John, David, Richard, and I saw *Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation* on 9/23/19. Forbidden Broadway is a franchise that goes back to 1982, created by Gerald Alessandrini. He writes new words to songs from Broadway shows, making fun of the shows themselves. There have been over 12 versions of the show. John and Richard saw a few of the shows back in the 80s and wet themselves. We try to never miss it.
As a critic I feel I should mention that the show was in previews. John heard the guys behind us say that this was their fifth run-through (it pays to eavesdrop), so on those terms, it was pretty damn fabulous! I'm sure the performances will develop, but they all seemed to be very sure of what they were doing.
The show opened with members of the cast playing a family in town form Wichita to see some shows. They did “God I Hope I Get It” from *Chorus Line* as “God I Want To See It.” They go to see *Moulin Rouge,* in which the leading lady sings “Jukebox Is a Star’s Best Friend.” That same woman came back as Elsa from *Frozen,* singing “Overblown / Is imagination dead? / Overblown / The kids would rather be home in bed.” That was Aline Mayagoitia, she was our favorite of the cast. She especially killed it in her Bernadette Peters impersonation.
Immanuel Houston did a funny send-up of *Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,* with “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” redone as “Ain’t Too Proud To *Jersey* Clone,* about how *Ain’t Too Proud* is a rip-off of *Jersey Boys.* Ouch!
My favorite number was about the Yiddish language off Broadway production of *Fiddler on the Roof.* They redid “Tradition” as “Translation.” This led to two of the guys doing “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” from *Kiss Me, Kate* as “Brush Up Your Yiddish.” John said there’s always one song in a Forbidden Broadway show that makes him want to have all the lyrics - - this was that song.
You’d think that plays would be safe from Alessandrini’s scathing scythe, but no! He did a parody of *The Ferryman,* reworking “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” as “How Are Things In Irish Drama?” My favorite line: “This show is four hours long. We’re never going to be filmed for PBS!”
Another stand-out in the cast was Joshua Turchin, who totally held his own with these seasoned theatre professionals, and he’s only TWELVE! He did a riotous parody of *Dear Evan Hansen,* totally delivered the *Tootsie* number, and did many other funny bits. Keep an eye on him.
The one misfire in the show was a song about Billy Porter, with “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” redone as “Everything Now Is Inclusive.” Some of the gay and genderqueer jokes didn’t quite land for me. I think there is a good way to make fun of Billy Porter, but this isn’t it.
Another fabulous number had Mary Poppins singing about The Land Where Lost Shows Go - - a screen came down and we saw the playbills and opening/closing dates (some of the alarmingly close) to musical flops. What a treat to see the playbill for *The Pirate Queen.* It was the first show I walked out on!
It had been two years since the last Forbidden Broadway show (*Spamilton*) and two years between that one and the previous edition. I’ll wait another two years for the next show, but not one day more!
Here's a priceless montage from a FB concert from a few years ago: