The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings
A CurtainUp Review
Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation
How did we survive this long interval without Alessandrini's insightful satirizing and inspired spoofing of Broadway shows both current and on occasion recent past? This corner welcomes it back as it again demonstrates that it has what it takes to mock the mediocre even as it also joyously celebrates the parodic life upon the wicked stage.
The wicked stage in this case is at The Triad where six very talented performers are musically supported solely and superbly by Fred Barton at the piano. Framed around a theme: The Next Generation , the revue gets off to a rousing start with a family — father, mother, son and daughter — arriving from who knows where to Times Square looking for the TKTS booth and then trying to decipher and choose what to see.
Enter Manny (Immanuel Houston) who serves as guide to the various shows they consider seeing but IS suddenly and humorously morphed into Hadestown's Andre DeShields. The family members are put on a train to Broadway's underworld of Hadestown, which we learn is also where "all the lost (flop) shows go."
Use your imagination, as director Alessandrini wastes no time sticking it to Moulin Rouge as the show with "cash to burn." The sultry-plus Jenny Lee Stern nails Karen Olivo singing "Diamonds Up My Wazoo," all the while spitting up blood.
Multi-talented 13 year-old Joshua Turchin gets his well-earned laughs throughout the show. He starts off with a doozy take on title character Evan Hanson admitting "I'm over-acting because I'm a borderline psychotic."
The musical numbers come at us so fast and with such a disarming disregard for continuity that it's was hard at times to keep up with the names of shows that "sooner or later" were about to be demolished in "It's Got To Be A Musica." (Think Dr. Zhivago etc.
A personal favorite found a close to abusive Bob Fosse (Chris Collins-Pisano) teaching a klutzy Gwen Verdon (Jenny Lee Stern) the exactingly stylized steps to a dance. Stern's payback is her hilarious put-down of Renee Zelwegger as Judy — "She smells in the part that she played."
You can imagine the fun the company has with "Fiddler in Yiddish," using a familiar Cole Porter melody for the howler — "Brush Up Your Yiddish." There's also Aline Mayagoitia and company to give the The Ferryman what for by stealing s song from Finian's Rainbow. They sing "How Are Things in Irish Drama" as the play's various characters end up being shot to death. Perhaps the most caustic spoof is of the show they call "Woke-lahoma." "Oh, What a Miserable Mornin" ends in a shades of Carrie blood bath for Laurie .
Far be it from me to reveal more of the comical payoffs for the many shows being lampooned. They deserve to be discovered.
The costumes designed by Dustin Cross get their point across and the scenery is minimal. A few wrinkles in timing and execution will undoubtedly be ironed out by opening night. These terrific performers need not worry when they sing "Be careful when you spoof a show you'll never work again." Undoubtedly they will work and we will be there for them.
Welcome home where you belong Gerard Alessandrini.
Search CurtainUp in the box below
Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation
Created, Written and Directed by Gerard Alessandrini
< Cast: Chris Collins-Pisano, Immanuel Houston, Aline Maygoitia, Katheryne Penny, Jenny Lee Stern, Joshua Turchin, Fred Barton (piano).
Choreography: Gerry McIntyre
Costume Design: Dustin Cross
Musical Direction: Fred Barton
Set and Poster Design: Glenn Bassett
Sound Design: Sound Associates
Production Supervisor: Glenn Bassett
Running Time: 1 hour 20 minutes no intermission
The Triad Theatre 158 West 72nd Street
Tickets: $65.00 or $90 preferred seating (two drink minimum)
For tickets visit www.forbiddenbroadway.com or call (212) 279-4200
From 09/18/19 Opened 10/16/19 Ends 11/30/19
Review by Simon Saltzman based on performance 10/13/19
Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):
Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email. . .also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.
For a feed to reviews and features as they are posted at http://curtainupnewlinks.blogspot.com to your reader
Curtainup at Facebook . . . Curtainup at Twitter