Saturday, September 15, 2012

Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking ****

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
How good it is to have Gerard Alessandrini's arsenic-laced valentine to the Broadway musical back in town after a three-year absence. Alessandrini certainly has not mellowed during the hiatus -- the cleverness of some of the skits does not hide the brutality with which he deflates some Broadway egos. A few of the returning numbers could well have been left out, but the new material is overwhelmingly hilarious and on target. The cast this time out (Natalie CharlĂ© Ellis, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Lee Stern and Marcus Stevens) is uniformly strong; some of the impersonations are uncannily accurate. David Caldwell is back as the topnotch pianist/music director. Philip Heckman's costumes and Bobbie Cliffton Zlotnik's wigs are a show in and of themselves. Directors Phillip George and Alessandrini keep the show moving at a fast pace. I actually felt guilty for enjoying some of the shows and performers that are skewered. While you do not need to have seen many of the shows to enjoy the fun, you will enjoy it more if you have.  Running time: one hour, forty minutes with intermission.

Note: Avoid getting seats in the first three rows, particularly on the right (even-numbered) side because of poor sight lines.


Anonymous said...

Bob - I feel the same way. Sure have missed these and am so happy to have them back.

Susan Shine said...

I agree, too! I'm glad you commented on the impersonations; I don't recall being as struck in previous editions of "Forbidden Broadway" by the actors' ability to actually sound like those they're skewering (Bernadette Peters is a prime example). I confess that I loved "Once," but this parody made me laugh the hardest. Great, great fun!