April 24, 2012
Forbidden Broadway this May
Show tune spoofs and Lea Salonga in one of them? How can anyone resist?
Forbidden Broadway is the funniest show in New York, declared The New Yorker. From the premise of the show itself, it promises something that is a no-fail hit with audiences: poking fun at the familiar.
The show is actually a collection of well-loved Broadway hits' parodies, as well as caricatures of famous Broadway actors like Bob Fosse, Cameron Mackintosh and Barbra Streisand. Its local production outfit, Upstart Productions, will stage Forbidden Broadway this May, promising an entertaining night of musical revues and plenty of laughter courtesy of Broadway itself. "It's not just humor, it's intelligent humor. Plus it's a way to see more than 20 of your favorite Broadway musicals in one night!" said the show's director, Joel Trinidad.
The show is headlined by four performers (in the Philippine production, they are Liesl Batucan, Caissa Borromeo, OJ Mariano, and Lorenz Martinez) in a cabaret-style revue of beloved songs from popular Broadway musicals.
The show has been performed over 9,000 times across the world, has produced 11 cast albums and countless awards; its creator Gerard Alessandrini won the 2001 Drama Desk award for Best Musical Revue in 2001.
Trinidad believes that the show will be a hit among Filipinos, even among those who are not fans of Broadway musicals.
"Filipinos love to laugh, and the show is funny as hell. I think its target market is people who love comedy full stop, rather than just people who love the theater," he said.
Trinidad said he himself has seen Forbidden Broadway several times in New York. "I was not familiar with many of the shows that were being spoofed—but I found those numbers hilarious anyway," he said.
Alessandrini has rewritten the show several times since it first opened in 1982, continuously incorporating hit musicals into the material. For the local audiences, Forbidden Broadway will have spoofs of shows that have been recently performed in Manila, such as Mamma Mia!, Rent, and Cats. Local productions are not allowed to add any songs to the script, but the lineup is a mix of the old and new, further widening the appeal of the show to audiences. "The Les Miserables suite is my favorite. It's funny as hell!" said Trinidad.
The show has become so popular it spawned spinoffs with basically the same parody theme such as Forbidden Hollywood, Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit, and Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back.
For the local production, Trinidad said they will be featuring a celebrity guest for every show. Included in the lineup are Aiza Seguerra, Cherie Gil, Jett Pangan, Nyoy Volante, and Iya Villania, to name just a few. Every night, that person will take over one or two numbers from the main cast.
As for Lea Salonga, the Filipina who is most famous for her performances on Broadway and West End, Trinidad confirmed that she will have a part in the local production of Forbidden Broadway. "But if you want to know what song she's going to sing, you'll have to see the show," Trinidad teased.
Forbidden Broadway will be directed by Joel Trinidad, and will he performed at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza on May 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27, 2012. Tickets are available via Ticketworld, select National Bookstore branches, Robinsons Department Stores, and Resorts World ticket outlet. The show is presented by Upstart Productions.