Tony Award winning parodist Gerard Alessandrini is back with a hilarious all new Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation!
By: Patrick Christiano
January 20, 2020: After a five-year hiatus Gerard Alessandrini is back with a long-awaited new edition of Forbidden Broadway. For the uninitiated Alessandrini and his troupe of fantastic performers have been spoofing Broadway musicals for 38 years with consistently hilarious results, garnering a somewhat cult following and raves from the critics. The new show is called Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation, and this time out Alessandrini’s timely send-ups take aim beyond just theater to film and television, as well.
In two of the evening’s highlights, Jenny Lee Stern shines first as Gwen Verdon in a spoof of Fosse/Verdon and later in what is probably the show’s most hilarious moment as a tormented Judy Garland trashing Renee Zellweger’s performance in Judy. Stern’s impressions not only beautifully evoke the spirits of those divas, but Julie Andrews, as well, in a zany spoof of Mary Poppins Returns, which turns “The Place Where Lost Things Go” into a graveyard for failed musicals.
If the new edition is not loaded with guffaws, the parodies consistently kept a broad smile on my face in between the laughter. A hysterical Oklahoma! medley made fun of woke cowpokes with delicious results, while other shows skewed included Hadestown, Moulin Rouge, Tootsie, Beetlejuice, The Ferryman, the Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof, and The Cher Show, along with the new generation of Broadway stars including Ben Platt, Santino Fontana, Billy Porter, and Alex Brightman. And there were returns by Bette Midler, Andre de Shields, Bernadette Peters, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Although Alessandrini’s approach hasn’t changed much over the years and much of the humor requires some knowledge of the theater and its culture, the new edition, featuring a fabulous cast, is just as funny as ever and has already been extended through February 16th at the York. The versatile performers are Immanuel Houston, Aline Mayagoitia, Chris Collins-Pisano, Jenny Lee Stern, and an amazing 13 year-old Joshua Turchin. Musical direction is by Fred Barton on the piano and the lively choreography is by Gerry McIntyre.
FOR TICKETS: In Person @ The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter’s Church at Citicorp, 619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue, Lower Level 2.
By Phone 212 935-5820 or online www.yorktheatre.org
Running Time 80 Minutes – No Intermission
Photography: Carol Rosegg
Click Here Photography of Opening Night and After Party by Barry Gordin