If you really love Broadway like I do, you’ll adore the show that reams it a new one, then kicks it in the pants.
It’s Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking!, the latest installation of the spoofy revue that mocks the truly annoying things about Broadway because deep down, you have to know and love the place to be disturbed by it to this extent.
And this time around, creator Gerard Alessandrini has struck comic gold with the pesky putdowns (a few of which are returning bits, while most of them are as new as Donna Murphy‘s branch dress), as performed by a talented quartet of satirists who belong on Broadway themselves.
Matthew Broderick gets roasted as a clunky bore. (“Nice song if I could sing it…”)
Ricky Martin is skewered as a blandly smiling, hip swiveling Che (“Livin la Evita loca…”) while Elena Roger is accused of an “utter lack of star quality” and the habit of pretending to be dying whenever she runs out of breath.
Newsies is treated like corny pap (a funny bit has the “papes” the ragamuffins dance on not coming off, no matter how hard they try).
And in the show’s best segment, Once is lambasted as a musical that’s so unpretentious it’s pretentious, not to mention full of precious emotions, contrived non-plotting, cute vocal tricks, and actors doubling as orchestra members.
I could go on and on, but describing this show too much will ruin the jokes.
And the jokes are good, with deft observations about stars’ performance gimmicks, producers’ marketing techniques, and even the only drama in Spider-Man–the behind-the-scenes battle between Bono and Julie Taymor, a war between mannered rock wailing and witchy stagecraft.
So please see this hilarious show.
It’s way safer than Spider-Man–unless you happen to be someone they mention.