetto pieces, while Jo Sale cleverly undermined Annie and Fantine from Les Mis.
Chris Thompson pilloried Stephen Sondheim and presented as a non-plussed Phantom, while Erica Ward channelled performance legend Ethel Merman and revisited Hairspray in a show that was laced with sparkles.
Among them was the mimed revolving stage during the extended More Miserables segment, and the singing harmonies in the Rent send-up.
A well-paced whirlwind tour that raced through 31 show songs,
Forbidden Broadway never outstayed its welcome in any one place as it slickly segued from musical skit to musical skit.
Director Andrea Maxwell showed excellent attention to detail in a fun vibrant show that deserves to be anything but ‘forbidden’.
Chris Thompson, Erica Ward, Liam Taylor and Jo Sale in ‘‘Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits’’.