Entertainment » Music

Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Tuesday Oct 30, 2012
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In 1982, Gerard Alessandrini created the original production of "Forbidden Broadway," a live send-up of the latest shows on Broadway featuring four singers and a piano. Thirty years later, the franchise is still alive, and DRG Records has released the latest incarnation of the series on CD and digitally, appropriately titled, "Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking."

If you’re an aficionado of Broadway musicals, the parodies that Alessandrini, along with long-time collaborator Phillip George, have developed are spot-on skewers of all that is current on the Great White Way, from "Book Of Mormon" ("The Book of Morons"), "Newsies," "Porgy and Bess" ("Porgy and Mess Segment") and "Once" ("Once is Enough"), to the performers themselves, including Matthew Broderick ("Do Nice Work"), Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee ("Smashed"), Patti Lupone, Mandy Patinkin and Ricky Martin ("Livin Evita Loca").

The quartet of actors (Marcus Stevens, Jenny Lee Stern, Natalie CharlĂ© Ellis and Scott Richard Foster) is on top of their game in pulling off the limitless imitations of styles and icons that Alessandrini includes in the show. From Bernadette Peters singing "In Stephen’s Ear," about Stephen Sondheim still having the diva sing his work even as she ages (gracefully) beyond the characters’ appropriate age range, to Sutton Foster performing "Everything Blows," a comment on Broadway’s pandering to the lowest common audience (sung to "Anything Goes") and "We Killed This City (With Nascar Shows)," performed by the cast of "Rock of Ages," the jukebox musical of 1980’s pop hits.

For the non-musical theater buff, "Forbidden Broadway" may confuse, as the humor is firmly established in the stories of today’s shows, but to those in the know, Alessandrini is back with a fresh set of hilarious jabs at the expense of the latest musical offerings in Manhattan.

"Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking (Original Cast Recording)"
Gerard Alessandrini
CD and Digital formats
DRG Records / Arf! Digital

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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