If you like parodies, you will really enjoy MusicalFare’s Premier Cabaret production of the revue Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits, a spoof of famous musicals, their songs, plots, stars, composers, and directors. There is nothing sacred in this show, from saucy Fosse, to Chita/Rita and Liza One Note. It is a very witty, at times laugh-out-loud funny skewering of what is often taken very seriously, sometimes bordering on reverence. Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits is irreverent to its core. No one is exempt…well, maybe Gershwin. But no one else.
Director and Choreographer Michael Wachowiak has put together a group of fine actors with great comic chops, not to mention strong voices, using those diaphragms to great effect (which will be noted several times during the show). Musical Direction is by Stephen Piotrowski, who also expertly provides the music on piano.
Nicole Marrale Cimato, Maria Droz, Marc Sacco and Dan Urtz are the actors, each doing their part to keep this nonsense afloat and very entertaining. They all e-n-u-n-c-i-a-t-e very clearly, too, which is so important when you want to hear the words being sung. No Brando mumbling from this group. I know his Guys and Dolls was the movie and not the play, but I wanted to get him in because he is the quintessential mumbler. Onward…
I don’t want to spoil the fun by going into too much detail, so I'll just give a few nuggets. Done by the whole cast, Into the Words speaks for itself and Stephen Sondheim. Ambition is from guess what? Marc Sacco is terrific as Mandy Patinkin in a number called Somewhat Overindulgent, as is Maria Droz as Liza, and Dan Urtz who so enjoys being a cat, and Nicole Marrale Cimato as Carol Channing. My companion pointed out that it is not easy to be a caricature of Carol Channing as Carol herself is a caricature of Carol Channing, but Ms. Marrale Cimato does her proud. There is camp and Merman and Rent and Barbra, and much much more. The Les Miserables sequences reminded me of how grateful I am that, having read the book for a college English class in the dim past at which time I vowed never to subject myself to it again, I have seen neither the movie nor the play. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it lampooned.
Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits, created and written by Gerard Alessandrini, has been entertaining audiences since 1982 in its many iterations. The lyrics are clever, silly, witty, and sometimes broadly comical. The MusicalFare cast is very talented and more than up to the task of performing this fast-paced parody. Plus, this being a cabaret show, there is table service for drinks and snacks. You can see it on Saturdays and Sundays at MusicalFare's Premier Cabaret until November 4th.